Truth Values comes to the University of Waterloo!

Women in Mathematics (WiM) in partnership with the Faculty of Mathematics and the Faculty of Engineering are honoured and excited to present an evening of entertainment with Truth Values: One Girl's Romp Through M.I.T.'s Male Math Maze. Join us on September 24, 2022, for an inspiring evening filled with laughter, education, and conversation as this critically acclaimed one-woman show comes to the University of Waterloo. 

Following the performance, you'll have the opportunity to reflect on your own work experiences and personal career journeys. We invite you to participate in the post-performance panel discussion to rethink the role inclusion and diversity play in the STEM workspace.

Thanks to WiM, Mathematics, and Engineering this show is free of charge to all UWaterloo students, staff and faculty but will be playing for one night only. Don't miss your opportunity to see this incredible performance and join in the conversation about how we can continue to push towards greater equity, diversity, and inclusion for all people.

About the Play

Truth Values is a true-life tale that offers a humorous, scathing, insightful, and ultimately uplifting look at the challenges of being a professional woman in a male-dominated field.

Over the course of the 75-minute solo show, writer/performer and “recovering mathematician” Gioia De Cari creates “refreshing delights of humour, even compassion” (EDGE Media) as she charmingly brings to life more than 30 characters “each rendered on an empty stage that hints at the countless stories similar to hers but untold.” (TimeOut New York)

Winner of a New York International Fringe Festival Overall Excellence Award for Best Solo Show, the play has been presented at more than 50 theatres and performing arts centers throughout the United States, including the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York, the La Jolla Playhouse, and USC’s celebrated Visions and Voices Arts and Humanities Series, among many others.

Truth Values has been embraced nationally as a conversation catalyst on the crucial topic of gender, diversity and unconscious bias in the male-dominated STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

“Funny and insightful one-woman show … replete with hilarious characters … The story is riveting … she can make a reading of her math thesis compelling! Kudos to Gioia, and go see this show!”


“The entire play is at heart a reflection on truth – especially truths which many people would rather ignore than recognize… The play addresses issues of diversity head on, as well as caring and respect for those who are different from ourselves.”

-K.C. Cole, author of The Universe & the Teacup: The Mathematics of Truth and Beauty

“The show is fabulous: it's funny, it's engaging, it's filled with passion. I loved it. It brought me back to my days as a graduate student in a male-dominated department trying to find my way."

-Paula Olsiewski, Program Director, Alfred P. Sloan Foudation

“Gioia De Cari's one-woman show, Truth Values, is a courageous memoir – funny and moving and beautifully paced. Her zig-zagging through many different characters is virtuosic. It's memorable."

-David Leisner, Department Chair, Manhatten School of Music

"Gioia's performance was riveting, and by sharing her story she gave permission for many of us in the audience to share ours."

-Sarah Bryant, Project Manager, STEM-UP PA

“The play is entirely wonderful: very funny, and very moving, and perspective-changing. It was a particular pleasure to see a friend doing so extremely well at work that is so worthwhile. But I would have loved the play even if I didn't know the author."

–David Vogan, Math Professor, M.I.T

Meet the Panelists

The following panelists will be participating in the post-performance discussion about the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM fields:

Gioia de Cari headshot

Gioia De Cari

Writer/performer, Truth Values

Arts Professional: Performing Artist, Actor, Singer, Writer and "recovering mathematician." Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Unexpected Theatre. Creator of the award-winning hit one-woman show, "Truth Values: One Girl's Romp Through M.I.T.'s Male Math Maze." Co-Founder of a related educational program for women in STEM, "Truth Values Community." 

Anita Layton headshot

Anita Layton

Associate Dean, Research and International, Faculty of Mathematics

Anita Layton is the Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematical Biology and Medicine, and Professor of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Pharmacy and Biology at the University of Waterloo. She is also a representative of the Women in Mathematics Committee within the Faculty of Mathematics.  

