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(Revised, and much shorterned) Wow, until you mentioned it is I didn’t even notice that the paper is written by Percy Deift, Svetlana Jitomirskaya, and Sergiu Klainerman (DJK)! My initial reaction is that I agree with the efforts to improve K-12 mathematical education, and I don’t share the authors’ concerns regarding diversity.

]]>Hi Kevin, Sure “Ashkenazim” (namely Ashkenazic Jews) form a large group of the Israeli population and I firmly believe that they are not more talented (nor less talented) in mathematics compared with other groups in the Israeli society.

As for children of mathematics professors, this goes beyond the scope of Ardilla’s axioms. It is reasonable to think that on average they are more talented in mathematics compared to the general population but less talented in mathematics compared to their math professors parents. (By regression to the mean).

]]>Dear Gil,

We all hope. Pesky reality, however, may be out of touch with our hopes. One can argue that the destructive policies described in the article by Deift, Jitomirskaya and Klainerman are just some unfortunate distortions of noble and virtuous ideas. Perhaps. Shouldn’t one ask then, why some ideas get distorted so easily and so frequently (and some other nice sounding ideas, such as communism, for example, seem to be distorted with terrible consequences every single time they are implemented on any sizable scale)?

This is not to question the work Federico is doing. It is the “sloganeering” component of the post that worries me.

]]>Dear Sasha, thanks! I don’t think the issue here (in Ardilla’s approach) is “diversity over merit” but rather “merit through diversity”. I hope mathematics will flourish everywhere.

]]>I didn’t get it. How the compactness helps here?

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