Getting Started at Adelphi

2018 Community Reads Response Contest for First-Year Students

What can I do about the problems created by the use of big data?Weapons of Math Destruction Feature

Why Submit?

Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction explores how the use of mathematical models in various fields—from policing to college rankings to auto insurance—affects our lives as citizens, consumers, students, and workers.

At one of the summer orientation sessions introducing this year’s Community Reads selection an incoming Adelphi student asked “What can I do about the problems created by the use of Big Data?” This year’s Community Reads Contest invites you to find your own answer to this crucial question.

The winner receives a $250 gift card to the University bookstore.

More importantly, the contest encourages first-year students to join a
campus-wide discussion about the vital issues raised in O’Neil’s book.

What Can I Submit?

• An essay that challenges or builds upon Cathy O’Neil’s critique of Big Data
• A creative project, like a one-act play or a short story, that engages artistically in debates about algorithms and their role in our world
• An experiment to see if your classmates are mindless sheep, unwittingly grazing in the pasture of big data
• A grant proposal for a future intensive research study
Anything, really

Talk to your First Year Seminar Instructor about possible submissions that allow you to think across disciplinary lines, engage your talents, and dig deeply into these important issues.

Interested in participating?

Please email your submission to by Friday, November 16, 2018. Write “First-Year Community Reads Contest” in the subject heading. Include your name, Adelphi I.D. #, address, and phone number in the email.

If you have an entry that cannot be submitted electronically, or with further questions about this contest, please contact:

First Year Experience Committee

Sarah Eltabib
p – 516.877.3444
e –

Jennifer Walsh
p – 516.877.3488
e –

Submissions are encouraged but not mandatory. You should create one if you feel you have something to say.  We are confident that you do, and look forward to hearing it. 
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