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Catherine D'Ignazio

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Catherine D'Ignazio
United States
Other nameskanarinka
OccupationAssistant professor
Known forData feminism

Catherine D'Ignazio (also known as kanarinka) is an American professor, artist, and software developer who focuses on feminism and data literacy. She is the director of the Data + Feminism lab at MIT. D'Ignazio is best known for her hackathons, such as "Make the Breast Pump Not Suck",[1][2][3] and for her book Data Feminism, co-authored with Lauren Klein.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

D'Ignazio was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and grew up in North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, and Michigan. Her father, Fred D'Ignazio, is an American author, educator, and television commentator. D'Ignazio received her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in international relations from Tufts University.[6] She went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in studio art, design and theory from Maine College of Art and a Master of Science (M.S.) in media arts and sciences from MIT in 2014.[6]


D'Ignazio works as an assistant professor at MIT and has published several works in her field of study as well as an acclaimed book, Data Feminism.[4][5][7][8] She has organized several women's health hackathons, including "Make the Breast Pump Not Suck," which has now been featured in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's exhibition, Designs for Different Futures.[9] She has also worked on news recommendation systems, and different types of data visualization.[10]

D'Ignazio started to work in software development and taught for seven years in the Digital + Media graduate program at Rhode Island School of Design.[11] She then moved on to work in the Journalism Department at Emerson College, as an Assistant Professor of Data Visualization and Civic Media.[11] Having years of experience as a professor, she then became an Assistant Professor of Urban Science and Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT.[11] D'Ignazio maintains this role today, and also acts as the Director of the Data + Feminism Lab.[11]


  • with Lauren Klein, Data Feminism (2020)
  • edited with Nanna Bonde Thylstrup, Annie Ring, and Kristin Veel, Uncertain Archives: Critical Keywords for Big Data (2020)


  1. ^ Allers, Kimberly Seals (April 26, 2018). "MIT Shows How to 'Make the Breast Pump Not Suck' for Women of Color". Women's eNews. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  2. ^ Niemtus, Zofia (August 13, 2018). "'Make the breast pump not suck': how women are redesigning breastfeeding". the Guardian. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  3. ^ Carleton, Amy (May 4, 2018). "The Problems With Breastfeeding Go Way Beyond Breast Pumps". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  4. ^ a b Dizikes, Peter (March 9, 2020). "'Data feminism' examines problems of bias and power that beset modern information". phys.org. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  5. ^ a b Corbyn, Zoë (March 21, 2020). "Catherine D'Ignazio: 'Data is never a raw, truthful input – and it is never neutral'". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  6. ^ a b D'Ignazio, Catherine. "Catherine D'Ignazio". LinkedIn.
  7. ^ Dizikes, Peter (March 9, 2020). "The elephant in the server room". MIT News. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  8. ^ "WIRED's 13 Must-Read Books for Spring". Wired. February 26, 2020. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  9. ^ Allen, Lila (December 13, 2019). "Politics Has Failed Mothers. Can Design Help?". Metropolis. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  10. ^ "Catherine D'Ignazio - Contributor profile". DataJournalism.com. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  11. ^ a b c d "Catherine D'Ignazio | MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning". dusp.mit.edu. Retrieved 2020-04-01.