January 3 – Anniversary of Vi Hart + Khan Academy

Posted January 3, 2014

She's a recreational mathematician.

I don't mean that she does math for recreation, although she might. I mean she is a professional recreational mathematician!


Victoria (Vi) Hart likes the kind of math that most kids don't even know is math, and she likes to make really rad YouTube videos about marvelous mathematical concepts. And she manages to make most of us who watch her videos like at least HER kind of math, too!

Vi Hart says that she went to a math conference with her dad when she was 13 years old. Actually, it was a computational geometry conference. And everyone was excited and passionate about the topic, and Hart was hooked. She said that, at that conference, “It was so different from school, where you are surrounded by this drudgery and no one is excited about it. Any gathering of passionate people is fun, really no matter what they're doing.” 

Hart earned her college degree in music, not math, and she tried for a while to start a career in the music field. However, when she found some cool doodles she did while bored in one of her math classes and created a YouTube video called “Doodling in Math Class,” she managed to sort of catapult into an unusual career. People at parties sometimes asked her, “What do you do?” And there isn't really a name for what she does, so Hart made up the “recreational mathematician” title! 

With more than 44 million video views – more than 5 million for her most popular video! – with over 650,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel, with more than 32,000 followers on Twitter and more than 34,000 fans on her Facebook page, maybe it seems as if Hart wouldn't need to join forces with another biggie in the education world. However, on this date in 2013, Hart announced that she was working with and for Khan Academy, the # 1 source for free online education. 

Check out some of Vi Hart's videos here and here.

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