Upper School Math Teachers Take a Field Trip

13 Dec 2017
ByMeg Hanson, Fieldston Upper Math Department Chair

On November 29, members of the upper school math department attended a fantastic book-group discussion with distinguished author Cathy O'Neil at MoMath, the only math-focused museum in the United States. O'Neil's perspective comes from a background in statistical analysis for Wall Street corporations and a realization that she needed to act on misuse of data. She became a member of the Occupy movement and speaks across the country on the topics of math and social justice.

Her New York Times bestselling book, Weapons of Math Destruction, was a platform for a lively talk about how big data affects public policy and can reinforce harmful legislation. Many of the questions posed to O'Neil focused on what individuals and educators can do to inform the public about the misuse and lack of transparency in mathematical algorithms.