Posted By Jeff Pfeiffer
Mathematics has been referred to as the “Queen of the Sciences.” But the “Queen of Math” may very well be Danica McKellar. The actress best known as Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years also happens to be quite brilliant — she graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, and while there helped author a paper with a professor and another student called the “Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem.” Please don’t make me try to explain what it’s about.
McKellar has also championed math education — particularly for girls, who, according to her, have been told that math and science aren’t for them — via two bestselling books: Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail and Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss.
While McKellar’s “Kevin Bacon” number in the world of acting is 2, she also has a number in another, even sexier (at least to mathematicians) chain: an Erdos number. Honoring the late Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdos, this number describes the “collaborative distance” between someone and Erdos based on publication of mathematical papers. McKellar’s Erdos number is 4.
Now, this combo of brains and beauty (she has posed in lingerie for a Stuff photo shoot that would make Kevin Arnold have a heart attack) is joining Science Channel’s series Brink, starting tonight. McKellar will serve as the show’s math correspondent (coincidentally, we are now reassigning Cubicle QB from our sports beat and making him our official math correspondent). During her segment tonight, McKellar reveals great ways to help viewers convert from metric to imperial measurement. If anyone can make folks sit home on a Friday night and listen to math theory, it’s McKellar. Now if she could only do it while in her Stuff lingerie, she would have no problem solidifying male interest in math, as well.