Theoni Pappas is passionate about mathematics. A native Californian, Pappas received her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966 and her M.A. from Stanford University in 1967. She taught high school and college mathematics for nearly two decades, then turned to writing a remarkable series of innovative books which reflect her commitment to demystifying mathematics and making the subject more approachable. Through her pithy, non-threatening and easily comprehensible style, she breaks down mathematical prejudices and barriers to help one realize that mathematics is a dynamic world of fascinating ideas that can be easily accessible to the layperson.
Her various math calendars and over 15 math books appeal to both young and adult audiences and intrigue the “I hate math people” as well as math enthusiasts. Three of her books have been Book-of-the Month Club™ selections, and her Joy of Mathematics was selected as a Pick of the Paperbacks. Her books have been translated into Japanese, Finnish, French, Slovakian, Czech, Korean, Turkish, Russian, Thai, simplified and traditional Chinese, Portuguese, Italian, Vietnamese, and Spanish.
In 2000 Pappas received the Excellence in Achievement Award from the University of California Alumni Association. In addition to mathematics Pappas enjoys the outdoors, especially the seashore where she has a home. There she bicycles, hikes and swims. Her other interests include watercolor painting, photography, music, cooking and gardening.