May 16th, 2018, 07:22 AM  #11  
Senior Member Joined: Mar 2015 From: New Jersey Posts: 1,603 Thanks: 115  Quote:
We don't do that well, which is a good sign, since it means we still have people left to run the place. Success in education is motivation, confidence, interest, and facility, and that's cultural, not racial. And money if not yours, then somebody else's. There is no such thing as a "smart" race, but there are differences in culture. If a "knit" group has a culture of piano playing, they will produce pianists, and they can only survive in the context of a larger group, as long as the larger group has plumbers. If the plumbers adopt the culture of piano playing because the piano players think they are better and rule over them, none of them will survive. My assertion is that, if Chinese and Japanese indeed do better in math (learning what's been done), the culture of language memorization is a factor. But I note Indians have a phonetic alphabet. The children of successful Asians in America do well because of the cultural factor, but probably less so in math. Most languages are phonetic, which means they have an alphabet. If you hear a word in English, you can come close to spelling it. If you hear a word in Chinese, you have to remember it's sign.  
May 16th, 2018, 10:48 AM  #12 
Senior Member Joined: Sep 2015 From: USA Posts: 2,174 Thanks: 1143 
I think the point that is missing is that Americans suffer from selection bias in rating Asians on technical subjects. It is extremely likely that if the individuals or their recent ancestors didn't show aptitude in technical, or at least professional subjects, they simply wouldn't be in the US. 
May 16th, 2018, 12:14 PM  #13 
Senior Member Joined: May 2008 Posts: 297 Thanks: 81  
May 17th, 2018, 11:43 AM  #14 
Senior Member Joined: Mar 2015 From: New Jersey Posts: 1,603 Thanks: 115  
May 17th, 2018, 12:03 PM  #15 
Senior Member Joined: Sep 2015 From: USA Posts: 2,174 Thanks: 1143  
May 17th, 2018, 12:46 PM  #16  
Senior Member Joined: Jun 2015 From: England Posts: 891 Thanks: 269  Quote:
Last edited by studiot; May 17th, 2018 at 12:48 PM.  
May 17th, 2018, 01:39 PM  #17 
Math Team Joined: Oct 2011 From: Ottawa Ontario, Canada Posts: 13,489 Thanks: 950 
Frankly my dear, ......

May 17th, 2018, 02:13 PM  #18 
Senior Member Joined: Mar 2015 From: New Jersey Posts: 1,603 Thanks: 115  Objectivity doesn't matter, Impression does. The NYT and Fox announce a remarkable new thesis, and Romsek proves absolutely and irrevocably that it is wrong, but nobody sees his proof, other than a few colleagues. Is the thesis correct? Denis, thanks for the publicity. Last edited by skipjack; August 9th, 2018 at 07:21 PM. 
May 17th, 2018, 02:23 PM  #19  
Senior Member Joined: Sep 2015 From: USA Posts: 2,174 Thanks: 1143  Quote:
i) NYT and Fox announced that Asians are better at math than nonAsians. Ok, I suppose that's possible, I didn't see it but I'll accept it happened. ii) I suggest that selection bias is an issue in this conclusion and you credit me with proving it absolutely and irrevocably wrong. iii) I'm not sure what proof you're talking about since I didn't give any but yes, only a few folks on here will see that I mentioned selection bias. Does this sum it all up? Last edited by skipjack; August 9th, 2018 at 07:22 PM.  
May 21st, 2018, 04:31 PM  #20  
Newbie Joined: Dec 2012 Posts: 12 Thanks: 0  Quote:
More generally, there are also lots of other interesting anecdotal evidence that suggests that certain ethnicities might have more mathematical ability than others. For example, a lot of the mathematical geniuses around the time of Einstein all seemed to have austrohungarian descent (Richard Rhodes the making of the atomic bomb, made the statement, and a quick search on google seemed to support that). Then we had the greeks who laid an undeniably strong mathematical foundation Currently, a lot of big mathematical names seem to be: eastern european, and south or east asian. What really strikes me is this; if we were to discount the hypotheses that some ethnicities are just better at math, then does that mean we have to consider another hypothesis that says that some ethnicities just seem to have a greater interest in mathematical problems? Otherwise, why is it that there seems to be a predisposition towards the field of math in individuals from certain ethnic groups and noticeably less in others? Is the answer really as simple as just the culture and tradition? if so, is it possible that this interest in mathematical problems occurs at certain points in cultural development, and therefore, any country who is at the right stage culturally will naturally develop this interest in math? Also, my opinion is that memorization would play a factor in math only up to the level of standardized testing. Sure it might mean a higher score on the SATs, but it wouldn't explain the discoveries and interest in math by these individuals. Lastly, one suggestive piece of somewhat "empirical" evidence is this: one of the biggest complaints I've noticed from university students in math courses, is the language barrier when dealing with profs in mathematical fields, because most of their professors are asian. I don't have a Phd, but my understanding is that it requires producing some novel work. To me this means, they must possess mathematical creativity, and I'm not sure any amount of memorization will make someone creative.  

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