University to host award-winning play Oct. 17

Shippensburg University will host “Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp Through M.I.T.’s Male Math Maze” at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 in Memorial Auditorium. The play is free and open to the public but reservations are requested.

decariWritten and performed by Gioia De Cari, the award-winning play is a response to former Harvard president Lawrence Summers’ suggestion that women are less represented than men in the sciences because of innate gender differences.

The event is sponsored by STEM-UP PA, the National Science Foundation and the university’s Women’s Center, Office of Social Equity and Department of Mathematics. STEM-UP PA is a program that does research to address gender equity among science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) faculty at higher education teaching institutions in Central Pennsylvania. The goal is to support the recruitment, retention and advancement goals of women in academic STEM fields in the region.

According to Dr. Kate McGivney, professor of mathematics and the principal investigator for STEM-UP, “The play “has been recognized as a conversation stimulus about gender equity for women, especially regarding the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields. The number of women pursuing degrees in science and mathematics still lags far behind the number of men in these disciplines. This is an important event for Shippensburg University and the Central Pennsylvania region in that, in addition to being an entertaining event, “Truth Values” provides a platform to discuss important gender equity issue and the sometimes illogical and unfair actions that drive students out of the STEM fields.”

De Cari is an actress, playwright and classical singer who began her performance career in experimental opera while a teaching fellow in mathematical logic at Harvard, according to a website for the play. She has appeared in numerous lead acting roles in theater, commercials and films. “Truth Values,” her second solo play, is an autobiographical story of her past life as a mathematician. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Berkeley and earned a master of science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also an accomplished singer who has toured throughout the United States.

For reservations, visit