are Asians more adept at science and technology than Americans, and if so why

Silicon Valley utilizes most of B1 (temporary green cards) than other industries; I note that I see more Indian doctors than in past.

It has to do with the availability of affordable education, government subsidies, and motivation/incentive. There’s no inherent difference in aptitude.

Part of this is a self-selecting issue. Many Asians who come to America are H1B or students who were already pursuing the STEM tracks or careers to begin with. So they would be disproportionately represented in STEM in America. And the same goes for their children; it goes to reason that the children of engineers, scientists or doctors would be more likely to go into STEM fields themselves as they grow up.

Another reason may be lack of natural resources. Nations like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. don’t have fossil fuels worth exploiting, aren’t big on mineral resources, farmland is limited, etc. As such, the only way the nation can catapult itself to wealth is to go with tech, science, finance, and other fields that aren’t directly tied to a nation’s mineral wealth. They have no choice but to go high-tech. It’s like how many mineral-rich nations like Russia, Venezuela and many African nations are relatively poor, while mineral-poor nations are often more high tech and wealthier per capita (many Western European nations, etc.)

H1B abuse is rampant, and there are tons of people out there willing to be abused. It’s hard to believe in the US, but there are countries out there that actually believe in educating their population even when the short-term benefits aren’t evident.

Also I know that one driver in the software industry is the (IMO insane) idea that it makes sense to hire a 20% competent engineer for a 20% wage. It’s a fair economic bargain and I don’t begrudge workers for taking it, but from a business standpoint it really plays havoc on software quality and team morale.

Citation needed. Asians are 5.6 percent of the U.S. population but would be the overwhelming majority of every elite college, were admissions based solely on academic merit.

They often excel at competitions measuring mental ability, whether it be international math competitions or academic decathlons in the USA.

In the same way that some subgroups of blacks are absolutely dominant at some positions in sports, it could very well be that some subgroups of asians are in fact naturally better at some areas of academic achievement.

Anyways I’m not saying I can prove it either way, though asians as a race do seem to do better on IQ tests which are *supposed *to be education-neutral, but the evidence does seem to be leaning more towards the hypothesis that some asians have higher aptitude than the one that they are not.

Now, to be fair, “asians” is too broad a term. Americans who are the children of elite Japanese and Chinese tech workers who emmigrated to the USA tend to be…elite at science and technology. This may not even be that asians are actually better, more than mental talent is heritable, and like you would expect, descendents of the best and brightest also tend to be the best and brightest.

Similarly, descendents of caucasian nobel prize winners are also probably more likely than not to have talent in science. And so on.

Uhh, no. You’re the one who needs to cite that demographic data like this is the result of inherent ethnic or racial characteristics.

There’s absolutely no reason to believe that any of this is the result of Asian-ness as an inherent factor.

If you are wondering why Asian-Americans demographically score well, it is easily explained by economic favors.

For example, why are there so many Indian doctors in the United States? Because in the 1960s India was producing medical graduates eh suddenly found it easy to immigrate to the U.S.

Why did their children tend to have success? Because they came from highly educated families that had the resources and motivation to set them up to succeed.

As another poster said, Asian-American s come from a self-selected set of families who were going to find it easy to succeed in the United States because they already had the education to do so.

Asia is full of failures. They didn’t find themselves easily immigrating to the United States.

And Jews would have dominated elite colleges after World War I, hadA. Lawrence Lowell not established quotas at Harvard, and the rest of the Ivy League followed suit.

It’s an easily identified group of highly motivated immigrants turning to education to push the next generation forward - not a particular racial characteristic.

Or it is.

My Thai wife is a trained and experienced statistician and has always loved math. That said, during my total 24-1/2 years in Thailand, I would say the vast majority of Thais can’t do math or science worth a shit. This whole notion is just a meme created through cherry-picking data.

The vast majority of anybody can’t do math or science worth a shit. Unless they have sought an education. I never noticed any exception to this rule in Thailand or India or anywhere else. In certain countries in certain times, being, say, a mathematician was considered rock-star cool, whereas elsewhere it wasn’t, which makes a difference.

Hmm call me crazy, but a lot of Americans are Asian.

  1. The definition of a genius is someone in the top 2% of an IQ test. The population of India and China added together is 10x the population of the United States. As such, we expect there to be 10x the number of geniuses. That has nothing to do with aptitude, just how much baby-making took place.

  2. Both intelligence and culture tend to flow through the parents to their children - both nature and nurture can play an effect. If you take the most scholastic and most intelligent of Asians, from Asia, and move them to the US, and there is not much interbreeding with the locals, then the concentration of high intelligence genes and the scholastic culture can both remain within that sub-population. Over time, we will expect everything to regress to the mean of the country, but for a few generations it isn’t too surprising for their to be a noticeable boundary. And, of course, that can cut the other direction as well (PDF). Cambodia, under Pol Pot, massacred all of the educated and high intellect people in the country, and that’s put the country way behind the rest of Asia.

The first clause of the first sentence in that article:

Why didn’t that stop you right there?

It doesn’t have to be a genetic characteristic of a ‘race’ to be a genetic characteristic of a genetically distinct group. So that example proves nothing.

I’m not saying that’s all the explanation: IMO it’s pretty clearly not all of the explanation of such differences. I’m not even saying it’s proven that it’s part of the explanation. But it’s not proven it isn’t, and IMO arbitrary to demand everyone assume it’s 0% of the explanation unless it’s absolutely proven that it is. Or vice versa. I reject the post above saying ‘you have to prove that’s true’ as well as the one saying ‘you have to prove that’s not true’.

And from a national competition POV, ie considering the populations of foreign countries as compared to the US, rather than considering different groups in US society, we (a US perspective) might have to accept that some other countries have an advantage in academic achievement due to demographics, whether it’s genetic demographics or cultural demographics. Declaring everything is due to ‘culture’ avoids sticky discussions of genetics (sticky that is on the anonymous internet, just plain taboo in public discussion). It doesn’t mean the average of all sub-cultures of the US student body is going to be able to compete with certain homogeneous foreign student bodies. You can’t necessarily change ‘culture’ either.

This. When I thought engineering classes the clear distinction between those who excelled and those who failed was effort. Bust your ass and you’ll do well - be lazy and you won’t.

If Namibia say, had a 1000 history of encouraging children to excel at STEM stuff then they would be providing shitloads of STEM workers in the US. But, they don’t have that history.

So Namibians somehow don’t inherently have the intellectual abilities? I think not.

I wonder if, for a time, Italians immigrants (for example) were more successful at academic pursuits in the USA then (for example) Irish immigrants. But after many generations this has reverted to the mean and the two groups don’t have seperate identities as far as academic success. They are both under the “white” umbrella.

After enough time passes, whites and Asians in america (and blacks and other groups) will all revert to the mean and become more or less equal.

Math is akin to a foreign language. If you put 10,000 hours in by the time you finish high school, your math skills will be much more fluent than that of the average American high schooler.

Tiger Mom’s plus
-longer school years
-after school instruction
-shorter summer vacation
-a lot more instruction in math
-school system focused on STEM
-obvious STEM career choices
-US visa programs that reward STEM

Bingo. It’s the effort & work…the sweat that goes into it…the demands that are placed on these kids. It’s not some genetic thing.

I remember being in college with a kid from Korea who once said that by the time they finished high school, they usually had already studied the first two years of college level calculus.

I teach English in South Korea. While Asian kids have a reputation in America as focused little Mozarts, the reality is that most of them are no brighter or more serious than their American counterparts. I’ve only met a handful of super-geniuses here. But that handful really are Bond villain-level super-geniuses.