More than 40 students from three Bronx schools were encouraged to pursue mathematics in college and beyond when they came to The College of New Rochelle on October 26, 2012, for Sonia Kovalevsky High School Mathematics Day.
Sonia Kovalevsky was the most well-known Russian mathematician of the late 19th century. The Association for Women in Mathematics funds workshops across the country encouraging girls to explore careers in the field. CNR has held the event, organized by Associate Professor of Mathematics Michelle Merriweather, for six years running.
As part of their full day on campus, the students from the Academy of Mount St. Ursula, St. Catharine Academy, and the Bronx Academy of Health Careers went through sessions in cryptography, blood spatter analysis, chemistry and graph theory.
In the Adventures in Chemistry session, led by Missiel Munoz SAS'14, students took to the lab, put on their gloves and peered through microscopes in an effort to identify an unknown powder. At the same time, a dozen more students were analyzing drops of "blood" alongside Assistant Professor of Chemistry Lee Warren, all amid a tangle of yellow caution tape and right next to the outline of a body on the classroom floor.
After lunch, the students took part in a spirited game show, answering questions on a variety of topics.
They then heard from three professionals who spoke about how they use math in their lives and careers:
Jennifer Fields, a senior at Hofstra University, is earning a degree in mechanical engineering, but has already worked as a junior designer in Con Edison's gas engineering department for six years.
Teresita Abay-Krueger, a former IBM program manager and researcher in analytical chemistry and semiconductor manufacturing, is currently the social media manager for the Murray Hill Insitute. The nonprofit is "dedicated to helping women integrate ethical standards into their personal and professional lives."
Karen Wright is a former banker and teacher. She has bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering and works at Con Edison, while finding time to mentor young women.
(Photo: Missiel Munoz SAS'14 helps a student during the Adventures in Chemistry session.)