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Department of Mathematics

Sonia Kovalevsky Day

We held our tenth annual Sonia Kovalevsky Day for students in grades 7-12 on March 9th, 2024 on the Fresno State campus. All activities were held at the University Dining Hall. Our next Sonia Kovalevsky Day will be held in Spring 2025, date to be determined.

General Information

The Department of Mathematics is proud to host Sonia Kovalevsky Day each year. The mission of this free event is to empower the next generation of female and female-identified mathematicians, scientists, engineers and innovators. It is also an opportunity for networking, mentoring, and fun, and a celebration of women in mathematics.

Sonia Kovaleveky

Many who have never had occasion to learn what mathematics is confuse it with arithmetic, and consider it a dry and arid science. In reality, however, it is the science which demands the utmost imagination…It seems to me that the poet must see what others do not see, must look deeper than others look. And the mathematician must do the same thing.”  S.K.

Sonia Kovalevsky was the first woman to be granted a Ph.D. in Mathematics. She was a great mathematician and an advocate for women's rights in the 19th century. It was her enthusiasm and struggle to obtain the best education available that began to open doors at universities to women.  

Although we have come a long way since then, women are still underrepresented in top-level professional positions in math and in STEM fields, in general. Many young women with interest and potential in such careers do not pursue them, perhaps due to unconscious bias, lack of role models, or simply because they don't know that such careers are open to them!

Local area high school and middle school students interested in mathematics, and their teachers, are invited to attend Sonia Kovalevsky Day, where they will explore the world of mathematics outside of the regular school curriculum and take part in fun and interactive activities.

The event is designed to nurture and inspire young students, particularly girls and non-binary students, to recognize their potential and to encourage them to pursue interests in mathematics and related fields. Attending this event will help them connect with mathematically-minded peers, provide them with female role models, and inform them about the limitless possibilities of mathematics. We welcome students of all gender identities and especially encourage girls, including transgender girls, to attend. 

For questions, please contact Dr. Carmen Caprau (

Our event would not be possible without the help of many donors and sponsors. Thank you very much to all of you!

The sponsors for our 2024 event:

  • Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative at Fresno State
  • College of Science and Mathematics, Fresno State


2024 Schedule

All activities will be held at the University Dining Hall – East Banquet Room.

Time Event
9:30 AM - 10:00 AM Check-in and Networking
10:00 AM - 10:10 AM Opening Remarks
10:10 AM - 10:50 AM

"Who Are Mathematicians and What Do They Do?"

Presentation by Dr. Jenna Tague, Fresno State and Clovis Community College

10:50 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

"Picture a Research Mathematician"

Presentation and math activity led by Dr. Jennifer Elder,

Missouri Western State University

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Lunch (provided by the program) and networking

1:00 PM - 2:25 PM

"Byte Blast: Tech Adventure for All"

Coding activity led by Dr. Swati Mehta, Fresno State

2:30 PM - 2:45 PM Raffle, Closing Remarks & Evaluations

Experience math and coding through exploration, play, creativity, and more.