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Fashion makes a math statement

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image The Math Jeans by Peren Linn

Austrian fashion designer Peren Linn says girls have both the genes and the jeans for mathematics.

Austrian fashion designer Peren Linn wants girls to draw their own conclusions about math and she’s giving them an unlikely tool to help them do just that.

Linn created her line of girls' imprinted jeans - The Math Jeans”out of a desire “to bring math and forms into daily life,” she explained. “It didn’t take too much time, because jeans are part of our daily life. So I worked on and brought out the imprinted girls’ jeans.”

Linn was taken aback by a comment made by former Harvard University President Lawrence Summers that girls lack the genetic means to do well in math and science.

That remark reinforced prevailing assumptions about girls’ math abilities and caused a stir in academic circles.

But it also gave Linn the impulse to encourage girls “to start thinking twice and take this new challenge to reach the top of math. Maybe they’re right, it’s not a female world, but let’s see proof after a few years, if the theorem is still the same.”

Linn didn’t study math, but said she started looking at it differently after watching the acclaimed 1996 BBC documentary about British mathematician Andrew Wiles of Princeton University who solved Fermat’s Last Theorem.

On his web site, Simon Singh, who co-produced the documentary while a director with the BBC TV Science Unit, sums it up this way:  “The documentary was about mathematics and mathematicians, but it was also about childhood dreams, ambition, obsession, passion, failure and triumph.”

The documentary “made me cry,” Linn said. “This was the first time I realized how deep feelings ran in math. I was shocked. It was amazing.”  

Further inspiration came from Austrian mathematical biologist Franziska Michor and books such as “Math Doesn’t Suckand “Kiss My Mathby actor and math education advocate Danica McKeller.

Linn thought more people should see this other side of math, especially girls, so she used her creative skills to bring two seemingly disparate subjects together.

“I am an artist and have a special eye for things, materials, and situations, and how to connect them all into one,” says Linn.

Watch for more math fashion from the Austria-born artist who recently relocated to Hawaii. “I will continue to support all these girls on the way up with more stylish stuff.”

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (8 posted):

Michael Cosgrove on 01/24/2010 14:49:04
Great idea and the best of luck to Peren Linn and all concerned!

As for "Maybe they’re right, it’s not a female world..." that is correct.....But only because it's protected from 'infiltration' by women by the thousands of male math fossils who are clogging up universities, most notably here in France.

The idea that a girl can't do math as well as a boy is laughable.

ps. Do they do man's sizes? They look pretty cool!

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Kat on 01/24/2010 19:33:10
"Math fossils." :-)

Some people just can't stop clinging to a certain worldview no matter what the evidence says.
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buy 任天堂DSi R4 on 01/24/2010 22:23:41
This is really an awesome written here.I am very delighted to read this.My three nieces won't even suspect that I'm trying to turn them into mathematicians.Thanks.
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memory card reader on 02/18/2010 02:00:25
only because it's protected from 'infiltration' by women by the thousands of male math fossils who are clogging up universities, most notably here in France.
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fiwedding on 06/08/2010 03:56:30
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logo design on 06/28/2010 05:32:00
Intresting.You have been bookmarked.
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Music SE on 08/22/2010 00:38:39
I completely agree with it. Girls can be very good in Mathematics but not only in Languages and fashion.
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scanpst on 02/05/2011 00:19:00
Wow, I love the creativity! maybe this can produce some interest in math with designers. And maybe even with models!
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total: 8 | displaying: 1 - 8

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