One of the most amazing things about mathematics is the people who do math aren't usually interested in application, because mathematics itself is truly a beautiful art form. It's structures and patterns, and that's what we love, and that's what we get off on.
I want girls to feel the confidence you get from being smart. They get so many messages that tell them the most important thing is to be beautiful.
My message is: You don't have to give up being popular, fun, or fashionable in order to be smart; they can go hand and hand. Doing math is a great way to exercise your brain; being smart is going to make you more powerful in life.
It's such a diversion to be constantly thinking of better ways I can teach people math that my hunger is for that really, for new ways of translating the beauty of it.
A lot of girls think they have to choose between being the smart geeky type or the beautiful bimbo.
I wasn't in school often enough to really belong to a 'clique,' but my friends all studied hard and got pretty good grades. They were good people with self-respect. I still like to be friends with people I admire something about; I really believe that we become like the people we're surrounded by, so I choose my friends carefully!
I love acting. Acting is a true love of mine, acting and math. Although they are both creative, they use very different sides of your brain. And I love both. Acting is my first love, and that's my main career, it really is.
When I was little, we had a Golden Book that had all these Disney characters in one portrait on the first page. My dad used to read from it every night. We'd play this game of find Pluto or find Donald Duck. He'd read us stories and do all the voices. Those are great memories.
So somebody told me that if I wasn't a coffee drinker yet, by the end of college I'd have to be, because a math major is so tough I would have to stay up very late. I was going to need coffee to do that. Well, merely because they said that, I never drank coffee in college, never got addicted to it, never needed it.
Most of the time I liked school and got good grades. In junior high, though, I hit a stumbling block with math - I used to come home and cry because of how frustrated I was! But after a few good teachers and a lot of perseverance, I ended up loving math and even choosing it as a major when I got to college.
When I got to college, I was intending to study film. But I found that my brain was feeling mushy, so I took a few math classes. I started doing really well at them, and solving equations was this, like, drug rush.
Look at Jessica Simpson. She's famous for being dumb. I guess it started with Marylyn Monroe, and she actually wasn't that dumb, but that's how she was perceived - and that's what got popular.
Teenage girls these days are more and more getting lured into thinking they should dumb themselves down, and that's going to attract the wrong kind of guy, and it's serious. It's serious business.
I took a break from acting for four years to get a degree in mathematics at UCLA, and during that time I had the rare opportunity to actually do research as an undergraduate. And myself and two other people co-authored a new theorem: Percolation and Gibbs States Multiplicity for Ferromagnetic Ashkin-Teller Models on Two Dimensions, or Z2.
Math proficiency is the gateway to a number of incredible careers that students may never have considered.
A reciprocal of a fraction is found by flipping it upside down. If you want the reciprocal of a mixed number or a whole number, just convert it to an improper fraction, and then flip it!
I had done quite a bit of research about math education when I spoke before Congress in 2000 about the importance of women in mathematics. The session of Congress was all about raising more scholarships for girls in college. I told them I felt that it's too late by college.
Math is like going to the gym for your brain. It sharpens your mind.
You can be obsessed with makeup and hair products and, you know, your appearance and still be absolutely making smart life decisions and work on your smarts, develop your smarts by studying something like math. Then you'll make much better decisions on the brands of clothing that you buy or whatever it is that you want.
I love surprises - champagne and strawberries, all that pampering, romantic stuff. Guys ought to know how to pamper their women properly.