I agree that engineering sets the stage for other skills, Liz. I also foun it interesting how many of our engineers used skills obtained at MIT: John H. Sununu; John E. Sununu; Tom Scholz and Pete Stark. That's a high percentage from a single school.
Hi Nadine - I appreciate your comment and I certainly see your perspective. However, I am simply speaking from my own experiences. I grew up as a "tomboy" and I was the only girl the boys would let play soccer at recess and I was usually one of the first picked. This speaks to my statement that regardless of the venue - typically competence will override gender bias. But it has also been my experience (I have been in engineering for twenty years) that striking up a conversation about hall effects is rather difficult with other women (and some men of course). I did not mean that statement to be stereotypical as a limiting factor, because we should all have the freedom to break through stereotypes, but I also believe that if I am in a fire and need someone to rescue me - I will have more confidence if the rescue worker who appears is a 250 lb. person of physical muscular strength. While I don't deny that can take the shape of a female rescue worker - the likelihood of that being the case is fairly slim. God made each of us unique with different gifts - but some gifts seem a little more lopsided towards one gender or the other, although of course that is not always the case. Part of it is how our educational system is structured as well - girls and boys mature at different rates yet they receive instruction in math and science at the same age - studies have been done that show this may have a negative effect on learning for girls in these areas which could account for some of the stereotypical views we are discussing.
I absolutely embrace and applaud women in engineering - I was asked to be a guest speaker at a seminar for high school counselors on that very topic. I know some other female engineers that absolutely excel. And I do stand on my statement - a woman can achieve her dream to be an engineer (or anything else for that matter) if she has the potential it requires to do so, as well as the attitude it takes to persevere. Competence overcomes gender bias. But my observation comes from being the ONLY woman engineer in a large semiconductor firm that was willing to hire women in engineering. At one point I was test engineering manager and in a position to hire - but did not ever receive women applicants. The majority of the ladies I interact with at church and social functions aren't interested in technical topics, but I can strike up a conversation with a non-technical guy and he will usually have a passing interest. Sorry for the seemingly stereotyping - maybe it is just my generation, Nadine. I am glad there are folks like you that are standing up for women in science and engineering.
From my understanding of his work, Hitchcock planned and controlled every detail. He was very methodical. Today, the special effects in a movie like The Birds seem underwhelming, but at the time, it was awesome. Consider the shower scene in Psycho. There was nothing like before. I can see it in the precision in his decisions and process.
Nancy-Maybe it's a generational thing. I don't know. But, I was taught that anyone should have the opportunity to follow their strengths. It's not male vs female. But, there are some truths that are often ignored. Girls are interested and skilled in science and engineering but women have few opportunities.
Comments like "Just seems to be more guys are interested in engineering then gals, but then girls are usually more interested in interior design..." just seem really counterproductive and feeds the stereotyping that sets up road blocks.
One of the things that is interesting about Hitchcock as an engineer is that you can't see it in his movies. You can see the technocrat tendencies in Carter's presidency. He seemed more focused on solving problems than he was on selling the resulting solutions poitically. That's very engineer. But I don't see the engineer in Hitchcock's work.
As a car racing fan, let me add NASCAR driver Ryan Newman that graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a BS in Engineering. During his first full year in NASCAR Cup racing in 2002, for Penske Racing, he won six pole positions, won his first race, and was also Rookie of the Year (beating out Jimmie Johnson). Ryan Newman has won 16 NASCAR Cup races so far during his career, including the Daytona 500 in 2008. He currently drives for Stewart-Hass Racing, with teammates Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick.
His hobby is collecting vintage cars, his favorite being a 1948 Buick Roadmaster convertible.
I noticed some folks get upset about the male-female ratios in engineering, but as a female engineer it never much bothered me. While I have had my share of dealing with "good ole boys" (you can get your own coffee and I take mine black, thank you very much) I have found that there is always opportunities for those who truly want them, at least in my own personal experience. Competence typically beats out gender bias and in today's culture I think folks gravitate towards what they are interested in. Just seems to be more guys are interested in engineering then gals, but then girls are usually more interested in interior design...
That quote - John Sununu's: "No level of glibness can get you through a thermodynamics exam" caught my attention as well. It certainly spreaks to the perseverence required to obtain an engineering degree and the character of folks who do...
At this year's MD&M West show, lots of material suppliers are talking about new formulations for wearables and things that stick to the skin, whether it's adhesives, wound dressings, skin patches and other drug delivery devices, or medical electronics.
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