Photo (c) Stone NYC Photography, by Robert A. Stone. Used by permission.
Brooklynites Andy Zou and Carl Ka-Ho Li both play major characters in the webseries Math Warriors, a New York City based show about a team of mathletes at Yale University. The fictional team, known as The Funky Functions, is led by a woman, named Felicia, who is fixated on prime numbers. Felicia is played by the creator and director of the show, Kristina Harris Peterson. Peterson has a PhD in microbial biochemistry.
Season Four of Math Warriors just went live. They are in the last week of a Kickstarter campaign to raise $3,371 (prime number) to cover post-production costs for the latest shoots.
Peterson connected Technically Brooklyn to her two co-stars who told us more about their involvement with the show.
Carl Ka-Ho Li plays Feng, who in serves as the team’s wannabe captain. Feng and Felicia constantly vie for control of the team. Felicia brings her unstoppable prime strategy and dedication, while Feng brings his family’s money (a factor that’s becoming more mysterious with this new season).
Li has lived in Brooklyn now for eight years. He got involved in the project as an actor, not a mathematician. He confessed to us, “One of my weakest, no, my weakest academic skill. In the real world, I’ve gotten worse.” That said, you’ll see him play the ukulele from time to time in the show. He can really play.
When he first showed up to audition with a uke in hand, they wrote the character trait into the script. In fact, the uke plays a critical role when Feng has to make an important decision in Season 3.
Li has been in Brooklyn for eight years.
Andy Zou‘s character Johnny is the heart throb of the show. Johnny just came back to the team after largely missing Season 3 because his character had a high powered corporate internship. When he returns, you can see Felicia get visibly flustered to see him in their ranks again.
Zou said, “I don’t know if I even considered Johnny a heartthrob, but I suppose he is. Everyone’s just so nerdy, I forget that they still have these relative dynamics. I’m not used to playing a romantic interest.”
Zou is an actor by trade, but he’s also a legit math guy. He graduated college with both computer science and math minors. He’s also been inspired by Peterson’s web series to create his own online videos. For now, they are all under the heading of ZAP Media. He has an ongoing series about a character he plays and his roommate, a bunch of grapes. It’s called “Grape Roommate.”
Zou moved from East Village to the Prospect Heights / Ditmas Park area in 2012.
Season Four looks like it’s about to head into some STEM education themes, as the team gets asked to help high school students take an interest in math, but if you really want to understand all the ensemble’s highs and lows, go back to season one. It’s a web-series, so each of the shows is less than 10 minutes long. It won’t take much time to get caught up.