London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Mathematical Images and Gender Identities

Funded by

The UK Resource Centre for Women in Science Engineering and Technology


September 2007 - December 2007


This project was an extension to an Economic and Social Research Council funded project entitled Mathematical Images and Identities: education, entertainment and social justice. The ESRC project explored the representations of maths and mathematicians in popular culture and the ways that they influenced learners. It involved collecting survey, text, focus group and individual interview data from Year 10 -Year 11 school students and university students in mathematics and in humanities and social sciences. The UKRC project built on what we learnt and developed a systematic analysis of the role of gender in representations of maths and mathematicians in popular culture and the processes of identification around these. It also gave us more time to communicate the findings of the project in relation to gender and to work on policy recommendations.


We had already collected the data for this research project and full details of the methodology are available on the website for the ESRC project ( We had the following dataset available for analysis:

• An SPSS database of over 600 questionnaires.
• A collection of information relating to about 30 texts of maths and mathematicians.
• An NVivo file of 27 coded focus groups.
• A set of transcripts of 50 individual interviews and an Excel worksheet summarising these.

The methodology for the analysis in relation to gender was as follows:

• Coding of SPSS data and comparative analysis between male and female respondents, using chi square tests and descriptive statistics.
• Further textual data collection and analysis of representations of women doing maths.
• A discourse analysis of the individual interviews looking at gender patterns in these.

Click here for main project website

Project Team:

Heather Mendick

Marie-Pierre Moreau

Sumi Hollingworth


Heather Mendick -


   Company Information    Page last updated 29 February 2008     Contact Page Owner (Angela Kamara)