Catherine O’Neil is a leader in the tech community, She is an American mathematician, data scientist, and author.
O’Neil is the founder of the blog mathbabe.org and has written books on data science, including the New York Times best-seller Weapons of Math Destruction. Her thought provoking opinion columns are published in Bloomberg View.
Cathy 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.
ORCAA is a consultancy that helps companies and organizations manage and audit algorithmic risks. When we consider an algorithm we ask two questions:
What does it mean for this algorithm to work?
How could this algorithm fail, and for whom?
Often we ask these questions directly with companies and other organizations, focusing on algorithms they are using. We also ask them with regulators and lawmakers in the course of developing standards for algorithmic auditing, including translating existing fairness laws into rules for algorithm builders. No matter the partner, our approach is inclusive: we aim to incorporate and address concerns from all the stakeholders in an algorithm, not just those who built or deployed it.
Follow Cathy on Twitter:@mathbabedotorg