Cathy O'Neil

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Mathbabe.org

Author, Scientist, Mathematician

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  weekly  guest  on  the  Slate  Money  podcast  and  is  currently  writing  a  book about  the  dark  side  of  big  data  called  Weapons  of  Math  Destruction: how  big  data  increases  inequality and threatens democracy coming out September 2016 with Random House.