I was directed to Math Babe by a link from Fawn Nguyen’s blog Finding Ways to Nguyen Students Over and it’s definitely a different kind of math blog than I’m used to reading. For one thing, blogmistress Cathy O’Neill was a former data scientist who co-authored the text Doing Data Science and before that she was a quant on Wall Street. (“Quants” or quantitative analysts are much sought after in the finance sector.)
Dr. O’Neill is currently the director of The Lede Program at the Columbia School of Journalism and she brings her unique perspective to her MathBabe blog. Primary topics of discussion include data science, statistics, finance, journalism and data modeling. Her writing style is friendly but not oversimplified. Her innate sense of humor always shines through, particularly with her regular feature Ask Aunt Pythia where she takes questions from readers in a mock advice column format (Pythia was the priestess at the Oracle of Delphi).
The questions aren’t restricted to finance wonkery, however. For example, this one from “Breasts of Oppression”:
Dear Aunt Pythia,
I am a female physics PhD student. A colleague once said to me that “If women want to be respected, they should not show cleavage.” What do you think?
Aunt Pythia’s answer?
I’ve always thought quite the reverse. Namely, if men had boobs, they’d be showing them off all the time.
MathBabe has earned pride of place in my RSS feed so head on over there and tell her I sent you. (She has no idea who I am but, as I’ve mentioned, I’m trying to start a thing.)