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Cathy O'Neil

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CATHERINE ONEIL

on 22 January 2015

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Transcript of Cathy O'Neil


Making the case for data journalism

Cathy O'Neil
mathbabe.org
Problems
Journalists in general
don't know much math
are afraid of math
tend to believe what they hear
"authority of inscrutable"
Why?
Classic journalism focuses on almost the opposite things that math and statistics does
Good news!
Data Journalism

Lede Program and grad programs at Columbia and other places
vs. computer assisted reporting

Limitations
Still part of journalism ("the pitch")
Emphasis on maps
Editors
Can't see into private companies
And can't partner with them
Complexity's a bitch
Overall field is in trouble
Mathematics?
We have some fantastic internal journalism happening!
Not only journalism, also tools
Math journalism for math people
Making the Case for Data Journalism
Putting a face on the story
Nabbing the bad guy
Finding the victim
Key example (for me)
Statistical discrimination in big data
where you can prove there is a victim but you can't find them, partly because they don't know they are a victim!
fivethirtyeight.com
I Quant NY
Upshot (NYTimes)
WNYC
ProPublica
At it's best it's amazing
Journalists want to:
speak truth to power
inform the public
without commercial interests
and with ethics

Who else does that?
ProPublica
Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Content Tools
From the MAA
From the AMS
Quanta
Speaking of Terry Tao!
Tools!
New tools!
Mainstream math journalism?
People as robots
Math as lonely activity
Never about the math
Fields Medal
How can we do better?
The life of an idea
Write stuff ourselves
Youtube channels
Map of mathematics?
Technical Tools & Standards
Books!
YouTube!
YouTube!
Books!
Tipping Point Math
Vi Hart
add conjectures
over time
Write op-eds
Special sessions
Develop tools
Promote ourselves
Full transcript