For the Love Of Math and Science

For the Love of Math and Science: Hypatia Day welcomes middle school girls to Saint Mary's College

Here at Saint Mary’s College, there’s nothing you can’t pursue. Students are encouraged to study what they love, whether it’s history, humanistic studies, or political science. Sister Miriam Patrick Cooney, CSC, Professor Emerita of Mathematics, started Hypatia Day in March 1991. Every year since, about one hundred seventh grade girls from throughout Michiana and a great number of their parents, have attended Hypatia Day.

The day is named for the first known female mathematician, Hypatia of Alexandria, born in 370 A.D. Theon, the mathematician and philosopher, trained his daughter, Hypatia, in math at a time when women were not being educated. Today however, there are many opportunities for young women to study math and science with multiple career paths to choose from. Hypatia Day encourages girls, at a young age, to understand the many possibilities associated with math and science.

On February 20th middle school girls will have the chance to attend a keynote address given by Janice Thomasson, Saint Mary’s Chief Information Officer. Then, they will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on sessions led by students from the College’s math, nursing, biology, and chemistry clubs. The Saint Mary’s students will show the girls around campus and take them to lunch in Noble Family Dining Hall. Meanwhile, the parents will discuss academic and financial planning for their daughter’s future, as well as, talk with current Saint Mary’s seniors in the math and science departments to get a better understanding of their daughters’ potential career paths.

Dedicated Saint Mary’s students hope to provide the support and inspiration that many girls need to pursue their interests in math and science. Hopefully their experiences during Hypatia day will educate and inspire the participants to continue striving for a future in science and mathematics.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY THE SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE.

- Sarah Sheppard '11