Catherine D'Ignazio is an Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. She is also Director of the Data + Feminism Lab which uses data and computational methods to work towards gender and racial justice, particularly as they relate to space and place. D'Ignazio is a scholar, artist/designer and hacker mama who focuses on feminist technology, data literacy and civic engagement. She has run reproductive justice hackathons (like the Make the Breast Pump Not Suck Hackathon), designed global news recommendation systems, created talking and tweeting water quality sculptures, and led walking data visualizations to envision the future of sea level rise. With Rahul Bhargava, she built the platform Databasic.io, a suite of tools and activities to introduce newcomers to data science. Her 2020 book from MIT Press, Data Feminism, co-authored with Lauren Klein, charts a course for more ethical and empowering data science practices. D'Ignazio's second book, Counting Feminicide: Data Feminism in Action (MIT Press 2024), highlights how mainstream data science can learn a lot from the care and memory work of grassroots feminist activists across the Americas. Her research at the intersection of technology, design & social justice has been published in FAccT, the ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency, the Journal of Community Informatics, and the proceedings of Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM SIGCHI). Her art and design projects have won awards from the Tanne Foundation, Turbulence.org and the Knight Foundation and exhibited at the Venice Biennial and the ICA Boston.
Prior to joining DUSP, D'Ignazio was an Assistant Professor of Data Visualization and Civic Media at Emerson College in the Journalism Department, taught for seven years in the Digital + Media graduate program at Rhode Island School of Design and did freelance software development for more than ten years. She holds an MS from the MIT Media Lab, an MFA from Maine College of Art, and a BA in International Relations (Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Tufts University. D'Ignazio speaks English, Spanish and French and has lived in Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Paris and Catalunya. She is a co-founder of the globally unknown spatial justice collective the Institute for Infinitely Small Things. D'Ignazio is a proud board member of Indigenous Women Rising, an organization committed to honoring Native & Indigenous People’s inherent right to equitable and culturally safe health options through accessible health education, resources and advocacy.