For Discussion Leaders

Dear PRP Discussion Leaders (current and prospective):

Welcome to the Penn Reading Project! Every year since 1991, Penn's incoming first-year students have come together in small groups with faculty to discuss a selected text specifically for that class. The Penn Reading Project (PRP) is a major feature of New Student Orientation, and the first opportunity students have to interact with faculty in an intellectual discussion.

Many faculty and academic staff have joined us during this time—some for many years. We strive to provide a valuable, satisfying experience for students and leaders. I often hear from Discussion Leaders that in addition to the small group discussions with students that are a core of the program, they really enjoy the chance to meet with colleagues from other schools, who also serve in the program.

This year's selection is Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction, which will support the Year of Data (2019-20) . For information on the project, visit: the Year of Data (2019-20) website

If you are ready to sign up—and I hope you are—click the link below, which will take you to a form. Once filled, out, you’ll get periodic updates through the summer, and of course, we’ll ultimately send you a list of participants in your group.  We will also send you a printed copy of Weapons of Math Destruction—you will also have access to the online version, where starting in early July, incoming Penn students will be reading and communicating with each other.  Some key dates and events are listed below.

Thank you so much for your support of PRP!

David Fox
Director, New Student Orientation and Academic Initiatives / 215.573.5636

Penn Reading Project 2019 – Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O'Neil

  • July 2019 — Weapons of Math Destruction reading site launches for incoming Penn First-Year, and is also available to discussion leaders.
  • July-August — Every participant (Discussion Leaders and students) assigned a private, online reading group.  All participants will be able to annotate text, communicate with reading group members, and have access to group and public annotations.
  • August 15 (12pm-1:30pm) — Optional prep session for PRP discussion leaders.
  • August 23 (11:30am or 1:30pm) — Presentation on Weapons of Math Destruction and Year of Data in Irvine Auditorium.
  • August 23 (3:30pm-4:30pm) — PRP small group discussions
  • August 23 (4:30pm-6pm) — Reception for PRP discussion leaders