# Learning

#### The Gender Gap in Economics: Swarthmore’s Amanda Bayer Discusses Sexism in the Profession and What To Do About It

Amanda Bayer: "The percentage female at the undergraduate level in economics is well below the percentage female in other social sciences, in business, in humanities and even below the percentage female in STEM fields. Economics is an outlier...There's a huge misconception that it's the math component of economics that's keeping women away. And that's actually not the situation. About 45 percent of math majors at the undergraduate level are women. So, women major in math at a higher rate than they do in economics. Other studies with regression evidence show that math isn't the factor that explains the gap."
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#### Sally Yates, a "Truly Noble, Heroic Figure", a Woman of the Year

Editor's Note: We thought about Sally Yates again today when journalist and commentator Mike Barnicle (on Morning Joe) referred to the former Acting Attorney General as a "truly noble, heroic figure" and so decided to rerun the Harvard Law School article on her speech to the graduating class. "Being bold, taking a risk and owning it, isn't easy to do, and the instinct for self-preservation may continually draw you to the safe, risk-free course," she said. "But I urge you to resist that instinct. Not only is a life of hedging your bets unsatisfying, but it means you're unlikely to make much of a difference." more »

#### "Robots Can Learn a Range of Visual Object Manipulation Skills Entirely on Their Own"

"Humans learn object manipulation skills without any teacher through millions of interactions with a variety of objects during their lifetime. We have shown that it possible to build a robotic system that also leverages large amounts of autonomously collected data to learn widely applicable manipulation skills, specifically 'object pushing skills,' said Frederik Ebert, a graduate student in Sergey Levine's lab who worked on the project. more »

#### Reprising Kissing a Frog, A Math Problem for the Princess and A Mathematicians's Guide to Mating

From Prof. Billingham's essay: "I'm told that when men meet women, they sometimes rate each other on a scale of 1 to 10. Of course, mathematicians are far too intelligent and sophisticated do this. We rate people on a scale of 0 to 1. In our original mathematical model, all we could do was compare one possible frog with another. The numbers didn't mean anything in themselves; they just told the princess whether one frog was "better" than another. Let's change the fairytale slightly so that the 100 frogs are now labelled with numbers drawn randomly from those that lie between 0 and 1, with the handsome prince having the highest number. What's the princess's best strategy now?" more »