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Between Series, an Actress Became a Superstar (in Math)
The New York Times (via National Review's The Corner) ^ | 07/19/2005 | Kenneth Chang

Posted on 07/22/2005 12:02:04 PM PDT by GreenLanternCorps

On her Web site, Danica McKellar, the actress best known as Winnie Cooper on the television series "The Wonder Years," takes on questions that require more than a moment's thought to answer.

"If it takes Sam six minutes to wash a car by himself," one fan asked recently, "and it takes Brian eight minutes to wash a car by himself, how long will it take them to wash a car together?"

"This is a 'rates' problem," Ms. McKellar wrote in reply. "The key is to think about each of their 'car washing rates' and not the 'time' it takes them."

Ms. McKellar, now a semiregular on "The West Wing" playing a White House speechwriter, Elsie Snuffin, is probably the only person on prime-time television who moonlights as a cyberspace math tutor.

Her mathematics knowledge extends well beyond calculus. As a math major at the University of California, Los Angeles, she also took more esoteric classes, the ones with names like "complex analysis" and "real analysis," and she pondered making a career move to professional mathematician.

"I love that stuff," Ms. McKellar said last month during a visit to Manhattan after a play-reading in the Hamptons. Her conversation was peppered with terminology like "epsilons" and "limsups" (pronounced "lim soups").

"I love continuous functions and proving if functions are continuous or not," she said.

She may also be the only actress, now or ever, to prove a new mathematical theorem, one that bears her name. Certainly, she is the only theorem prover who appears wearing black lingerie in the July issue of Stuff magazine. Even in that interview, she mentioned math.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: danica; math; mckellar; wonderyears
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I do not know her politics, but this actress has substance...


1 posted on 07/22/2005 12:02:05 PM PDT by GreenLanternCorps
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To: GreenLanternCorps
Didn't Punky Brewster (sp?) do something similar?
2 posted on 07/22/2005 12:05:09 PM PDT by tfecw (Vote Democrat, It's easier than working)
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To: GreenLanternCorps

She has an Master's Degree in Mathemathtics I believe.


3 posted on 07/22/2005 12:05:20 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Skywalk

Thought you'd be interested.


4 posted on 07/22/2005 12:06:49 PM PDT by radiohead (Proud member of the 'arrogant supermagt')
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To: GreenLanternCorps

I feel the stange need to bookmark this thread for no apparent reason...


5 posted on 07/22/2005 12:06:55 PM PDT by shadowman99
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To: tfecw

You're probably thinking of Mayim Bialik (AKA "Blossom", form the series of the same name) Pursued a Ph.D. in neuroscience at UCLA.


6 posted on 07/22/2005 12:07:14 PM PDT by TheBigB (How in the blue hell did Kelly Leak bat three times in the Astrodome?)
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To: GreenLanternCorps
"If it takes Sam six minutes to wash a car by himself," one fan asked recently, "and it takes Brian eight minutes to wash a car by himself, how long will it take them to wash a car together?"

1/6 + 1/8 = 14/48 = 7/24 of a carwash-per-minute. So it takes 24/7 = 3 + 3/7 minutes. Doesn't take a math major to do that in your head.
7 posted on 07/22/2005 12:07:20 PM PDT by Moral Hazard ("I believe the children are the future" - Whitney Houston; "Fight the future" - X-files)
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To: GreenLanternCorps
"If it takes Sam six minutes to wash a car by himself," one fan asked recently, "and it takes Brian eight minutes to wash a car by himself, how long will it take them to wash a car together?"

"This is a 'rates' problem," Ms. McKellar wrote in reply. "The key is to think about each of their 'car washing rates' and not the 'time' it takes them."

Headline: Actress can do high-school math.

8 posted on 07/22/2005 12:07:22 PM PDT by bummerdude (Boycott Chevron-Texaco, buy Exxon-Mobil !)
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To: GreenLanternCorps

Golly, if only my math teachers looked like that when I was in high school!


9 posted on 07/22/2005 12:07:36 PM PDT by Lunkhead_01
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To: GreenLanternCorps

10 posted on 07/22/2005 12:07:38 PM PDT by So Cal Rocket (Proud Member: Internet Pajama Wearers for Truth)
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To: Borges

I think it is just a Batchelor's but the theorem was graduate level work.


11 posted on 07/22/2005 12:07:40 PM PDT by GreenLanternCorps ("Dude, you've got some... Arzt on you..." - Hugo "Hurley" Reyes)
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To: tfecw; pissant; Fierce Allegiance; TheBigB; martin_fierro; Constitution Day; Sam's Army; ...
Yum!  She was quite a dish when she was 12, but now... uh... forget I said that...
Owl_Eagle

(If what I just wrote makes you sad or angry,

 it was probably sarcasm)

12 posted on 07/22/2005 12:07:58 PM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: GreenLanternCorps

she looks hot and Fred Savage looks weird now......


13 posted on 07/22/2005 12:08:04 PM PDT by Mikey_1962
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To: bummerdude
Headline: Actress can do high-school math.

Don't be too quick to scoff -- a *lot* of high-schoolers (probably a large majority) couldn't solve that problem.

14 posted on 07/22/2005 12:08:49 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: So Cal Rocket

Why did parents find it necessary to inflict those horrible glasses on their offspring? Even with the glasses she's cute.


15 posted on 07/22/2005 12:09:33 PM PDT by madison10
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To: Owl_Eagle
 

Owl_Eagle

(If what I just wrote makes you sad or angry,

 it was probably sarcasm)

16 posted on 07/22/2005 12:10:26 PM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: Lunkhead_01
Golly, if only my math teachers looked like that when I was in high school!

Our high school librarian looked like that (albeit blonde). Luckily I was a nerd anyway and didn't mind spending a lot of time in the library.

17 posted on 07/22/2005 12:10:31 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon

Solving the equations is the easy part, it's figuring out which equations to use to solve a problem that is the trick.


18 posted on 07/22/2005 12:10:39 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: GreenLanternCorps
"I love continuous functions and proving if functions are continuous or not," she said.

*swoon*

The fact that she's also a major babe is just icing on the cake.

19 posted on 07/22/2005 12:11:27 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Owl_Eagle
There's the perv we all know and love. I have warned you about that. JAIL remember?
20 posted on 07/22/2005 12:11:29 PM PDT by Jersey Republican Biker Chick (People too weak to follow their own dreams, will always find a way to discourage yours.)
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