Danica McKellar Receives Math Communication Award

Danica McKellar is the recipient of the 2014 Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award. She is an actress (The Wonder Years, The West Wing), a published mathematician (while earning her bachelor’s degree in mathematics at UCLA), an advocate for mathematics education, and a New York Times best-selling author.

McKellar’s books, blog, and public appearances have encouraged countless middle and high school students, especially girls, to become more interested in mathematics.

Her books include Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail (2007), Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss (2008), Hot x: Algebra Exposed! (2010), and Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape (2012). Their lively presentation of mathematical concepts in ways that relate to young girls has attracted a huge audience that includes both boys and girls. The first three books made the New York Times best sellers list.

McKellar’s  blog Math & More reaches out to the same audience with mathematical puzzles, links to her appearances at book signings, and broadcast promotions. And, in a new venture, she presents video Math Bites. The first episode concerns pi.

Danica McKellar was featured on the cover of the April 2001 issue of Math Horizons, for which she was interviewed.

JPBM established the award in 1988 to reward and encourage communicators who, on a sustained basis, bring mathematical ideas and information to nonmathematical audiences. Past winners have included Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton, who produced the TV series Numb3rs, Marcus du Sautoy (University of Oxford), Steven Strogatz (Cornell University), and Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr.