Every other year Hood’s math department hosts Sonia Kovalevsky Day for area high school girls. Named for the first woman to earn a doctorate in mathematics, the event gives students an opportunity to participate in workshops, learn about careers in mathematics fields and meet Hood math students.
This year the girls could choose from four workshops: Optimization, or using math to find the best solution to real-world situations; game theory and behavior modeling, or using economics and math to predict how individuals will behave in specific situations; cryptography and cryptanalysis, or how math is used to break and make codes and ciphers; and building 3-D objects called Platonic solids, observing their mathematical properties and searching for patterns associated with them.
The students also met with three Hood alumnae and a mathematician from the National Security Agency to learn about careers in mathematics and hear testimonies about how Hood prepared them for their careers.
The program was facilitated by Hood math and economics professors and student volunteers, and made possible through the generous support of PNC Bank and Frederick County Public Schools.
Pictured, above: High school students built triangular solids out of Tinkertoys, dipped them in a soapy solution, made predictions about what the bubbles created by the structures would look like and then observed if their predictions were true.