On Oct. 9, 2017, the Mississippi University for Women’s Department of Mathematics extended offers to various high school females to participate in a day of math and learning.
There was a dual purpose to this event. The first was to raise awareness for the difficulties that Sonya Kovalevsky faced in her journey to receive her mathematics degree. She was the first female to earn a doctorate in math from a modern university. Second, the event was designed to showcase the importance of math.
Dr. Joshua Hanes was among the five professors who participated in this event.
“She [Kovalevsky] had to study under other educators in order to learn the material because females were not allowed to major in mathematics,” said Hanes, an associate professor of mathematics.
The day started with a brief welcome and a competition exam in which the winner would receive either a TI Calculator or a scholarship. There was a brief break after the examination and then a lesson presented by Dr. Teresa Floyd.
The event ended with small groups participating in various games to help reinforce the information that was taught. The games were themed around different math subjects and problems, including investigating the set, math and paper tricks, tetra-tetra flexagons, number patterns and Pascal’s Triangle.
The purpose of the games was to provide a fun, encouraging atmosphere for learning.
“This will allow the females to learn about mathematics in a calm environment,” said Floyd.