Cathy O’Neil is the author of the New York Times best-selling Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, which was also a semifinalist for the National Book Award. She is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and founded the company ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company.
She earned a Ph.D. in math from Harvard, was a postdoctoral fellow in the MIT math department, and was 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 quantitative analyst 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.
Cathy wrote Doing Data Science in 2013 and launched the Lede Program in Data Journalism at Columbia in 2014.