For every journalist who has ever thought they’re bad at math. What if you’re wrong?


Thank you to the Tow Center for Digital Journalism for the fellowship that supported the writing of this work. I could not have done this otherwise. I’m indebted to Mark Hansen for reading not one but two long drafts and providing expansive feedback. Andrew Gelman kindly reviewed the “Analysis” chapter and really shaped my thinking on causation. Kenneth Prewitt read the material on census and race with an expert eye; any remaining blunders are my own. I’m indebted to research directors Taylor Owen and Claire Wardle for their patient efforts as they shepherded me through the process over nearly two years. I’m deeply grateful to Emily Bell for her support over the years, and the fantastic opportunity to teach at Columbia. My warmest shout-out to the students of my Frontiers of Computational Journalism course, who taught me what it is to teach—and sometimes schooled me with their own work. You’ve been more influential than you know. And thank you to Sara for helping me find the book’s title.

March 2016

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