More than other subjects there’s a myth that you have to be an absolute genius to be good at maths and to enjoy it, so I think it’s less accessible for people. Even the word “maths” makes people screw their face up.
I see the maths face quite a lot. It’s the blind panic that they have to do maths in front of people. It’s just fear and dread. There’s definitely a maths face – try it on someone.
I’m really interested in male and female brains and whether female brains or male brains are better at maths. You sit men and women down and give them a maths test and they will do fairly equally. Then you set up the same test, but with different people, and make them tick a box to say whether they are a man or a woman, and the women do significantly worse in the maths test than they did previously in a group set.
When you tell people that you are studying maths at uni, they are like, “Oh …”. Especially a blonde Essex girl.
Men are not as scared to lose and they’ve got a lot more time to devote to, not exactly pointless things, but to being good at things like Countdown.