Friday, September 16, 2011

what if girls who like math could cure breast cancer?

What if instead of buying t-shirts about being too pretty to do homework or being allergic to algebra, our best and brightest young women took on the challenge of fighting breast cancer? 

Seeing Tweets and Facebook posts about the absurd t-shirts and then seeing Tweets from a former co-worker about the "healthymagination" open innovation challenge to fund promising ideas to improve breast cancer diagnostics just announced by GE knocked me upside the head with a huge "Aha!" The challenge was launched in collaboration with venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Venrock, Mohr Davidow and MPM Capital. The effort will focus on data in partnership with O’Reilly Media. The magic word "data" sprang off the screen at me. Data science, as folks call working with these huge data sets nowadays, is math! Data analytics is math! Yes. Math!

What if we valued girls who like math? Not only can girls do math, but they also have a vested interest in improving breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.  What if girls who like math are part of the solution?

With Data Science growing in importance and asking the big questions, it's about time the popular culture embraced girls (and boys too) who like math. Math can make a difference. Let's do something with all this "big data". We just might find some answers to those big questions.

What if girls who like math could be the cure?

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