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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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PST1F05:

Gender Matters: The Gender Gap at the University of Michigan
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Monday, Aug.1
  Time: 8:00 PM -8:45 PM
  Author: Kate Miller, University of Michigan
248-229-2073, katemi@umich.edu
  Co-Author(s): Timothy McKay
  Abstract: While we expect that some background factors, such as prior test scores and academic preparation, should influence student success, we are concerned about inappropriate impact of uncontrollable factors, such as gender, socio-economic status, and race. In particular, there is a nationally recognized gender disparity in introductory physics performance. We describe analysis of data for 48,579 students who have taken introductory physics at the University of Michigan over 14 years. We clearly detect the presence and persistence of a gendered performance gap in all courses and in all terms considered. We find that differing mathematical preparation as reflected in SAT Math scores accounts for some of this gender gap, especially in the female dominated life science sequence. The physical science and engineering sequence, which is substantially male dominated, shows a strong gender difference even after differing mathematical preparation is accounted for.
  Footnotes: None
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