Danica McKeller, who is the only person to have been in both of my two all time favorite TV shows*, has just written a book about math aimed at pre-teen girls. It’s disguised to look like a magazine, complete with quizzes like “Do you hide your smarts (especially around boys)?” Honestly, I doubt I would have picked it up as a 12 year old… I was beyond pre-algebra at that point and I wasn’t really into the teen magazines anyway, but I’m glad it exists. I’ve already e-mailed my uncle and suggested that he look into it for his middle school aged daughter.
For those more mathematically advanced, here’s her paper on “Percolation and Gibbs states multiplicity for ferromagnetic Ashkin-Teller models on Z².” If you ever doubted that Winnie Cooper was out of Kevin Arnold’s league, this pretty much seals the deal. Also, according to her website, she’s done The Vagina Monologues, which just makes her that much more awesome.
* Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years and Elsie Snuffin on The West Wing… I half expect someone to correct me on the “only” caveat and tell me that Bradley Whitford once had a guest spot on The Wonder Years as one of Karen’s boyfriends or something.