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Department of Mathematics

Sonia Kovalevsky Day

We are happy to host our ninth annual Sonia Kovalevsky Day in person on March 18th, 2023 on the Fresno State campus at the University Dining Hall between 9:00 am to 3:45 pm. Everyone interested in participating must register by March 10, 2023 at this link

Please see this campus map showing where the University Dining Hall is located. Parking permits are not required on Saturdays. Please see the Sonia Kovalevsky Day flyer that you can share with others.

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, 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 (ccaprau@csufresno.edu).

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

The sponsors for our 2023 event:

  • Central Valley STEM Network
  • Children Now
  • Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative at Fresno State
  • College of Science and Mathematics, Fresno State
  • The many people who generously donated to our Crowdfunding campaign.