Keep calm and drink tea!

24 04 2011


Finals start this week, but at least all will be over in a little over a week and a half! (Until resits…)

Cannot wait for lazy days, BBQ days, sand-between-the-toes beach days, pamper days, and learning to snowboard days. And I’m very excited that I seem to have bagged an interesting, relevant audit to do with a new friend, and a great placement with a truly fascinating department for some of my  post-exams private study time!

But until then, at least I’ve got these adorable “keep calm and…” badges to kep me smiling. That and a very full belly from the post-Easter-Sunday-pub-roast chocolate binge!

See you on the other side…


Things I learnt whilst intercalating

9 01 2011

Things learnt during my intercalation year:

1) That yoghurt is really easy to make-although does require youghurt to make it.
2) That giving traditional birth attendents cranberry juice will not cure their social phobias.
3) Facebook is the best procrastination tool known to man (well, students anyway).
4) That vital websites will always be down, email inboxes full, library books MIA and coffee machines without any cups the night before a deadline.
5) The hilarity of geeky stats jokes is inversely proportional to the time (in hours) since last using SPSS.
6) That research karma is real – I blame not filling in all those 3rd year PHP questionnaires for my response rate.
7) That “statistics is just REALLY hard” (pearl of wisdom, apparently).
8) That medcaf will never be able to meet the brownie demand caused by intercalators!
9) Not to advertise sexual preferences on emails sent to staff.
10) “It’s a fork” (otherwise known as assume makes an ass of u and me)

Women and maths – the effect of stereotyping

18 11 2010

My attention was recently drawn to this fascinating study conducted over a decade ago now, although its findings seem to have been largely ignored.

The study at the University of Michigan, first looked at psychology students with fairly high levels of maths knowledge and skills. It was discovered that males outperformed females at difficult tests, whilst there was no difference in easier tests.

In the second part of the study, a 2 part test was conducted where half the participants were told that the questions in the first half were shown to produce gender differences, but the second half was not, and half the participants were told it was the other way around. Interestingly, the investigators discovered that where a gender difference was expected by participants, one existed, but was eliminated when they were not expecting an effect of gender.

These results were replicated in a less highly selected sample of students.

What I find most interesting is how this information is being used now, in the UK. If this ‘stereotype threat’ has the potential to impact upon performance in exams, how is this translating to the classroom. Could it that the reports every year that girls do better in school exams than boys may in fact be a self-fulfilling prophecy?