Cathy O’Neil earned a Ph.D. in math from Harvard, was postdoc at the MIT math department, and a professor at Barnard College where she published a number of research papers in arithmetic algebraic geometry. She then chucked it and switched over to the private sector. She worked as a quant for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw in the middle of the credit crisis, and then for RiskMetrics, a risk software company that assesses risk for the holdings of hedge funds and banks. She is currently a data scientist on the New York start-up scene, writes a blog at mathbabe.org, and is involved with Occupy Wall Street.
Rachel Schutt is the Senior Vice President for Data Science at News Corp. She earned a PhD in Statistics from Columbia University, and was a statistician at Google Research for several years. She is an adjunct professor in Columbia’s Department of Statistics and a founding member of the Education Committee for the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering at Columbia. She holds several pending patents based on her work at Google, where she helped build user-facing products by prototyping algorithms and building models to understand user behavior. She has a master's degree in mathematics from NYU, and a master's degree in Engineering-Economic Systems and Operations Research from Stanford University. Her undergraduate degree is in Honors Mathematics from the University of Michigan.