Danica McKellar

Danica McKellar

1975 -

Danica probably knows how to write the language of average North American teenage girls better than any other mathematics educator.  She’s sexy, funny and her books are just a great first jump into math for a sizeable fraction of girls who have been turned off the subject.  Her book titles tell it all:

Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss.
Hot X: Algebra Exposed.
Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape.

Photo by Craig Sjodin

Charles & Ray Eammes

Charles & Ray Eammes

Designers who entered the world of film with some mathematical masterpieces:

https://youtu.be/wPR3XhIDP9w

https://youtu.be/0fKBhvDjuy0

Júlio César de Mello e Souza

Júlio César de Mello e Souza

1895 - 1974

A mathematician and educator who argued against classroom instruction and for mathematical laboratories and games. He achieved worldwide fame under the pen name Malba Tahan.

His book “The Man who Counted” is still a best seller. His native Brazil never took his ideas on mathematics education seriously.

Martin Gardner

Martin Gardner

1914 - 2010

The great author and popularizer of mathematics was an inspiration to a generation of mathematicians. I like Ronald Graham’s tribute best:

Martin has turned thousands of children into mathematicians, and thousands of mathematicians into children.

Here is an idea for a Magical Mathematics Museum as a tribute to Martin Gardner.

Photo by Konrad Jacobs

Brooke Havlik

Brooke Havlik

Brooke is the token representative from NOVA that I met at the Library of Congress in 2015.  She’s the Education Manager, but its the whole organization that is inspired. Have a look at some of their offerings here.  This is both entertainment and educational.

Vi Hart

Vi Hart

Vi is a musician, artist and comedian whose work is inspired by mathematics.  Her math videos are most engaging and she is continually coming up with fun, mathematical explorations – many of which are good for a classroom activity. Here’s one with a positive social message as well as an engaging math problem for students at about grade 3 or 4: http://ncase.me/polygons/

Photo by Thane Plambeck

Scot Osterweil

Scot Osterweil

Scot Osterweil is the innovative mathematics educator who has designed the mathematical game, Lure of the Labyrinth

This game is so good that it should be imbedded into every K-12 curriculum… or at least suggested for summer homework.