Posted by: CJ | January 8, 2010

Romanians, Indians, and Brain-Drains! Oh my!

Random observation from today. One of my professors this term is Romanian. In particular, she’s a female Romanian professor. This would be unremarkable, except that I know two other female Romanian professors in the same department. In a field not known for high rates of female professors.

I got to wondering why there might be so many female Romanian professors. And I have at least two contributing factors. One is that, based on what one of the Romanian professors told me, Romania doesn’t really buy into any gender biases stuff. So it’s easier for females to get good training in math and science. The other is less amorphous and more institutional. Romania has a number of very good math and science magnet schools, which produce extremely well-trained scientists out of high school. This makes it easy for places in the US to focus their recruiting efforts there.

The reason this post’s title also references India is because of similar institutions in India. The Indian Institutes of Technology are incredibly good universities with astonishingly low admissions rates. Their graduates are also heavily recruited. Over the years, this has lead to some brain-drain of the very top people in India. Foreign grad schools and companies knew where to look for the top talent.

I guess there’s a lesson to be learned in that, but I’m not sure what it is.



  1. There is a lesson: they probably don’t have good roller derby. No gender bias, emphasis on education–some aspect of culture has to suffer.

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