By Scott Brown
Updated July 18, 2006 at 04:01 AM EDT
Danika McKeller: Jim Smeal/

Dear Danica McKellar:

Danica — may we call you Winnie? — we already had plenty of reasons to love you: Your work on The Wonder Years shaped a generation of barely adolescent romantics. Your work on The West Wing proved you’re still a serious actress in adulthood — and that you can talk really fast. Your work on Lifetime furnishes us with a stockpile of ready punchlines, should you go tabloid and start mowing down old ladies with your Jaguar. And your (undergraduate!) work on Percolation and Gibbs states multiplicity for ferromagnetic Ashkin–Teller models on Z2 yielded the Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem, which has probably changed the way we refrigerate margarine or something equally momentous. Just because we don’t understand it doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate it! But be patient with us. Look how long it took us to fully appreciate Hedy Lamarr!

We love that you’re both an actress and a mathematician of some renown. And we love that you care to share your big, beautiful brain with the world, both on your website (where students’ math queries are answered) and now in a new book, Math Doesn’t Suck, where you help instill students and laypeople (and especially young girls) with the confidence they need to learn the language of mathmatics. This is a little purple, but, by golly, Winnie-Danica — may I call you Winnica? — your asymptote approaches perfection.

Sorry. That was kind of a tangent.


Scott Brown

(Note to PopWatch readers: You already know this, but… I don’t know any math. Just a few “cool math words.” Please address all math questions to Danica.)

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