Speaking

I am a professor, activist, and nonprofit leader who has given nearly 200 public presentations. I am available for online and in-person speaking engagements in public, academic, and corporate settings. Contact me to inquire.

Topics

My talks can be tailored to a level of specificity/generality that meets your interests and needs, and a level of technical detail that meets your audience. The list below gives merely a sampling of the sorts of talks I can deliver. Contact me to discuss your specific needs.

  • Social justice, in particular, equity/diversity/inclusion with respect to race, gender, disability status, sexual orientation
  • Data science
  • Data science used to promote social justice
  • Justice in policing
  • Criminal sentencing disparities
  • Mass incarceration under COVID
  • Equity and inclusion in arts and culture (art museums, Hollywood films, fashion, popular music)
  • College/university campus diversity and affirmative action
  • Student-teacher race match in K-12 education
  • Diversity in STEM in higher education
  • Anti-racist and inclusive teaching
  • Evidence-based pedagogy
  • LGBTQ+ issues
  • Self-organization and pattern formation in nature and society (biological swarms, chemical patterns, fluid waves, much more)
  • Applied topology
About Me
Sample clips

  • Brief remarks on my quantitative social justice work:
  • Example of me giving a large plenary talk to an audience of approximately 1000. This is not a social justice talk, and the latter part of it is very technical. However, the first 10 minutes are not technical, and will give you a good sense of my speaking style and the audience reaction.
  • Contact me if you want additional examples.
Testimonials

Chad’s lecturing style is immediately engaging the moment you enter the room. He is one of the few speakers I have seen who greets everyone as they arrive and forms a relationship with the audience so that you feel that he is having a conversation with you individually, not just lecturing to a large group of anonymous people. All of Chad’s talks were very well received by the audiences, which included faculty from across science disciplines, postgraduate and undergraduate students. Both myself and other faculty members have adapted our teaching styles to incorporate many of Chad’s suggestions and ideas.

Prof. Claire Postlethwaite, University of Auckland

To catalyze Berkeley Lab’s thinking and planning around incorporating equity data into research, we Chad brought in Chad to facilitate a virtual seminar entitled. We were interested in introducing the Lab community to QSIDE, and learning more about their research, methodology, and impact. Chad also facilitated a lively discussion around some DEI challenges within our organization, and ideas to further our impact in this space. Chad has an effective presentation style, using simple, beautiful slides, and incorporating a storyline with compelling research examples showcasing the nationally- and internationally-acclaimed research. We received unsolicited glowing feedback from Lab colleagues, including those on our leadership team. It was a treat for us to see a brilliant researcher and impactful public speaker in one package. Chad’s seminar prompted the idea of an organization-wide working group to share successes, best practices, and lessons learned regarding data equity in ongoing and future research. Finally, Chad cares about the outcome of the seminar, and is extremely diligent – he reached out of his own accord before the talk to ensure he understood what our event was about, the purpose, the role of his presentation, and what impact the organizers wanted to have – and he hand-crafted his presentation based on this discussion. Overall, an extremely positive experience.”

Lady Idos, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

You may ask yourself what mathematics has to do with social justice? Much more than you imagined. Everything, in fact, as Prof Topaz convinced his audience in his highly compelling talk on several urgent issues. Prof Topaz’ passionate talk generated a lot of interest and great discussions…despite the fact that the talk and discussion were online because of the pandemic situation. His elegant and easily accessible explanations of the complexities of mathematics inspired us all to dive deeper into the subject.

Prof. Frithjof Lutscher, University of Ottawa

Chad is a dynamic and passionate speaker on issues of social justice. He brings a creative approach combining statistics and crowd sourcing to explore questions of equity and justice in a wide range of areas. In order to call out injustice and then take action, Chad argues for the use of readily available mathematical tools. Our audience connected with what Chad has to say, but students particularly found his approach eye-opening and inspiring.

Prof. David Damiano, College of the Holy Cross