Witches of Agnesi | National Math Festival
Witches of Agnesi

Witches of Agnesi

Wednesday January 27, 2021 from 1:00pm - 2:30pm ET

Witches of Agnesi is a play that brings together three women mathematicians—Maria Agnesi, Sofya Kovalevskaya, and Emmy Noether—from three centuries in a mysterious meeting place outside of ordinary time and space, where they share a pot of tea and tell the stories of their lives and careers. The title draws on a deliberately mischievous mistranslation of Maria Agnesi’s ‘curve of Agnesi’ to ‘witch of Agnesi’. Each of the protagonists has a song, in the style of her place and time, revealing aspects of her life and work. This play should leave you with ideas about the important work women mathematicians do, and questions about why women have faced so many barriers.

Dr. Susan Gerofsky is an associate professor in Mathematics Education and Environmental Education in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Her research is in embodied, multi sensory, multimodal mathematics education through the arts, movement, gesture, and through learning with the greater-than-human world. Dr. Gerofsky is a long-time member of the Bridges Math and Art community. She is active as a musician, playwright, poet and filmmaker and works with dance and fine arts.

Featuring panelists:

  • Dr. Susan Gerofsky, University of British Columbia (Playwright, Witches of Agnesi)
  • Dr. Moira Chas, Stony Brook University
  • Dr. Nancy Scherich, University of Toronto
  • Dr. Shelly Jones, Central Connecticut State University


  • Witches of Agnesi Play Performance (Pre-Recorded) (Starting at 06:08)
  • Live Panel Discussion on Women in Mathematics (Starting at 1:05:37)

(You may also access the play performance as a stand-alone video.)

This event was hosted by Albert Sykes, Executive Director of IDEA: The Institute for Democratic Education in America, a supporter of public education for children in the U.S.


Age Level