One Book, One UIS

“One Book, One UIS” Title for 2018 Chosen

The One Book, One UIS Steering Committee is happy to announce that they’ve chosen the book Weapons of Math Destruction: how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy, by Cathy O’Neil, for its campus/community read for 2018. The cornerstone event for One Book, One UIS is the Keynote Lecture which will be on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the UIS Student Union Ballroom. Author Cathy O’Neil will lecture on data analytics and the associated topics tackled in her book, including getting a job, credit ratings, college rankings, home loans, the justice system, and even the effects of social media on our elections. The March 27th lecture is part of the ECCE Speaker Series and is free and open to the public, with a book signing immediately following.  For more information, please visit: www.onebookoneuis.com Two local public libraries, Lincoln and Chatham, will also be hosting book discussions to engage community interest as well.

 The book was adopted by a class during the fall semester for use in their coursework and is being used by 5 classes this semester. There are still opportunities this semester for faculty and students to benefit from the One Book initiative. A relatively easy read, the book’s chapters can be used alone or in total for discussion or assigned as extra credit. Interested in taking a look? This title can be checked out from our Popular Books collection.

 Faculty and students can get a *FREE* copy of the book if they:

  • Adopt the book for a class discussion, or
  • Incorporate a single theme from the book into your classroom discussion
  • Sign up and attend 1 of the 2 Brookens Library led book discussions in March
  • Contact Librarian Sally LaJoie for more information about the book discussions

 Additional opportunities to interact with the One Book program exist as well:

  • Classes adopting the book can sign-up to receive priority seating for the March 27 author lecture
  • If you’re unable to adopt the book, additional copies have been placed on reserve for easy access
  • An online book discussion will also be available for students not attending classes on campus
  • Copies are available as Ebooks or as an electronic audiobook

About the One Book, One UIS Initiative

The One Book, One UIS program grew out of an appearance in 2011 by bestselling author Rebecca Skloot. Based on the interest both on campus and in the Springfield community for Skloot’s book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and for its author (Skloot’s appearance filled a 2,000 seat auditorium and the book signing lasted for over an hour), the Chancellor asked the Dean of the Brookens Library to formalize a community reading program for the campus. The result was One Book, One UIS.

 About Author Cathy O’Neil

Cathy O’Neil (UC Berkeley, Harvard Ph.D. ’99) held positions in the mathematics departments at MIT and Barnard College. After leaving academia in 2007 she worked for a hedge fund, but became involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement and its Alternative Banking Group. Author or co-author of a number of books on data science, her book Weapons of Math Destruction was published in 2016 and was nominated for the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction. According to the New York Times, “Her knowledge of the power and risks of mathematical models, coupled with a gift for analogy, makes her one of the most valuable observers of the continuing weaponization of big data… does a masterly job explaining the pervasiveness and risks of the algorithms that regulate our lives.” O’Neil blogs at mathbabe.org and can be followed at @mathbabedotorg

Cathy’s TED talk: The Era of Blind Faith in Big Data Must End https://www.ted.com/talks/cathy_o_neil_the_era_of_blind_faith_in_big_data_must_end (13:18)

 We thank our One Book, One UIS sponsors: the UIS Chancellor’s Office, ECCE Speaker’s Series, and the Friends of Brookens Library. If you have any questions about One Book, you can contact any of the library faculty for more information.

 Pattie Piotrowski

Brookens Library, University of Illinois Springfield

University Librarian

Dean of Library Instructional Services

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