Do the Math: Danica McKellar Is Awesome

Stefan Doyno
Katie's Take
Do the Math: Danica McKellar Is Awesome

America's sweetheart Danica McKellar is not just a television icon from her work on "The Wonder Years," she's also a gifted mathematician.

Danica starred on "The Wonder Years" from 1988 to 1993 as Winnie Cooper. Since then, she's starred in a slew of movies and TV shows, and even music videos, but it's her passion for math that has driven her to write fun lesson books for teenagers.

"You've written four books to encourage girls to succeed and love math," Katie said. "How did that come about?"

"I love math. I have since college and I knew I could present math in an entertaining way, Danica said. "The books look more like 'teen magazines' than math books and there's a reason for that. I wanted to write books that I wished I had [when I was younger] ."

Danica wanted to be reading 'teen mags' back in the day, not math books, so she decided to blend them together. The books even look like teen gossip glossies, except girls (and boys) are actually learning from her lessons and doing better in their studies she says. Danica says her goal is to help teens build a confidence which comes from being smart.

"It was such an anecdote for you from the vagaries of Hollywood, because it wasn't subjective. You could work, you could solve a problem, you could figure it out, and you could feel this sense of empowerment as a result," Katie noted.

"You don't have to have been on television as a teenager to have insecurities about who you are and be searching for a way to be strong and capable, so that's why I write the books for other girls," she said. "And by the way, they make great Christmas presents!"