Camilla Persson Benbow is an American educational psychologist and a university professor. She studies the education of intellectually gifted students. Benbow has created controversy with her research conclusions on correlations between gender and mathematical aptitude.
Camilla Benbow is the Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College. She is an educational psychologist who has focused on education of intellectually gifted young people. Benbow is co-director (with David Lubinski) of the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), a longitudinal study that examines the development of over 5,000 individuals over their life-spans. Her interests focus on identifying education that is most effective to developing intellectual talent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Benbow received her undergraduate and graduate education at Johns Hopkins University, including the Ed.D., with distinction, in 1981. She became associate research scientist at Johns Hopkins University in 1981. In 1986, Iowa State University appointed her Associate Professor of Psychology promoting her rapidly to full professor in 1990, department chair in 1992, and Distinguished Professor in 1995. She was appointed Interim Dean of Education at Iowa State in 1996. At Iowa State she also directed the pre-collegiate programs for talented and gifted students.
Author of many acacemic papers and two books, she is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society, has received a distinguished scholar award from the National Association for Gifted Children, and in 2004 the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Mensa Education and Research Foundation. In May 2006, she was appointed to the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. She has also served on the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation.
Benbow has interpreted some of her study data to indicate that there are innate differences between young men and women in their aptitude for higher mathematics and fields of endeavor that depend on mathematics, such as engineering and physical sciences. These positions have been met with controversy.
- Camilla Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt Peabody College.
- Camilla Persson Benbow and Julian C. Stanley. Consequences in High School and College of Sex Differences in Mathematical Reasoning Ability: A Longitudinal Perspective. American Educational Research Journal, Vol. 19, No. 4, 598-622 (1982).
- Halpern, D.F. et al. The Science of Sex Differences in Science and Mathematics. Psychological Science in the Public Interest 8(1): 1-51 (2007).
- Background for the AWM petition concerning the inclusion of Dr. Camilla Benbow on the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. -Approved by the Executive Committee of AWM. Association of Women in Mathematics, 2006.