That's a phrase I heard in the framework of the Hoffman Process - a
methodology for finding out things that are keeping you from being who
you really are, and taking action to get them out of the way. But that's
not with this post is about.
read recently - it may have been in an ASEE (American Society of
Engineering Educators) mailing - that most people have determined
whether they will pursue a career in engineering or science by the end
of the 8th grade. And the decision hinges on how they feel about math
also read recently that the number of young people choosing
engineering, science, and technology professions in the US is declining.
ability to do math is a filter for getting into good engineering and
science schools. On the surface, that seems reasonable: Math is the
language of precision, and its abstractive tools provide access to the
reasoning of the ages, as well as the ability to carry it on.
yet...My friend Ron Resch has made major contributions to diverse areas
of science and technology, including paper-folding, product innovation,
and more. He has an MFA (master of fine arts) degree.
Bill Gates didn't finish college. Neither did Steve Jobs.
everyone is cut out to be a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs. Or a Ron Resch.
And fame or business success may not be an appropriate goal for one's
life. I'm just pointing out that these major contributors to society's
well-being did not let the lack of math education stand in their way.
my thought right now, and I'd love some feedback from you: I want to
encourage young people who may have had miserable math experiences
before college not to rule out math-gated careers.
Now, if you
Google "remedial math," you'll find that there is a lot of controversy
surrounding the subject. And there are valid points on all sides.
I want to say is this: A young person who discovers a burgeoning
passion in their heart - or even the hint of one - towards technical
pursuits should not rule them out for lack of math. Anyone who is
willing to devote some time - and it may take a year - to their math
skills is likely to be able to re-open what they had considered to be a
We're scaring away some of the most creative people from engineering and related careers. Let's think about ways to help them.