Cathy O’Neil

Podcast Description

My argument in my Shame book is that it’s like a sort of fortress…of denial that white people have like surrounded themselves with because they are living in cognitive dissonance. And that’s what shame does. Shame when it’s real and it and it hits. It hurts so badly that you’re like how can I square this with being a good person…And you have a choice at that moment, and like some white people have been like, “Oh, let’s march against police brutality.” And some white people are like, “Let’s just pretend that it’s not happening.”

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 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.

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Cathy O’Neil

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