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Danica McKellar Revisited

Danica McKellar. Recognize the name? Currently playing a sporadic role on the television show How I Met Your Mother, she previously played the part of congressional assistant Elsie Snuffin in The West Wing. Also, Danica is best known as the actress who played Winnie Cooper on the television show The Wonder Years, plus was in movies such as Paths of Destruction, Broken, and Hack. A current rumor is that she will be one of the featured stars in Good Will Hunting 2. But you ask: what does any of this have to do with mathematics?

Well, Dannica graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 1998 with a mathematics major, while also co-authoring a dense mathematical proof Percolation and Gibbs State Multiplicity for Ferromagnetic Ashkin-Teller Models in Two Dimensions.

And now: Danica has her own web site, where she responds to questions posed to her by students. To use Danica's own words: Letís face it; by and large math is not easy, but thatís what makes it so rewarding when you conquer a problem, and reach new heights of understanding! Iíll be answering questions ranging from middle school math to Calculus and beyond, so skim along until you find something helpful or interesting to YOU. I challenge all of you to embrace the mind-sharpening qualities of practicing mathematics. Now letís roll up our sleeves and do some!

Admittedly, the questions are somewhat "low ball" but they are fun...and her responses are adequate. She does take on the question: why does 0.999... = 1? She actually showed this solution on Attack of the Show on G4/Tech TV...whatever that is!

And by the way, Danica McKellar has an Erdős-Bacon number of 6, which I suppose is impressive!

Check the site out...your students might find some redeeming value in it.