Women and equal pay: A scientific view
April 20th, 2012
04:42 PM ET

Women and equal pay: A scientific view

Almost 50 years ago, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act. It prohibits employers from paying men or women different wages based on gender.

At the time, women earned almost 59 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to the National Committee on Pay Equity.

Earlier this week, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research released a fact sheet finding men make more money than women in almost every occupation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

So how is it that after 50 years, women have only increased their relative pay by 18 cents?

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Filed under: News • Voices
What Space Shuttle Discovery has inspired in us
April 20th, 2012
02:22 PM ET

What Space Shuttle Discovery has inspired in us

Editor's note: David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN and has been an adviser to four presidents. He is a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Follow him onTwitter. Michael Zuckerman is his research assistant.

(CNN) - Space Shuttle Discovery started out as a way to discover what lies beyond us. Its last flight, taken earlier this week, helped to discover what now lies within us.

Piggybacked atop a specially outfitted 747, Discovery made its flyover Tuesday above Washington - soaring over the White House and the Capitol, the Washington Monument and Arlington National Cemetery - en route to Dulles Airport and its new (and final) home, the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center.

All around Washington, people climbed up on rooftops, pulled off to the side of the road or gathered anywhere with a clear view to watch the shuttle's parting journey. The Washington Post reported tens of thousands on the Mall alone.

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Filed under: In Space • Voices
Data: It's how stores know you're pregnant
April 20th, 2012
01:59 PM ET

Data: It's how stores know you're pregnant

Editor's Note: Matthew Lane is a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at UCLA and is the founder of Math Goes Pop!, a blog focused on the surprisingly rich intersection between mathematics and popular culture.  You can follow him on Twitter at @mmmaaatttttt.

Whether you are trying to make the best decisions for your fantasy baseball league, looking to capitalize on an opportunity in a fluctuating stock market or simply filtering through the results of a Google search, it is hard to deny that we are surrounded by more data now than ever before.  As such, the task of organizing and drawing conclusions from data can be a challenge, but thankfully mathematics can, in many cases, rise to the occasion.

The application of mathematics to such a rapidly increasing pool of data, however, is not without controversy.  For example, in February The New York Times published an investigation written by Charles Duhigg about the value of consumer data to major corporations, and how those corporations can use your data in an instinctively creepy way.

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Filed under: Commentary • Math • Voices

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