"It's critical to make math and science relevant to the lives of women, to humanize those subjects," says Katherine Heinrich, chair of the mathematics and statistics department of Simon Fraser.
"Why should the images always involve cars and tools?
What about hair dryers and muffins?
They involve math and science too."
also notes that the teaching of small children has traditionally been the job of women, many of whom are uneasy with math and may communicate that involuntarily.
"We teach a math course for elementary school teachers: 90 per cent are women and 90 per cent of them are afraid of math," notes Heinrich
Laurentian's Goldsack is especially critical of the lack of special training of grade-school teachers responsible for those subjects.
"You can't get an organ grinder to teach the piccolo without turning students off," he
"You need confidence and a willingness to take intellectual risks to solve more complex math problems," says Heinrich