Cathy O’Neil is a data scientist and author of the blog mathbabe.org. She earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard and taught at Barnard College before moving to the private sector, where she worked for the hedge fund D. E. Shaw. She then worked as a data scientist at various start-ups, building models that predict people’s purchases and clicks. O’Neil started the Lede Program in Data Journalism at Columbia and is the author of Doing Data Science. She appears weekly on the Slate Money podcast.

Cathy visited the Department of Mathematics, LSE in July 2017 to present a Public Lecture entitled “Weapons of Math Destruction: how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy“, related to her book of the same name.  Whilst visiting, she took the time to talk with Martin Anthony and Andy Lewis-Pye (LSE Maths) about how she came to be an author, her latest book, how to define these ‘weapons’ and what the future holds.

A podcast featuring highlights from Cathy’s Public Lecture is available here. The introduction is provided by Martin Anthony (Head of the Department of Mathematics). The recording ends with a great selection of Q&As from a very enthusiastic, engaged audience.