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Mathematical and Computational Approaches to Social Justice

Fall 2021
Chad Topaz (William College)

Civil rights leader, educator, and investigative journalist Ida B. Wells said that "the way to right wrongs is to shine the light of truth upon them." This talk will demonstrate how mathematical and computational approaches can shine a light on social injustices and help build solutions to remedy them. I will present quantitative social justice projects on topics ranging from diversity in art museums to equity in criminal sentencing to affirmative action, health care access, and other fields. The tools engaged include crowdsourcing, clustering, hypothesis testing, causal analysis, Markov chains, data visualization, and more. I hope that this talk leaves you informed about the breadth of social justice applications that one can tackle using quantitative tools in careful collaboration with other scholars and activists.