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Loving and Hating Mathematics by Reuben Hersh, Vera John-Steiner

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Gender and Age in Mathematics

In Chapter 5 we quoted Hardy’s dictum, “Mathematics is a young man’s game,” which has become a catch phrase. In this chapter we consider both aspects of that catch phrase: “young” and “man.” What happens to a mathematician as he or she gets older? Do women have the same career opportunities as men? Do they follow the same rhythms and patterns in their work as their male colleagues? In the second half of the chapter, we consider age and aging of mathematicians. In the first half, we survey the past and present status of women mathematicians.

Women in Mathematics

By the expression “a young man’s game” Hardy did not mean to exclude women. The famous British analyst Mary Cartwright was his student. In 1941, when ...

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