Andrea Chakma headshot

Andrea Chakma

Engineering Undegraduate Student

Andrea Chakma is a fourth year Mechatronics Engineering student and newly elected Board of Director for Girl Guides of Canada. She has been the President of the Women in Engineering Undergraduate Student Committee since 2022 and is passionate about creating a safe space for current and future women in engineering students. Andrea has worked in the fields of Software Engineering, Data Engineering, Consulting and currently Product Management. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, travelling, and volunteering for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. 


Ryan Consell headshot

Ryan Consell

Instructional Support Tutor, Faculty of Engineering

Ryan Consell is both a University of Waterloo Engineering alumni and staff member. He completed his Bachelor's and Master's in the Mechanical department, and has spent the past five years working as a tutor and lab instructor with the First-year department. 

Maliha Ahmed headshot

Maliha Ahmed

Mathematics Graduate Student

Maliha Ahmed is a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Waterloo in the Department of Applied Mathematics working on research in computational neuroscience with a focus on the evolution of childhood absence epilepsy. Maliha enjoys taking on mentorship roles and continues to serve on the Women in Math committee at UWaterloo as a graduate student representative and has been on the Math HeForShe committee as well in the past.  

Jeremy Steffler headshot

Moderator: Jeremy Steffler

Equity Officer, Faculty of Mathematics

Jeremy Steffler is a Waterloo alum, and current Faculty of Math Equity Officer, who has served on the board of the UWaterloo Staff Association and Board of Governors, co-developed the LGBTQ+ Making Spaces program, and developed the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity workshop for Waterloo's Award-Winning Principles of Inclusivity series. He is currently a volunteer mediator with Community Justice Initiatives, Chair of the Rainbow Coalition of Waterloo Region, and is a facilitator for the Certificate in Conflict Management and Mediation program at Conrad Grebel University College. 


Truth Values Post Performance Panel Discussion

The post-performance panel discussion took place at the University of Waterloo's Theater of the Arts on September 24, 2022, following Gioia de Cari's performance of Truth Values: One Girl's Romp Through M.I.T.'s Male Math Maze. The panel discussion centered on topics such as Women in STEM fields, the progress that has been made, and how to continue to push for greater equity, diversity, and inclusion for all. The discussion was led by Jeremy Steffler, equity officer for the Faculty of Mathematics and featured Gioia de Cari and a diverse group of panelists from the Faculty of Mathematics and the Faculty of Engineering: Ryan Consell, Andrea Chakma, Maliha Ahmed, and Anita Layton.

Gioia De Cari's Bio

    Gioia De Cari headshotThe multifaceted Gioia De Cari is a transformative artist and "recovering mathematician" who has made significant contributions in theater and classical music through her focus on the synergy between science and the arts.

    Gioia's critically-acclaimed award-winning play Truth Values, a true-life story of her experiences as a woman in the male-dominated world of mathematics, has been presented at more than 50 venues across the United States, including the La Jolla Playhouse Potiker Theatre, the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and the Ensemble Studio Theatre, among many others.

    Truth Values has been embraced nationally as a conversation catalyst on diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), having been presented with more than 75 expert panel discussions on this topic. A companion educational program to the play, Truth Values Community, was sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

    An accomplished classical singer as well, Gioia has recorded two albums, Quiet Songs and Eve’s Diary, with her husband, classical guitarist John Olson, as the Olson/DeCari Duo. A particular focus of their work is expansion of the classical repertoire for soprano and guitar; they founded the Science Music Commissioning Project, which seeks to illuminate the human side of science through song. They have toured throughout the United States.

    Gioia studied acting and playwriting with the late legendary teachers Wynn Handman and Milan Stitt, respectively. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley, she earned a Master of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Gioia is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, and The Dramatists Guild of America.

      This performance of Truth Values is proudly brought to you by:

      University of Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics logo

      Women in Mathematics logo

      University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering logo