Chad Topaz (A.B. Harvard, Ph.D. Northwestern) is Professor of Complex Systems at Williams College, Adjunct Professor (by courtesy) of Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado—Boulder, and co-founder of an independent nonprofit organization: Institute for the Quantitative Study of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (QSIDE). QSIDE is a research-to-action institute working at the intersection of social justice and data science.
The author of over 60 published scientific papers and pieces of public scholarship, Chad began his career using mathematics to understand problems in physics, chemistry, and biology. He now focuses on areas such as criminal justice; diversity and inclusion in arts, media, and pop culture; education equity; and health care equity. His work has been covered nationally and internationally in The Atlantic, The Guardian, MIT Technology Review, Mother Jones, Science, Smithsonian Magazine, and more. His research honors include a New Directions Research Professorship at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (the first given to a liberal arts college faculty member), a Kavli Frontiers Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences, a Board of Trustees Award from Macalester College, an Equity and Diversity Visiting Fellowship from the University of Auckland, and the Outstanding Paper Award of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Chad is passionate about scientific communication and discourse, having delivered nearly 200 talks at colleges, universities, and scientific meetings.
Chad’s teaching career is underpinned by an intense interest in human learning, meticulous attention to learners’ needs and challenges, and a steadfast belief that education is both an art and a science. An avid follower of scholarly research in education studies and educational psychology, he has won UCLA’s Robert Sorgenfrey Distinguished Teaching Award in mathematics and Macalester College’s Rossmann Excellence in Teaching Award. Chad has advised over 130 students in summer research, capstone, independent study, and honors experiences, with nearly 50% of these for members of underrepresented or excluded gender, racial, and ethnic groups. Finally, Chad has been invited to speak about teaching to audiences such as the Annapolis Group, the New York Six Colleges, the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, the Minnesota Private Colleges Council, as well as numerous colleges and universities.
Chad is deeply committed to educating the American public about the intersections of data science and social justice.