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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 14, 2006

UI Holds Sonia Kovalevsky Day To Further Women In Math Feb. 25

Some 200 young women from high schools located in and around Johnson County will be on the University of Iowa campus Saturday, Feb. 25 to attend Sonia Kovalevsky High School Mathematics Day, a program featuring workshops and opportunities for social interaction among peers who share a passion for math.

Organizers say that their goal is to encourage more women to study science and math at the UI or other universities and to pursue science and math careers by following in the footsteps of Sonia Kovalevsky, a renowned 19th century mathematician and the first female member of Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as a writer and women's' rights advocate.

In addition to attending a keynote address by Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and David Mandersheid, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Mathematics, participants will have an opportunity to attend a variety of lectures including:

-- Isabel Darcy, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics and topologist, speaking on "Tied in Knots:  Applications of Knot Theory to DNA."

-- Jane Pendergast, Ph.D., biostatistician in the UI College of Public Health, "Is that Really True? The Role of Uncertainty in Health Science Research."

-- Colleen Mitchell, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics, "The Mathematics of Heart Attacks: Using an Iterated Function to Determine the Stability of a Regular Heart Beat."

The event is sponsored by the University of Iowa's Year of Public Engagement, UI Women in Science and Engineering, the UI Department of Mathematics, the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Association for Women in Mathematics. All activities will be held in the John Pappajohn Business Building.

Additional information may be obtained by visiting the event Web site at or by contacting the organizers: Bor-Luh Lin, Ph.D., professor of mathematics,, 319-335-0784; and Omayra Ortega, mathematics graduate fellow,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,