Experts say there is no research or data suggesting that girls are smarter than boys – or vice versa. And not all statistical measures of academic advancement indicate that girls are ahead; statistics alone don’t tell the tale. For example, in Orange County during the 2004-05 school year, the average SAT score for boys (1,106) was 40 points higher than the average SAT score for girls (1,066). The same was true that year in Riverside County, where the average SAT score for boys was 991, compared with 947 for girls, a 44-point difference.While girls are enrolling in college and earning degrees in greater numbers than boys, boys still dominate the technical fields, such as computer science, engineering and math – fields the federal Department of Labor says are the fastest growing in America. It’s the boys who have emerged as the best-prepared for jobs of the future, most of which will require high-level math, computer and technical skills.One person who is seeking to put girls on equal footing in math and science is Dr. Pamela S. Clute, a longtime math professor at UC Riverside. The majority of college students today are women, but fewer than 1/3 are majoring in math, science, engineering or another technical field, she notes with concern. Women tend to gravitate instead toward the humanities, she says.“The girls have the ability, but they don’t have the interest. Our ladies are not being prepared for the future,” Clute says.Ten years ago, Clute founded the ALPHA Center, and she serves as its executive director. The ALPHA Center (Academy of Learning through Partnerships for Higher Achievement) is a UC Riverside-based clearinghouse that puts educational research into practice in the K-12 schools throughout inland Southern California. Girls Excelling in Mathematics for Success (GEMS) is an ALPHA Center summer program held at 11 sites, from Ontario to the Coachella Valley, for girls entering middle school and grades 7 and 8. Created to empower girls and build confidence, the program focuses on mathematics as it relates to college and business.