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Weapons of Math Destruction

Weapons of Math Destruction

How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

Microsoft Research's Social Media Collective and Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society welcome author Cathy O'Neil to NERD. O'Neil will read from her award-winning book, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy (2016). The reading will be followed by an informal mixer for MSR, NERD, Garage and BKC interns.

Please join us for a timely discussion of the role of data science in public life. All are welcome at this free event open to the public!

About Cathy O'Neil

Cathy O’Neil earned a Ph.D. in math from Harvard, was a postdoc at the MIT math department, and a professor at Barnard College where she published a number of research papers in arithmetic algebraic geometry. She then switched over to the private sector, working as a quant for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw in the middle of the credit crisis, and then for RiskMetrics, a risk software company that assesses risk for the holdings of hedge funds and banks. She left finance in 2011 and started working as a data scientist in the New York start-up scene, building models that predicted people’s purchases and clicks. She wrote Doing Data Science in 2013 and launched the Lede Program in Data Journalism at Columbia in 2014. She is a regular contributor to Bloomberg View and wrote the book Weapons of Math Destruction: how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. She recently founded ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company.

About Microsoft Research's Social Media Collective

Over the last decade, social media has become a vital tool for our engagement with the people who matter to us, the work we do, and with the wider public world. From email to Facebook, mobile phones to Twitter, people now use a vast array of social technologies as part of their everyday lives and practices. Our primary purpose is to provide a rich contextual understanding of the social and cultural dynamics that underpin these social media technologies.

Our research collective brings together social scientists and humanists from anthropology, communication, economics, information, law, media studies, women’s studies, science & technology studies, and sociology. Through a variety of methodological and theoretical lenses, we provide insight into how social media is reconfiguring sociality, labor, ethics, and the public realm. Much of our work centers on emergent Web 2.0 technologies, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. but we also look to situate these new forms in the longer history of information and communication.


Past Event
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

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