‘Math at Play’ Event to Show High School Girls that Math is Fun

Friday, March 01, 2019
Female students interact with a professor during Sonia Math Day

Rose-Hulman math students will work with Wabash Valley high school girls to show how math and problem solving are part of strategy games, card tricks and other fun-filled activities.

A Math at Play event at Rose-Hulman on Saturday, May 4 will help show high school girls that mathematics is fun, and how abstract algebra and game theory are parts of their everyday lives.

The free event – to be located in Olin Hall on campus – is part of Sonia Kovalevsky Math Day for Girls, a nationwide effort to encourage more women into mathematical sciences career fields. Kovalevsky was the first woman in Europe to earn a doctorate degree in mathematics. 

Activities are scheduled from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and will include girls using mathematics while learning about card tricks, competing in a rock-paper-scissors showdown and racing to solve a Rubik’s Cube. There also will be discussions with members of Rose-Hulman’s Association for Women in Mathematics student chapter and professors about careers and opportunities for women in math.

Lee Trent, a junior mathematics student and Math at Play event organizer, attended Sonia Math Day events during her high-school years. “The events were influential in my decision to study math in college,” she says. “I’m excited to pass that experience onto other girls.”

Tracy Weyand, assistant professor of mathematics, adds, “I hope this event builds girls’ confidence and piques their curiosity in mathematics. I enjoy watching the girls jump into solving a problem fearlessly because, unlike a traditional classroom, there are no negative consequences here. So, they are not afraid to make mistakes.”

All high school-aged girls are invited to attend, no matter their mathematical background. Lunch and a T-shirt will be provided free to all participants.

Find out more about the event and register online here. Parents and girls with questions about the event can email Dr. Weyand or call 812-877-8446.

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