K-12 Education

Daylong event at University of Iowa aims to get high school women excited about math

Deadline to register is March 25

The Pappajohn Business administration Building on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City. (Gazette file photo)
The Pappajohn Business administration Building on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City. (Gazette file photo)

The University of Iowa Department of Mathematics is organizing a full day of events meant to showcase opportunities in mathematics to high school women.

“We hope to show them there are women in math — we do exist — and they can do that too,” said Kathryn McCormick, a mathematics graduate student and organizer of the Sonia Kovalevsky Day. The event is named for the 19th century mathematician, writer and women’s rights advocate.

The free event is scheduled for April 16 at the UI’s Pappajohn Business Building, with a registration deadline on March 25.

Students will spend their Saturday hearing from speakers, viewing posters from undergraduates studying math, playing math and logic games and learning about academic and career opportunities in the field. The event is open to women of all math levels, as well as educators and parents.

Hopefully, McCormick said, the event will help dispel some misconceptions about who can have a successful career in math.

“There’s this feeling that you have to be born a genius to be a mathematician, and that doesn’t leave much room to picture yourself,” she said. “That just isn’t true.”

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