Danica McKellar
Mathematician, Writer and Actress
Danica McKellar

Danica McKellar (b. January 3, 1975)
Even without playing the eternally crush-worthy Winnie Cooper on the late 1980s dramedy The Wonder Years, Danica McKellar would be noteworthy. She is a bestselling author, internationally recognized mathematician and role model for girls who just want to have fun—with numbers.

McKellar graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a mathematics degree. In 1997, she co-authored the Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem, a physics-based hybrid honored in the British Journal of Physics.

With her degree in hand, McKellar returned to the small screen, playing a recurring role in the political drama The West Wing. Determined to combine her two loves, she began writing textbooks for girls that interrupt the stereotype of the socially awkward math nerd. All three of her titles, Math Doesn’t Suck (2007), Kiss My Math (2008) and Hot X: Algebra Exposed (2010) were New York Times bestsellers. Her fourth effort, Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape is due out in August 2012.

In addition to her roles on The Wonder Years and The West Wing, McKellar the math diva has appeared on How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory and she’s been in more than 30 films.

“I’ve always had two sides to my personality,” the new mother has said. “On the one hand I love logic and math and puzzles. On the other, I just love to entertain people. I have an instinct to tell human stories.”