High School Datathon4Justice

Brought to you by the National Math Festival and the QSIDE Institute

Additional support by the M3Challenge, a program of SIAM

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Students, faculty, and QSIDE support teams came together over Zoom on April 9, 2022 to analyze data related to equity in the arts.

Thank you to all of our participating schools in the inaugural High School Datathon4Justice, and to our sponsors and partners from the National Math Festival!

Our High School Datathon4Justice, this past Spring of 2022, modeled after our wildly successful fall 2021 University-level Datathon4Justice, was coordinated with high-school math/data science programs and will focus on building skills, analyzing real-world data, and inspiring the next generation of student scholars to ask and answer pressing social justice, inclusion, and equity questions using powerful data techniques. The event brought high schools across the US a curriculum to examine a dataset of the diversity of artists in major U.S museums in regards to race/ethnicity, gender, date of birth, and region of origin in order to highlight immense disparities in the representation of BIPOC and women artists.

Participating High Schools:

  • Chesapeake Math and IT Academy, Laurel, Maryland.
  • Glendale Unified School District, Glendale, California
  • Paramount School System, Paramount, California
  • Plainfield Public Schools, Plainfield, Connecticut
Charts created by students exploring gender and artistic periods during the 2022 High School Datathon4Justice

“We were going through the curriculum and noticed that the artists were mostly white-male dominated, 80% predominant ethnicities from Europe and North America (around 40% each). We read articles that stated at least 85% of the artwork contained in most art museums was created by white male artists. In addition, we noticed that by graphing the art in intervals per ten years, most art was acquired between 1940-1950. We were thinking if that may be correlated to the fact of collecting artwork from more famous art periods such as the Renaissance and previous periods; then in the time later on, collecting more during the 1800s and 1900s, of which contained popular art periods like realism, impressionism, or post impressionism, etc.”
-Student analysis from the 2022 High School Datathon4Justice

What is a Datathon4Justice?

A Datathon is an intensive event where scholars come together to conduct research around a targeted question. The event, sometimes also called a “hackathon,” is a focused time to use math and data science skills to ask and answer questions that might otherwise take weeks or even months to answer.

A Datathon4Justice is a datathon focused on asking and answering questions related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. Datasets will be cleaned and provided to teams who can then develop research questions and use data science, math, and statistics tools to examine the data from multiple perspectives and begin to make meaning from the data.

Our Mission is to create a living community of high school students excited about the applications of mathematics in social justice endeavors. The inaugural High School Datathon4Justice will serve as a pilot program that can be replicated and adapted by other schools, organizations, and groups. This visible program of the National Math Festival will call attention to the power, beauty, and importance of math to shape change in our world and reveal and address injustice using quantitative methods.

Our Vision is to create a world in which kids and adults ‘dream big’ with math as one of the key tools in their toolkits! Participants will grow easier and more comfortable with mathematics as a language for expressing and exploring truths ingrained in their world. With mathematical fluency, they will be more prepared to address and redress social injustices with quantitative skills. We seek to foster communities of change in which youth of all ages provide leadership in collaboration with adults dedicated to bringing out their potential for service.

The Data

For the 2022 High School Datathon4Justice, we’ll be using a dataset of the diversity of artists in major U.S museums in regards to race/ethnicity, gender, date of birth, and region of origin. This data, collected by QSIDE, highlights immense disparities in the representation of BIPOC and women artists. See more about the data and the study here.

We are developing a curriculum for the Datathon that details step-by-step instructions on how to analyze this data with RStudio. In addition to this software, the event will require students to have basic algebra, statistics, and potentially some pre-calculus skills. Our team will be on-hand during the event to help troubleshoot and solve any issues. Students who have more experience and fluidity with RStudio may choose to simply begin exploring the data on their own.

About the National Math Festival

The National Math Festival is organized by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) and the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath).

The National Math Festival thanks our sponsors for their generosity in underwriting 2021-2022 Festival programming. We share our gratitude with the Simons Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Schmidt Futures, the Kavli Foundation, and the American Mathematical Society.

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