Mayim Bialik talks "The Big Bang Theory," "Blossom" and calculators

Mayim Bialik, 2012 Texas Instruments

Mayim Bailik, 2012
Texas Instruments

(CBS News) Mayim Bialik -- the quirky girl with the signature flower hat you grew up with on "Blossom" -- is now all grown up herself, complete with a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles. The real-life scientist and self-described "gigantic nerd" also portrays a biologist on CBS' award-winning series, "The Big Bang Theory."

And as of today, Bialik is the new spokesperson and brand ambassador for Texas Instrument's Nspire CX math and science classroom technology. Think: The newest version of the TI-82 calculator you toted around to Calculus class in high school.

"For me, I beam from ear-to-ear," Bialik, 36, told CBSNews.com about her work to inspire young people to pursue science and math education. As part of her new role, Bialik, who's also a teacher, will meet with teachers and educators throughout the year.

You could hear the excitement in Bialik's voice when she talks about math and science - and as nerdy as it may sound, graphing calculators.

"I've been using Texas Instruments calculators for more than 20 years," she said. "My husband and I each brought one to the marriage."

A calculator is what brought the two together; they met in math class during college.

"I don't know that you could have designed a better person to hold that calculator and look like it's the greatest thing in the world," she said about her promos. "I'm super excited."

These days, Bialik gets to put her science knowledge to another use, playing Sheldon Cooper's (Jim Parsons) neurobiologist girlfriend, Amy Farrah Fowler, on "The Big Bang Theory."

"It's been a whole added perk to be a female scientist on television, who has such a quirky personality but is also both an accomplished scientist and also trying to succeed socially," she said. "I think that's what many of us try to do."

As for the rest of the season five, Bialik stayed mum.

"We're only a couple of weeks ahead of the American public," she said. "We don't know the arc of the season, to be honest. We get the scripts the night before we start to rehearsing them."

Will we see more of Bialik after season five wraps?

"I'm contracted year to year," Bialik revealed. "Through the end of the season you will see me. Beyond that, I, of course, hope for more."

Bialik is no stranger to the TV circuit. She spent five seasons on "Blossom" in the early '90s and has fond memories of her time on the series.

"I was very lucky that we had a very quiet set," Bialik said. "I didn't see drugs. I didn't see drinking. I didn't see weird stuff."

She still sees her former cast members from time to time, recently getting together for a "Blossom" DVD release.

"Jenna [Von Oy] lives back east, and Joey Lawrence and I -- we live in the same neighborhood, so sometimes we see each other," the former child star said.

Bialik finds herself in her neighborhood quite a bit, especially when she's not on set. When the mother-of-two isn't working, she's at home taking caring of her kids, or writing for the parenting blog, Kveller.com. Bialik recently channeled her love for parenting in a new book, titled "Beyond the Sling," due out March 6.

And if that wasn't enough to keep her busy, the actress said she's so impressed with today's calculators that looking back, she may have taken on even more schooling.

"It's almost like I want to go back in time," Bialik said. "I feel like I could have even gone to med school."

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