Cathy O'Neil


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The United States
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Catherine ("Cathy") Helen O'Neil is an American mathematician and the author of the blog mathbabe.org and several books on data science, including Weapons of Math Destruction. She was the former Director of the Lede Program in Data Practices at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Tow Center and was employed as Data Science Consultant at Johnson Research Labs.

She lives in New York City and is active in the Occupy movement.

Average rating: 3.86 · 12,824 ratings · 1,818 reviews · 11 distinct worksSimilar authors
Weapons of Math Destruction...

3.87 avg rating — 12,207 ratings — published 2016 — 26 editions
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On Being a Data Skeptic

3.82 avg rating — 134 ratings — published 2013 — 4 editions
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Algorithmes : la bombe à re...

4.14 avg rating — 7 ratings2 editions
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Arme matematice de distrugere

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Armas De Destruccion Matema...

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Angriff der Algorithmen: Wi...

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Doing Data Science

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Occupy Finance

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3.88 avg rating — 8 ratings — published 2013
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Doing Data Science/Chinese ...

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“Big Data processes codify the past. They do not invent the future. Doing that requires moral imagination, and that’s something only humans can provide. We have to explicitly embed better values into our algorithms, creating Big Data models that follow our ethical lead. Sometimes that will mean putting fairness ahead of profit.”
Cathy O'Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

“Here we see that models, despite their reputation for impartiality, reflect goals and ideology. When I removed the possibility of eating Pop-Tarts at every meal, I was imposing my ideology on the meals model. It’s something we do without a second thought. Our own values and desires influence our choices, from the data we choose to collect to the questions we ask. Models are opinions embedded in mathematics.”
Cathy O'Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

“At the federal level, this problem could be greatly alleviated by abolishing the Electoral College system. It's the winner-take-all mathematics from state to state that delivers so much power to a relative handful of voters. It's as if in politics, as in economics, we have a privileged 1 percent. And the money from the financial 1 percent underwrites the microtargeting to secure the votes of the political 1 percent. Without the Electoral College, by contrast, every vote would be worth exactly the same. That would be a step toward democracy.”
Cathy O'Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

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