Every year, the University of Maryland selects a First Year Book to unite the campus community in conversation. "Weapons of Math Destruction" by Cathy O’Neil was selected as the 2020-2021 First Year Book.
We in Special Collections and University Archives explore our collections each year to find related archival material that helps us better understand the First Year Book and more deeply consider the topics presented within. This year, we explore the history of bias in our country. As O'Neil asserts in her book, the algorithms that control so much of our lives are created by humans who are inherently biased. When we understand the origins and historic representations of these biases that are reflected in these algorithms, we can better identify and combat the injustices that appear. The items we selected for this exhibition are just a small sampling of what you can find in the Special Collections and University Archives and we encourage you to contact us with your own research questions.
Exhibition creators: Laura Cleary, Rigby Philips, and Ben Shaw