Sonia Kovalevsky Days (SK Days), an annual event hosted by Valdosta State University's Department of Mathematics in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science, is held in honor of Sonia Kovalevsky, the first woman to ever earn a doctorate in Mathematics.
The purpose of Sonia Kovalevsky Days (SK Days) is to inform female high-school students about the many career opportunities available to them in mathematics and related fields; encourage them to take as many advanced mathematics and sciences courses as possible to better prepare them for college related fields of study; and to encourage them to pursue interests in careers that are still mostly dominated by male students. SK Days offers workshops and discussions focused on STEM related topics - science, technology, engineering, and math - and is an important component of VSU's commitment to help increase the number of women pursuing mathematics and science fields in post-secondary study and beyond.
Kovalevsky attended classes and lectures whenever permitted, and in 1874, earned her degree in absentia from the University of Gottingen, after writing three complete dissertations. Sonia won the prestigious Prix Bordin prize in 1888 for her memoir, On the Problem of the Rotation of a Solid Body about a Fixed Point. Awarded a lifetime chair in mathematics appointment at Stockholm University, as well as membership in the Russian Academy, Sonia still was not offered coveted teaching positions at Russian universities nor was she allowed to attended Russian Academy meetings.