From iSteve commenter Gringo:
Amy Harmon at the NYT:
No one tallies the number of black mathematicians in those departments, but as best I can tell, there are 13. That comes to seven-tenths of 1 percent of the total -— perhaps as far as any job classification gets from accurately reflecting the share of black Americans in the general adult population, which stands at 13 percent.
It’s a fair bet that most math Ph.Ds. got 750 or above on the Math SAT. How do blacks do on the Math SAT? Of those who score 750 or above on the Math SAT, what proportion are black? How does this compare with Amy Harmon’s tally indicating that blacks comprise 0.7% of math professors ?Journal of Blacks in Higher Education: The Widening Racial Scoring Gap on the SAT College Admissions Test provides us with the answer.
In 2005, 153,132 African Americans took the SAT test. They made up 10.4 percent of all SAT test takers…
If we raise the top-scoring threshold to students scoring 750 or above on both the math and verbal SAT — a level equal to the mean score of students entering the nation’s most selective colleges such as Harvard, Princeton, and CalTech — we find that in the entire country 244 blacks scored 750 or above on the math SAT and 363 black students scored 750 or above on the verbal portion of the test. Nationwide, 33,841 students scored at least 750 on the math test and 30,479 scored at least 750 on the verbal SAT. Therefore, black students made up 0.7 percent of the test takers who scored 750 or above on the math test and 1.2 percent of all test takers who scored 750 or above on the verbal section.
Blacks comprised 0.7% of those who scored 750 or above on the Math SAT, and also comprised 0.7% of Math professors. Looks to me as if there is no racial exclusion at all in doctoral level mathematics. On the contrary, Math SAT scores and blacks as math professors track very well.
This article was published in 2006, so the news has been out there for quite a while. It doesn’t say much for Amy Harmon’s information searching abilities that she is apparently unaware of it. One would think a journalist would be adept at information searching, but that doesn’t appear to be the case for Amy Harmon.