2023 Sonia Kovalevsky Mathematics Day

Saturday, October 7, 2023

A Day of Fun Mathematical Activities and Career Information for Young Women (grades 8-12)
Hosted by: North Dakota State University | 8:30 am - 3:15 pm | Event Organizers


The Sonia Kovalevsky Mathematics High School Day is a program of mathematics activities for young women. Female high school students and their teachers from throughout North Dakota and Western Minnesota are invited to come to Fargo to meet the NDSU mathematics faculty, professional women from the Fargo area who use math in their careers, and other high school students who are interested in math. We will have several workshops through which we hope to inspire the participants to continue their study of mathematics.

All participants will receive prizes. A light breakfast and pizza lunch will be also provided. Students are welcome to attend for the day with or without a teacher. For teacher-led groups travelling more than 100 miles round-trip, we can provide mileage reimbursement and make a hotel reservation for Friday night, free of charge. Please indicate if you will need a hotel reservation when you complete the registration form below.



Sonia Kovalevsky was the most widely known Russian mathematician of the late 19th century.

She was born Sonia Korvin to a family of the minor nobility in Moscow in 1850. (Her father was an artillery general.) She developed an early interest in poetry and mathematics. When her father objected to her studies, she continued them secretly. She did not receive a formal mathematics education in Russia. She was exposed to mathematics in a curious way. During the renovation of the family country estate, one of the children's rooms was temporarily wallpapered with some notes from a text on calculus. In her autobiography, A Russian Childhood, she recalled that she had "passed hours before that mysterious wall, trying to decipher even a single phrase and to discover the order in which the sheets ought to follow each other." At age 15 in St. Petersburg she took private lessons from a professor at the naval academy who was astounded with the quickness with which she grasped ideas. Continue reading here.



The Sonia Kovalevsky High School Day Program at NDSU is supported by the NDSU Department of Mathematics, the NDSU College of Arts and Sciences, the NDSU Bookstore, the NDSU Provost Office, the NDSU Foundation-Board of Trustees, and the NDSU Alumni “Friends of Sonia Kovalevsky Day”. We gratefully acknowledge their support.

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