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Motivational Mathing

While Vanessa founded The Math Guru to change the world one student at a time, her ultimate dream is to change perceptions of mathematics learning - for everyone! What does that even mean?

As a Masters of Mathematics Education graduate, Vanessa studied the intersection of math education, popular culture, and gender. Research from her thesis, Imagining a World Where Paris Hilton Loves Math has been published globally, and she speaks frequently at conferences and events around the world. 

Her work has been synthesized into an innovative and eye opening presentation which sparks the interest of academics, teachers, parents and students alike. 

Vanessa is an expert on engaging teenagers, especially young women, in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. 

previous speaking engagements & Published work

Anomaly Ad Agency 2018 (Toronto, ON)

Math in Motion, Girls in Gear 2017, 2018 (Toronto, ON)

Ryerson University 2017 (Toronto, ON)

STEMCON 2016 (Ohio, USA)

Think About Math 2013-2016 (University of Waterloo, ON)

Virginia Mathematics Teacher (journal) 2016 (Virginia, US)

Ontario Association of Math Educators 2012-2016 (ON)

LEAP Conference 2016 (McMaster University, ON)

Engineering Outreach Conference 2016 (York University, ON)

Parent STEM Conference 2015 (Toronto, ON)

Discourse, Power, Resistance 2012 & 2013 (University of Greenwich, UK)

Power and Education (journal) 2012 (UK)

Fields Institute 2011, 2018 (University of Toronto, ON)


What can you expect when you book Vanessa to speak at your next event? Eye opening ideas that present in both lecture and interactive form. Here are some of the topics Vanessa can speak on - she's super fun and makes every presentation entertaining, engaging, and kind if hilarious!

  • Teenage engagement in mathematics
    Why are kids not engaged? What can we as parents, teachers, and humans do to reframe math for teenage minds? How can classroom teaching be better? How can we make math relevant to teenage lives?

  • Girls & STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
    The underrepresentation of women in STEM is a serious issue, especially given the fact that our world is becoming increasingly technological and math-based. Why aren't women engaged in STEM? Why do women choose not to pursue STEM fields even when they're proven to have it takes? Why do many women leave STEM fields due to a sense of non-belonging?

  • Giving Math & The Media A Massive Makeover
    Vanessa's expertise lies in the intersection of marketing, the media, and mathematics education. She has a Marketing degree as well as a Masters in Math Education. She has extensively studied the effects of media stereotyping in teenage engagement in math, and what she's discovered is groundbreaking. Have you ever seen a movie where the cool, popular cheerleader loves math? Neither has she. What kind of message does that send to teenage girls? How do we stop teaching girls that they have to choose between beauty and brains? This is the topic that Vanessa is most well known, leaving audiences inspired and empowered to break media-induced stereotypes any way they can! (Hands on workshop version available!)

  • Entrepreneur Stuff
    Vanessa is not only an entrepreneur but a brand leader. She started The Math Guru 7 years ago, and invented a totally new approach to math and science education. In 2018 she opened North America's first pop-up study lounge, X∆M Study Lounge, changing the culture surrounding studying, exams and education in Toronto. She has a LOT to say surrounding being a female entrepreneur, being an innovator in the field of education, and being a leader in an otherwise saturated field.

  • Education, Mindfulness and Anxiety
    Having failed math twice and having dealt with math anxiety herself, Vanessa has incorporated lessons from mindfulness and anxiety management into her own teaching. She believes that becoming a successful and happy student is a holistic process has less to do with curriculum content than it does with the development of strategies and skills that allows one to fail gracefully, succeed proudly, and effectively manage and thrive in the in-betweens.