Danica McKellar: Are You the Girl from “The Wonder Years”?

Danica McKellar: Are You the Girl from “The Wonder Years”?

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  1. Awesome. I’d seen a while back that she’d done a few Hallmark Channel movies, and was kind of dissapointed to see that’s where her career went. I had no idea though that she had done so well in her education, or how much she has done for education advocacy, especially for girls interested in math. Good for her.

  2. Good for her!

    > Finding your way to mathematics is still old-fashioned and analog. It relies on the chance encounter between two people, or between a person and a book, or between a person and an idea. If you know mathematicians, you know some who seem to have been on the track since childhood, and others who are only in the business by a stroke of luck.

    >* Persi Diaconis was a kid magician who became friends with the mathematical popularizer Martin Gardner on the card trick invention circuit.
    * Joan Birman was bored in by-the-numbers calculus in college, became an engineer, then found at her first job building microwave frequency meters that one of those boring problems was exactly what she needed to get the meter to exhibit the right response curve.
    * Solomon Lefschetz had both his hands blown off in an industrial accident and had to find a career he could undertake without them.
    * Rodrigo Bañuelos was a teenager working in a car wash, with only one year of formal education, when he met Juan Francisco Lara, a Ph.D. student at UCLA who got him into Pasadena City College, where he took eighth-grade algebra for the first time; now he’s a math professor at Purdue.
    * Laura DeMarco was planning to be a math teacher until her sophomore year of college, when a law professor tipped her off that professors do research. She’d had no idea. Even the math professors? Yes, said her probability prof, and that’s where she started.
    * June Huh, an unpublished poet trying to transition into science journalism, sat in on Heisuke Hironaka’s algebraic geometry class with the idea of writing a profile; instead, Huh dumped journalism and became an algebraic geometer.

    I recently read about [an NFL player who decided to become a Math Professor instead](https://hmmdaily.com/2018/09/28/john-urschel-goes-pro/). The excerpt is above. DAnica Mckellar’s story about the multivar calc professor & the random student in her class made me think of how much contingency and chance there is in our futures… I wonder how many people could be mathematicians but never thought to try? It’s kind of inspiring.


  3. I love to hear about people who have been successful in two separate careers. It’s double kickass. Usually it’s something (sports) then movie star but this is so much better.

  4. She’s great, no question. And I love that she’s trying hard to make the current generation of young girls comfortable with STEM stuff.

    But let me tell you… I’ve consumed a lot of media aimed at kids. Her stuff is just not good.

  5. At the 2:09 scene, when Danica says “Who did i think would do well? Somebody who looked the part more than me”

    The scene of the boy (named John Taylor) getting back his test with a 92 on it, was actually taken from a 1952 educational film called [Cheating](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DE8G5FQLwOQ). The boy John Taylor got that 92 because in the previous scene he cheated off his friend during the test.


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