I study theoretical mathematics, and sometimes it makes me feel detached from the rest of the world. The concepts that I’m learning don’t mean anything to my friends and family, the photojournalists and architects. They just keep asking me what I’m going to do with all of it, all of these concepts. The truth is, I don’t know where I see myself 5 years, or even 1 year, from now.
Well, I just took a semester off to work full-time in a financial tech start-up and saw a glimpse of where my math degree may lead me in the future. Finance, along with engineering and computer science, are some of the fields that rely heavily on mathematics. Beyond these, however, there is math in just about everything.
Try to imagine the news without math. Without polling numbers, without employment statistics, without immigration numbers. Advances in data analysis have transformed the way in which news stories develop and the ways in which we understand them.
Now I’m starting a blog in which I hope to explore the ways in which data is used and presented in order to relay a news story.
Some of the sources that I plan to use for information and inspiration include:
- The Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics
- The Economist’s Free Exchange
- Bloomberg’s View
- John Cochrane’s The Grumpy Economist
- Greg Mankiw’s Blog: Random Observations for Students of Economics
- Ben Bernanke’s Blog at the Brookings Institute
- Barry Ritholtz’s The Big Picture
- Naked Capitalism: Fearless Commentary on Finance, Economics, Politics and Power
- David Friedman’s Ideas
Plus others that relate more specifically to data journalism:
- ProPublica’s Nerd Blog
- The Guardian’s Data Blog
- The Data Journalism Blog
- The New York Times’ Open
- The LA Times’ Data Desk
I’m fascinated by the connections between people and numbers, and I’m looking forward to seeing where numbers appear in our lives and how journalists present them to us.