Danica is best known for her roles on The Wonder Years and The West Wing, Danica McKellar is also a three-time New York Times bestselling author, internationally-recognized mathematician and advocate for math education - and now a new mommy! A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA with a degree in Mathematics, Danica has been honored in Britain's esteemed Journal of Physics and the New York Times for her work, most notably for her role as co-author of a groundbreaking mathematical physics theorem which bears her name, the Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem.
After graduating from UCLA, Danica returned to acting, starring as Elsie Snuffin in the fourth season of The West Wing, and soon found a unique way to combine Hollywood with mathematics. Tackling math education and simultaneously breaking the stereotype of the "math nerd," Danica began writing entertaining math books - with a glamorous flair - to teach and encourage middle school and high school girls in math. Published by Penguin books, Math Doesn't Suck (2007), Kiss My Math (2008) and Hot X: Algebra Exposed (2010) are all New York Times bestsellers. Her fourth book, Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape (2012), hit the shelves this August. The immediate success of this series prompted ABC World News to name Danica their "Person of the Week." Her message to girls? Smart is sexy!
My main concern with the condition of mathematics in high school is that there's a lot of fear involved! Math is not, generally speaking, presented in a fun way. The concepts, as I see them, ARE fun, and that's the way I'd like to convey them myself.
When I originally entered UCLA, I had planned to go for a film major, but I kept finding myself taking math classes for fun, 'cause I missed them from high school!
I learned my French through school. I was lucky in that the tutor on The Wonder Years (1988) set spoke fluent French.
- Her mother's ancestry is Portuguese (via the Azores and Madeira islands); her father's ancestry is Scottish, Irish, French, German, and Dutch.
- Is fluent in French.
- Is now a two-time New York Times bestselling author with books "Kiss My Math" (2008) and "Math Doesn't Suck" (2007).
- Her car when she was younger was a Mercedes.
- Her favorite TV shows, when she was younger, were Cheers (1982), Murphy Brown (1988) and The Wonder Years (1988).
- She graduated from the University of Chicago with Ph.D. in math (2005)..
- She was mentioned in "The Big bang Theory" as 'the girl who played Winnie Copper' (The "The Bat Jar Conjecture" episode), and then appeared in an episode ("The Psychic Vortex") and makes out with Raj.