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Guest Post Alert: Q&A with Danica McKellar about Hot X: Algebra Exposed!

Monday, November 8th, 2010


My interview with Danica McKellar about her latest math book for girls, Hot X: Algebra Exposed!, is now up over on the new GeekMom blog. Check it out!

McKellar, well-known for playing Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years,” went to college intending to study film, but signed up for math classes because her brain felt “mushy.” When solving equations felt like a “drug rush,” she became a math major and co-authored an original theorem.

Since then, McKellar has emerged as a unique math role model whose previous books, Math Doesn’t Suck and Kiss My Math, spread the message that brainy is beautiful, being good at math is just part of being fabulous, and math doesn’t have to be scary—all messages that are very close to my heart as a female math tutor.

Her latest book, Hot X: Algebra Exposed! is the first algebra book in the history of humankind to discuss both breakups and binomials. Step-by-step guidance on how to do algebra is interspersed with quizzes (“are you a perfectionist?”), stories from her own life about being an actress and a math major, and testimonials from women who use math in their careers, including a daredevil airshow pilot/astrophysics computing scientist.

Hot X Algebra Exposed

When I was in middle school and crying myself to sleep over my math homework, I would have been thrilled to have an algebra book that was this friendly, encouraging, and helpful. I’ve never seen another algebra text explicitly addressing the emotional aspects of learning math, which I know from experience are so important to girls. (And it’s not just me—one of my sixth-grade tutoring students saw the book in my apartment, picked it up and exclaimed, “This is perfect for me!”)

So click on over to the GeekMom blog to read about McKellar’s own experiences being terrified of math as a 7th grader and growing up to give math a PR overhaul.

(Many people conspired to make this interview possible: Elizabeth Keenan, Ken Denmead, Liz Jones-Dilworth, Josh Jones-Dilworth, Missy Mazzoli, and Jina Moore. Thank you all!!!)

*Looking for a girl math tutor? Call 617-888-0160 for an appointment with Rebecca Zook!

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6 Comments on “Guest Post Alert: Q&A with Danica McKellar about Hot X: Algebra Exposed!”

  • Terry VanNoy on November 9th 9:59 am

    Rebecca, thanks for the look at Ms. McKellar and her great success telling girls it is OK to like math and pursue it as part of their careers. The world needs more role models for girls in helping them to appreciate the challenges and beauty of mathematics. I’m glad she is getting a lot of attention in this project. Well done! Terry VanNoy “Math Class with Terry V”

  • Rebecca Zook on November 28th 9:15 pm

    Terry, welcome and thanks for sharing your thoughts! I’m glad to hear them. 🙂

  • rachat credit on November 22nd 4:40 am

    Man, really want to know how can you be that smart, lol…great read, thanks.

  • Rebecca Zook on November 28th 9:13 pm

    Thanks! It’s nice to “meet” you here. 🙂

  • Alexandre Owen Muñiz on November 30th 11:35 am

    Rebecca: I’m fairly certain “Schorria”‘s comment is spam. (Not specifically addressing content of post, the asking for more videos and pictures is a common trick to sound engaged, but note that it can go on just about any blog post, and the big tip off: the linked site looks more like some SEO scam thing than a real web site.)

  • Rebecca Zook on November 30th 1:19 pm

    Alexandre, thank you very much for pointing that out. That comment has now been deleted. I really appreciate your help, and thanks for stopping by!

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