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Essays and Reviews


Selected Academic Journal Articles

2020: “Screening for Colorectal Cancer in the Age of Simulation Models: A Historical Lens,” Gastroenterology 159/4 (October): 1201-1204. [with Robert E. Schoen]

2020: “Precision Medicine and its Imprecise History,” Harvard Data Science Review 2(1).

2019: “The Bases of Data,” Harvard Data Science Review 1(2).

2019: “NIH Statisticians and the Transformation of Medical Proof,” Viral Networks: Connecting Digital Humanities and Medical History, eds E. Thomas Ewing and Katherine Randall (Blacksburg: VT Publishing).

2017: “Knowing By Number: Learning Math for Thinking Well,” Endeavour 41/1 (March 2017): 8-11.

2016: “The Taste Machine: Sense, Subjectivity, and Statistics in the California Wine-World,” Social Studies of Science 46/3 (2016): 461-481.

2016: “Mathematical Superpowers: The Politics of Universality in a Divided World,” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 46/5 (2016): 549-555 [with Ksenia Tartarchenko]. Co-editor for this special issue on Cold War mathematics.

2015: “An Officer and a Scholar: West Point and the Invention of the Blackboard,” History of Education Quarterly 55 (Feb. 2015): 82-108.

2014: “The New Math and Midcentury American Politics,” Journal of American History 101 (Sept. 2014): 454-479.

2014: “In Accordance with a ‘More Majestic Order’: The New Math and the Nature of Mathematics at Mid-Century,” Isis 105 (Sept. 2014): 540-563.

2012: “Moneyball and Medicine,” The New England Journal of Medicine 367 (October 25, 2012) [with Jeremy A. Greene and Scott H. Podolsky].

2006: “Robert Woodhouse and the Evolution of Cambridge Mathematics,” History of Science 44 (2006): 1-25.

2005: “Augustus De Morgan and the Propagation of Moral Mathematics,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 36 (2005): 105-33.

Selected Essays and Reviews

2021: “Behind the Numbers,” LA Review of Books (May 12, 2021).

2021: “The Curve,” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 51/1 (February): 159-161. PDF

2021: “A.B. Hill’s 1962 Watson lecture: The statistical consultant as consensus maker,” Statistics in Medicine 40/1 (January 2021): 49-51.

2020: “Science Detractors and their Discontents,” Science 370/6523 (December 18, 2020): 1421. [review of Science Under Fire by Andrew Jewett]

2020: “Bradford Hill’s The Environment and Disease: Comment,” Observational Studies 6: 24-29 [with Joel Greenhouse].

2020: “Advanced analytics in healthcare: ready for primetime?” BMJ Quality and Safety Blog (April 19).

2019: “If Baseball is any Indication, the Big Data Revolution is Over,” The Washington Post Perspectives (July 9, 2019).

2019: “Statistician,” in A Day in the Life of an American Worker: 200 Trades and Professions Through History, ed. Nancy Quam-Wickham and Ben Tyler Elliott (ABC-Clio).

2019: “Much Ado About Method,” Science 364/6445 (June 14, 2019). [Review of How We Teach Science: What’s Changed, and Why it Matters by John L. Rudolph]

2018: “Review of Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures,” Isis 109/2 (June): 435-436.

2018: “Review of Ruth A. Miller, Flourishing Thought: Democracy in an Age of Data Hoards,” American Historical Review 124/4 (October): 1288-89.

2017: “Fun and Games,” Science 358/6359 (October 6, 2017). [Review of Game Changers: Stories of the Revolutionary Minds Behind Game Theory by Rudolf Taschner]

2017: “Risky Medicine: How Good Health Became Big Business,” Boston Review (June 5, 2017). [Review of Risky Medicine: Our Quest to Cure Fear and Uncertainty by Robert Aronowitz]

2016: “Quantifying Culture,” Science 354/6308 (October 7, 2016), p. 45. [Review of Living by Numbers: In Defense of Quantity by Steven Connor]

2016: “Facts Versus Fallacy,” Science 353/6299 (August 5, 2016), p. 550. [Review of Truth or Truthiness: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction by Learning to Think Like a Data Scientist by Harold Wainer]

2015: “The Politics of Math Education,” The New York Times (December 3, 2015), p. A35.

2015: “Keeping Score: Accounting for America’s Pastime,” Cabinet: A Quarterly of Art and Culture 56 (Winter 2014-2015), 73-79.

2015: “The New Math Strikes Back,”, February 11, 2015.