Using Data to Write Songs for Progress
In today’s world of rapid technological advancement, it’s important to leverage the power of data to effect change. Ananya Gurumurthy, a senior at MIT, has been using her talents in mathematics and computer science to campaign for social and economic justice through digital tools and music.
Growing up as the daughter of South Asian immigrants, Gurumurthy was inspired to fight for the rights of marginalized groups. She started building her political voice at a young age by working for New York Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, where she learned how powerful mobilization can be in influencing legislative change.
After applying her skills to political campaigns, Gurumurthy was soon tapped to run analytics for the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) midterm election initiative. She used data from public voting records to predict how constituents would cast their ballots, and used an algorithm to strategize alongside grassroots organizations to encourage historically disenfranchised groups to vote.
Since arriving at MIT, Gurumurthy has continued to use data to effect change. She has worked with Fair Fight Action in Georgia to analyze patterns of voter suppression, and with MIT’s ethics laboratories to build artificial intelligence protocols to better understand bias.
But Gurumurthy doesn’t just use data to effect change in the political sphere. She’s also passionate about music, and believes that it can be a powerful tool for social justice. “Music has always been a way for me to express myself and to connect with others,” she says.
As a three-year recipient of MIT’s Emerson Classical Vocal Scholarships, Gurumurthy has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall. But she’s also using her love of music to inspire change. She’s currently working on an album of songs that address social justice issues, such as racial inequality and climate change. She uses her skills in data analytics to inform her songwriting, using data to back up her lyrics and make her message more impactful.
– In 2019, Gurumurthy was one of 20 students selected for the Kelly-Douglas Fund Scholarship, which provides funding for students to engage in public service.
– She was a summer intern at the International Monetary Fund in 2021, where she worked on analyzing the rapid rise of cryptocurrency.
– Through MIT’s “Hacking Discrimination” hackathon, Gurumurthy worked on a team that developed an AI algorithm that could identify bias in job descriptions. Key Takeaway:
Using data to drive social and political change isn’t just about numbers and analytics – it can also be about creative expression. Gurumurthy’s use of data in both her music and her political work shows how technology can be used to make a real impact.
In a world where technology can sometimes feel impersonal and even harmful, Gurumurthy’s work is a reminder that it can also be used for good. Whether she’s using data to track voter suppression or to inform her songwriting, Gurumurthy is an example of how technology and creativity can come together to drive progress.
Ananya Gurumurthy’s work is inspiring because it shows how data can be used to effect change in multiple spheres – from politics to music. Her use of data in her songwriting is a particularly innovative way to make her message more impactful, and it shows how creativity and technology can work together to drive progress. As we continue to navigate a rapidly changing world, it’s important to remember that data can be a tool for positive change – and that we can all use our skills to make a difference.