Brainy and Cool: Danica McKellar and Math doesn’t suck

danica McKellar math doesnt suckWho is the first person who comes to mind when you think about Percolation theory and Gibbs states for Ferromagnetic materials?

If you guessed Danica McKellar (”Winnie Cooper”), the lovable pre-teen icon of “The Wonder Years”, you would be right. Danica has starred in several other successful TV shows and movies including The West Wing and Inspector Mom.

In 1997, while at UCLA completing a Bachelors in Mathematics, Danica McKellar co-authored a paper dealing with the statistical states of ferromagnetic materials. She won the distinction of being the only undergraduate student invited to present a paper at a Statistical Mechanics conference at Rutger’s University, and was featured in the Science section of the New York Times in 2005.

Now Danica McKellar has another potential hit under her belt. She has written a book “Math Doesn’t Suck” which is geared towards teenagers, and was released on August 2nd, 2007. The books is aimed at helping middle school girls get over their fear of numbers.

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Another fun fact about “Winnie”. Danica has an Erdos-Bacon score of 6. The Erdos-Bacon score (a modification of the original “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon”) is the sum of the number of degrees away you are in writing a paper with the mathematician Erdos, and in acting in a movie with Kevin Bacon. I am sure not that many people can compete on that score!

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Google’s new mobile phone : Yet another freebie?

ImageGoogle has developed a cell phone prototype that could hit the store shelves, in a year. The accompanying picture is rumored to be a prototype. The subscription is expected to be free, accompanied by search engine advertising.



Google’s new mobile phone : Yet another freebie?

ImageGoogle has developed a cell phone prototype that could hit the store shelves, in a year The accompanying picture is rumored to be a prototype. The subscription is expected to be free, accompanied by search engine advertising.



Mundu IM for iPhone : Let them charge for the application, please.

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TechCrunch has an article about Mundu’s IM application for iPhone titled “Mundu Has A Great iPhone Chat Application. Why Will They Charge For It?”

It really burns me up when I see articles like these. What’s wrong with charging for an application that has already been rated as Great? Why should everything be “free” or “ad supported”

People need to get off from this this binge of “free software.”

_Just put an ad_ has become such an overused mantra; I wouldn’t care much except that the advice is not effective and may even be counter productive. Don’t make all the start ups go down this slippery slope of free software.

The battle of free vs. paid, for content, was fought between NYTimes and WSJ; and who won? The correct overall answer is “both”; but the narrow business answer is that NYTimes admitted that the everything free mantra has limitations by starting the Times Select paid service.

I have no relationship with, or particular affinity, towards Mundu; Putting an ad during an IM conversation, and monetizing it is not as simple as putting a snippet of code on a web page, and then laughing all the way to the bank. It is not.

We can’t expect all software, to be free, all the time; So many of the people who suggest just putting an ad, are the same people who run Adblock on their Firefox browsers, and have modified their registries so they never see an ad from Yahoo.

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There is room for free, ad supported and paid services. Let companies decide which revenue model works best for them.

Mundu has to figure out what they want to charge for their service. If the product is exceptional, people will pay the $11 for the software. After all, the folks who bought iPhone have already shown that they are willing to pay a premium for something that they like.


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