June 14, 2020A reading list about race and racism in statistics, math, machine learning and data science
I put together this reading and viewing list for myself because I am not as far along as I would like to be in my understanding of issues of race and racism as they relate to mathematics, statistics, and data science. I am posting my list here in case it can be helpful to anyone else, and in the hopes that others may reach out and contribute more suggestions so that I can expand it.
Especially if our experience with this fields has primarily been one of privilege, it can be too easy to forget that, for all of their abstraction, math, statistics, and machine learning are created by humans and in a human context. Their development and applications directly affect the injustice or justice of the world we inhabit.
- Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism— by Safiya Noble
- Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy— by Cathy O'Neil
- Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithm, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech — by Sara Wachter-Boettcher
- Inventing the Mathematician: Gender, Race, and Our Cultural Understanding of Mathematics— by Sara Hottinger
- Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code— by Ruha Benjamin (thanks to my awesome dad for telling me about this one!)
- Why Algorithms Can Be Racist and Sexist — Vox article by Rebecca Heilweil that gives an overview of what algorithmic bias is, what some of its various sources are, and some steps toward accountability
- For a Black Mathematician, What It’s Like to Be the ‘Only One’ — New York Times piece that profiles black mathematician Edray Goins and looks at racial disparities and biases in math doctoral programs
- Machine Bias—A series by ProPublica investigating algorithmic injustice
- So you want to talk about race in tech with Ijeoma Oluo — An interview about race and tech with Ijeoma Oluo, author of the book So You Want To Talk About Race
Talks, Spoken Word, Film
- Abolish Big Data — Talk by Yeshimabeit Milner, co-founder and executive director of Data 4 Black Lives
- Coded Bias — A documentary about algorithmic biases that tells the story of MIT computer scientist Joy Buolamwini's work advocating for legislative protection and the origins of the Algorithmic Justice League, which she founded
- A Dream Deferred: 50 Years of Blacks in Mathematics — MAA invited address by mathematician Edray Goins
- AI, Ain't I A Woman— A spoken word piece by MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini
* Note: I didn't link to the books on, say, Amazon, on the theory that it could be a great time to support a local book store, if it makes sense for you and is safe.