All Articles

Department Activities

Encouraging Women in Mathematics

Sonia Kovalevsky Day is an event that brings female and non-binary middle school students and their teachers to the Iowa State University campus to engage in fun, mathematically themed activities. On April 1, the department hosted nearly 70 participants. The students enjoyed interactive learning activities focused on optimization, topology, and graph theory. The goal of the event is to increase female and non-binary middle school students’ interest in mathematics and encourage them to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) studies and careers.

Students around a table at SK Day

Middle school students engage in interactive math activities at Iowa State.
(Submitted photos).

Inaugural Graduate Research Symposium

In a first for the department, the mathematics Graduate Student Organization (GSO) held a one-day research symposium. The symposium consisted of four one-hour talks selected by the students, a poster session open to all graduate students, and a catered lunch. The April 15 symposium coincided with the department’s External Advisory Council (EAC) meeting. EAC members were impressed with the quality of the students’ research and their presentations.

Do Dogs Know Calculus?

The department hosted Dr. Timothy Pennings (’87 Ph.D. mathematics) who gave a distinguished colloquium presentation of “Do Dogs Know Calculus?” on April 14. Pennings talked of his experience with Elvis, his faithful canine companion who enjoyed fetching sticks tossed into Lake Michigan. Pennings realized that Elvis was in fact trying to get to the stick as quickly as possible through a strategic combination of running down the shoreline and swimming in the water. Pennings’ conclusion is – Yes! Dogs do know calculus!

Live Awards Ceremony

The annual awards ceremony was broadcast live for the first time via webcast on April 14. The ceremony recognizes outstanding accomplishments of students and faculty through scholarships, fellowships and excellence awards, promotions, and other notable honors. The webcast allowed students’ families to watch their students be recognized from as far away as India! The department will broadcast future awards ceremonies; next year’s information can be found on the mathematics website beginning in April 2024.

Seeking Podcasts Guests

The department is now producing a podcast series targeted to our current student population. Our goal is to introduce our students to the abundant career opportunities available to them as mathematically and quantitatively inclined individuals.

Send Us Your Stories

If you have an interesting career story to share with our students, please reach out to us via email: