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Saint Mary’s hosts Math Week events

| Thursday, March 22, 2018

This week, the Saint Mary’s math club is hosting a series of events to show Belles they can count on one another.

Math Week consists of math-based events centered on creating shared experiences between Belles — with a mathematical twist, Pi Mu Epsilon math society president and senior Arianna Iannuzzi said in an email.

The conclusion of the week’s events consists of math professor Cheryl Periton’s workshop, “Counting Table/Counters Workshop,” on how people performed large computations before the invention of the calculator Thursday night, free bagels and coffee Friday morning and the rescheduled math relay race Monday night.

Iannuzzi said she participates in Math Week events due to the sense of community she feels throughout the week and the recognition it provides for women of the past.

I personally take note of Math Week because it is a time for me to celebrate what I love with the people that I love,” Iannuzzi said. “It is a great feeling being near people who appreciate what you appreciate. I also take part in it because I recognize the struggle women in math have had to face throughout history. I am glad that I am so privileged to be at a beautiful college and supported in my study of mathematics, but I recognize this, for a long time, was not the case. I think that even if people don’t consider themselves a ‘math person,’ they should participate in the week because this week is a celebration for the progress women and society have made. I think there is more to learn from the mathematical community than just math.”

Iannuzzi said the week has occured every year she has attended Saint Mary’s, and she attributes its longevity to the students and faculty of the math department.

“I think what keeps this tradition going is the amazing faculty and students the math department has,” she said. “We make sure to tell and inform and include the younger students in our events so that they will carry on the tradition once we are gone. I am aware of how beneficial this department has been for me and my future, and I want to make sure that these traditions continue so that younger women feel this same way.”

Junior math major Madeleine Corcoran said in an email that Math Week is the culmination of positive experiences she had with those in the department.

“Saint Mary’s math department is a very supportive community,” she said. “The professors take so much time to work with each of us and really form relationships with one another. Math can be very challenging, so it tends to bond us together. Math Week truly brings the math community together in addition to other students on campus, which makes the week fun.”

Students do not need to pursue a major in math to be a part of the club or partake in the week’s activities. Iannuzzi said she encourages everyone to join.

“I would just add that we really encourage all people and majors to be involved in math club and Math Week,” she said. “It is my hope that people never feel as if they have to study math to be involved. We are really just a club that looks to promote and celebrate the accomplishments of the strong women around us.”

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About Maria Leontaras

Maria Leontaras is a senior at Saint Mary's pursuing a student-designed major in Interactive Journalism with minors in mathematics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Maria used to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer when she wasn't busy tweeting about movies and One Direction.

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