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Honored at UCLA Awards Ceremony!
posted on June 23rd, 2012

This May, UCLA gave me an amazing honor - the Recent Graduate AchievementDanica at UCLA award.

They give out a handful of awards to alumni every year, and I stood along side some amazing co-honorees like General John Daily, the Director of the NASA Museum, and Paul Terasaki, a scientist who made organ transplants available to millions of people with his tissue compatibility testing technology. The event was held outside Chancellor's (enormous) house on the UCLA campus, and theawards they gaveus were all hand-blown glass works of art.

Recent Graduate Achievement Award

(left to right: Prof. David Carlisle, Keenan Behrle, Prof. Paul Terasaki, Me, Dr. Timothy Miller, General John Dailey)

Paul is the one standing to the left of me, holding the glass bowl. I had to comment on his bowl... such an "unusual" shape for an award. He said he thought it must be for peanuts. Smiley

At the event, we each spoke to the crowd about how UCLA had shaped our careers and lives. I talked about how UCLA helped me take my love of entertainment and apply it to my second love, mathematics, and how I ended up writing math books as a result. I also talked about how UCLA helped me find a renewed sense of self, playing a pivotal role in my transition from being a child actor.

UCLAWe each taped an intro video that was later shown at the awards ceremony, and they posted them! My segment is first - keep watching for the other nominees). Click here to learn more about the other nominees. It was a fun night!

Oh, so why did I wait this long to write this blog? Because I finally got the pictures from the event! Smiley


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posted by DougieCFresh on June 24th, 2012

WOOT! First in with a comment! Congratulations Danica, you should be very, very proud. I caught your Tweet regarding female role models in the STEM fields and as a father of two daughters I have to say; you rise well above the tag 'role model' and set the bar for all who would farm their god given talents to 'achieve' in this world. If my girls get within a arm's reach of your standard? Well, I'll just bust! ps The shallow side of me just has to comment; Wow. Nice dress!

posted by Jade on June 25th, 2012

Congratulations! What an honor that is. I just wanted to say I have been a fan since TWY, and I am glad you are doing so well. I would also like to say thank you for the great books you write. My 16 year old daughter has always struggled in math (much like myself) and right now she is taking an online summer session because she failed the second semester of Algebra 1. She started the class a little over a week ago and was struggling with it terribly. I had heard good things about your books, so I decided to go and pick up a copy of 'Hot X, Algebra Exposed'. I gave the book to my daughter and so far it has been like a miracle! She was able to retake the 3 practice tests she had failed, and this time she passed all of them with 80% and 90%. She also has taken two more, plus the unit exam and passed all of those as well with a 90% on the first try! And it is all thanks to your book. She was so surprised at how much it helped her understand. I am very grateful, and will recommend this to anyone else with a child struggling in math. Thank you so much, you really know how to reach and teach young girls!

posted by Mark on November 27th, 2015

I was forwarding some of your math exploits to my niece, for inspiration.  I stumbled upon your commencement address for the UCLA mathematics department.  You lamented that mentioning your degree sounded scatological.  Why not refer to your undergraduate degree as a "B.Sc." instead?  Well, that was trivial but I could not resist the self-agrandizement of counseling such an accomplished person.  

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