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University of Iowa News Release


March 21, 2007

Sonia Kovalevsky Day March 31 Encourages Women To Study Mathematics

Some 75 young women from high schools in and around Johnson County will attend the second annual Sonia Kovalevsky High School Mathematics Day, a program featuring workshops and opportunities for social interaction among peers who share a passion for mathematics, from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31, in the Iowa Memorial Union, Madison and Jefferson streets.

Organizers in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' (CLAS) Department of Mathematics say the 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 granted membership in the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as a writer and women's' rights advocate.

Participants will attend keynote lectures titled "Math: What's in it for you?" by mathematics professor Paul Muhly and "Personality Traits and Psychological Disorder" by psychology professor Lee Anna Clark. They will also have an opportunity to solve real-life problems by working in small groups, solve math puzzles and games, take part in a career panel discussion and register for a grand raffle to be held at the end of the day.

In addition, parents and teachers will be encouraged to escort their students to the event and attend the special parent/teachers sessions, organized by mathematics professor Walter Seaman and Cos Fi of the UI College of Education.

The event is sponsored by the UI CLAS, UI Department of Mathematics, UI Women in Science and Engineering, UI Promise Momentum Awards, UI Year of Public Engagement, Opportunity at Iowa, Rockwell Collins, UI Math Grads Board and The Association for Women in Mathematics.

Additional information may be obtained by visiting the event Web site at or by contacting professor Walter Seaman ( and UI mathematics graduate students Katie Reif ( or Jennifer Froelich ( Also, Professors Tong Li ( and Bor-Luh Lin ( and graduate students Heather Russell( and Paulette Willis(

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 301, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

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