Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer content

Department of Mathematics

Sonia Kovalevsky Day

We were happy to host our ninth annual Sonia Kovalevsky Day in person on March 18th, 2023 on the Fresno State campus. We look forward to our 10th annual Sonia Kovalevsky Day in the spring of 2024, 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, 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 2023 event:

  • Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative at Fresno State
  • San Joaquin Valley Mathematics Project
  • College of Science and Mathematics, Fresno State
  • The many people who generously donated to our Crowdfunding campaign.


2023 Schedule

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

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

Keynote speaker: Dr. Yaomingxin Lu, California State University, Fresno

“Paper cutting and Geometry"

10:50-11:00 AM


11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Hands-on Activity – Session 1

12:00-1:00 PM

Lunch (provided by the program) and Networking

1:00-2:30 PM

Hands-on Activity – Session 2

2:30-2:40 PM


2:40-3:20 PM

College Life + Why Study Math?

3:20-3:45 PM

Prizes and Evaluations