Heddy Lemar
Heddy Lemar Heddy Lemar Heddy Lemar Heddy Lemar Women in the Mathematical Sciences at the University of North Texas
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Hedy Lamarr Movie star Hedy Lemarr (left) invented a device for producing frequency-hopping radio signals impervious to jamming by the Nazis in WWII that could win the war.  The US miltary ignored her, then told her to stay in her lane as a Hollywood bombshell.  She filed the patent anyway (right) in 1942 with composer George Antheil.   The US military finally got around to using Lamarr's idea in the 1960s. Many people consider her invention the basis for today's GPS, cell phone, and wifi technology. HedyLemarrPatent

Event for UNT mathematics instructors and graduate students on Thursday, Feb 3, 2021, 10AM through UNT Bridge:

Student Evaluations and Treatment of Female Instructors and TAs: Acknowledging the Reality and Setting Expectations

Student concerns and special requests are naturally on the rise with increased online learning and student challenges due to the pandemic.  Do student expectations and requests change depending on the instructor's gender?  How can we encourage respectful communication from students while at the same time making sure their concerns are heard?  How can instructors uphold professional boundaries in the face of gender bias?  How can male and non-binary instructors help?  We ask UNT Diversity and Inclusion Trainer EmmaLee Pallai to share some research and ideas.

Professor Sue Geller of Texas A&M University gave a presentation Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, at 1 PM in GAB 104, UNT on
Fermat's Last Theorem: History, Attempts, Unsolved Issues.
The talk is open to all UNT men and women and is appropriate for undergraduate students interested in mathematics as well as graduate students, postdocs, and faculty.  Dr. Geller is a Professor of Mathematics, a Professor of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, and Director of Honors Programs in Mathematics at Texas A&M.

After Pythagoras proved that A^2 + B^2 = C^2 for right triangles with hypotenuse C, many mathematicians asked if there were non-zero integers such that A^n +B^n = C^n for n>2. By the third century, it was a common conjecture that no such solution was possible for any n>2. In 1637, Pierre de Fermat wrote in his copy of Diophantus's Arithmetica ``I have discovered a truly remarkable proof which this margin is too small to contain." This ``result" became known as Fermat's Last Theorem, yet no proof of his was ever found, only a correct proof for n=4. In 1993, corrected in 1995, Andrew Wiles proved something much stronger from which the truth of Fermat's Last Theorem came as a corollary. There still is no direct proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. 

This talk will focus on the history of attempts to prove Fermat's Last Theorem, some of the fields of mathematics which started in this pursuit, a common proof technique with roots in Fermat's proofs for low n, and conclude with a modern example of an attempt to prove a special case using only what Fermat knew, where it went deceptively wrong, and how to find such mistakes yourself. The talk will be accessible to undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. All are welcome.


Studies suggest that when students are reminded that they are from under-represented groups, their exam scores go down.  Jokes and comments about women in the hallways and classrooms can contribute to stereotype threat and test anxiety.

HedyLamarr   AdaLovelace

How should universities account for gender bias in student evaluations of instructors? 

Several studies are based on identical online courses, one taught under a female name and one under a male name, with very different student evals at the end of the semester.

Heddy Lemar and Eva Lovelace, poet Lord Bryon's daughter  (left) 


                                                 SCHOOL PROJECTS
Consider a famous female researcher for your next project:

Emmy Noether
"I want to invite women speakers, but there aren't any!"  
Research suggests that we INVITE and CITE people who are like us by default.  Some organizations keeps databases of names of researchers from under represented groups to help organizers wanting a speaker list reflecting the actual society in which they live.  For example,
Things organizers may want to keep in mind:

Wikipedia has gotten flak about the number of pages devoted to male mathematicians versus female.  There are some fairly interesting theories about why an institutional bias may be hard to kick there.