Danica McKellar’s third and most advanced book in her “Math Doesn’t Suck” series, “Hot X: Algebra Exposed!” just arrived at our office. Why? Well it’s never a bad idea to brush up on basic algebra, but also, a casual survey of the math nerds here revealed McKellar to be our favorite celebrity (it also helps that a lot of us also grew up watching The Wonder Years), and what better testament to our affection? Besides, we really want to read these “boy-crazy confessionals!”
Wanted: Math Nerds
McKellar’s efforts to demystify and destigmatize math for students is necessary in today’s landscape. In the largest-ever global survey of the data science community, some unsettling statistics have come to light. 65% believe demand for data scientists will outpace supply in the next five years, and the number one cited barrier to data science adoption was due to lack of skills or training in the field.
With growing demand for business intelligence around the world, and with the U.S. lagging in math and sciences, businesses will soon be faced with a brain shortage in data analysis right when we are really discovering how to best utilize our data.
Kids, focus on math like algebra, and you’ll never go hungry again.
“The x you’re solving for is your future…”
McKellar’s mission is to make math sexy and approachable to students, and she does a fantastic job. The book is fun, witty, and it gets the reader hot and bothered about things like the quadratic formula. Our job, and the jobs of others in the data intelligence/analytics industry, is to make math sexy and approachable to businesses. You know, the places that the students McKellar inspires will eventually end up.
Just like back in school, math is hard. Not every business wants to major in it or claims math to be its favorite subject. But if they apply themselves* and realize their potentials*, math can unlock a wealth of information such as sales forecasting, trend analysis, activity ratios, the works. Do your homework, and it really pays off.
Now let’s just hope McKellar tackles multivariable calculus next.
*If these phrases didn’t give you flashbacks, you were probably on the honor roll.