Media Assets & Links
Stanford ICME Launches the WiDS Datathon
Competition seeks to promote female data scientists focusing on social impact solutions
Co-Director, WiDS Conference
Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering (ICME)
STANFORD, CA (March 9, 2018) – Stanford ICME announced the winners of the inaugural Women in Data Science (WiDS) Datathon at the 3rd Annual WiDS Conference on March 5, 2018. The winners are as follows:
First Place: Minions
Xi Lui and Ye Wang
Graduate students Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester, MA USA
Second Place: icf-cdr - Peru - Trust your CV score again
Claudia Davila Rios and Isaias Culqui Fernandez
Third Place: KKLL
Linda Elizabeth Anicama Matos,
Katerine Rocio Clavo Navarro
Keven Fernandez Carrillo
WiDS Datathon—Using Data Science for Good
The WiDS Datathon is a joint effort between the Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering (ICME) at Stanford University, Kaggle (a Google company), Intuit, West Big Data Innovation Hub, and InterMedia, a grant recipient of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, in their Financial Services for the Poor program.
The WiDS Datathon competition took place February 1-28, 2018. Participants worked in teams comprised of 1-4 members, at least half of which were women. There were over 1160 people who registered and a total of 231 teams competed, representing over 26 countries. Teams wrangled 45,000 lines of data to build machine learning and statistical models that would predict the gender for each line of data. The WiDS Datathon used a dataset that was collected by InterMedia and focused on understanding how women in India use financial and mobile financial services.
Intermedia Research Director, Samuel Scheuth, Ph.D., commented “Gender gaps in access and use of digital financial services are persistent across the world and growing wider in some countries. InterMedia is constantly looking for insights that can help close the financial-inclusion gender gap. We hope that the contest has inspired some of the participants to spend more time with our data and shed new light on the kinds of financial tools that can increase women’s economic empowerment, globally”.
Datathon Model Increases Women’s Participation
The WiDS Datathon establishes a new model for female participation in datathons and hackathons, in which participation has been disproportionally male. This model encourages participation from high quality competitors of all genders. Xi Lui of Team Minions, the first-place prize winner, reflected on the pool of teams “The WiDS Datathon competitors are excellent. Although it was a competition, it was a supportive community focused on getting people to improve their model rather than scoring the highest points”.
The WiDS Datathon competition gave teams a month to work together whether it was in the same location or across geographies and time zones. Many WiDS Communities sponsored events to bolster the Datathon competition. For instance, Microsoft New England Research & Development (NERD) collaborated with MIT and Harvard to host a WiDS Datathon Workshop. “This year’s sold-out workshop explained the global WiDS Datathon challenge, taught high-level data science principles, and provided participants with an opportunity to network, form teams and begin the challenge” stated Sandra Smith, Microsoft NERD and Co-Host WiDS Cambridge.
The Datathon drew on the global nature of the conference by bringing together diverse teams across the globe. “The Datathon competition proved that Big Data & Data Science can also have a major impact on social good, by having data experts work for a common purpose. We are excited about the positive response we had in Spain. We look forward to repeating the experience next year with a new analytics challenge!" shared Carme Artigas, CEO of Synergic Partners, and WiDS Madrid ambassador.
About the Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference
The Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference is a one-day technical conference with a twist. It features exclusively female speakers -- world-class leaders in industry, academia, government, and nonprofits. Speakers discuss a wide array of data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence research and applications, from computational finance, to astrophysics, to cybersecurity, and much more.
The Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference is a truly global and inclusive conference, and all genders are invited to participate in the unique model. Participants have the choice of joining the conference in person at Stanford; in person at one of the 100+ regional events worldwide; online via livestream; or online via Facebook Live. This provides unfettered access to valuable, technical, and innovative content to anyone in the world. WiDS 2018 was held at Stanford University and broadcasted via livestream to more than 100,000 participants, via 150+ regional events in 50+ countries, hosted by volunteer WiDS Ambassadors worldwide. For additional information, visit the WiDS website at http://www.widsconference.org.
About Stanford University
Stanford University, located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, is one of the world’s leading teaching and research universities. Since its opening in 1891, Stanford has been dedicated to finding solutions to big challenges and to preparing students for leadership in a complex world.
About the Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering (ICME) at Stanford University
ICME is a home at Stanford for an increasingly critical multidisciplinary field that uses advanced mathematical and computing capabilities to understand and solve big, complex problems. ICME has over 50 affiliated faculty from 20+ departments across the university. Faculty and ICME graduate students are involved in groundbreaking research around computational mathematics, data science, machine learning, optimization, simulation, and other related areas. ICME is a degree-granting program for MS and PhD students who apply their studies to a wide range of domains. ICME has MS degree tracks in Data Science, Computational Finance, Geoscience, and Imaging Sciences. Last year, ICME offered over 60 courses reaching 3,000 students, including undergraduates.
InterMedia is a global research consultancy that partners with mission-driven organizations seeking to make an impact in people’s lives around the world. We give clients the data and tools they need to help them understand, engage and positively impact the key groups and societies they care about. InterMedia offers a full range of research and analysis, consulting, and fieldwork management and training services to strengthen development initiatives, measure social investments and enhance consumer engagement.
Intuit Inc. is committed to powering prosperity around the world for consumers, small businesses and the self-employed through its ecosystem of innovative financial management solutions. Founded in 1983, Intuit serves 46 million customers in North America, Europe, Australia, Brazil and India, with revenue of $5.2 billion in its fiscal year 2017. The company has approximately 8,200 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Israel, Australia and other locations.
Kaggle is the world's largest online data science community. With more than 700,000 active members across 194 countries, the Kaggle community competes to build the best solutions for solving complex data science problems. Kaggle competitions have tackled a wide range of problems hosted by commercial, government & research organizations, including diagnosing heart failure, identifying right whales, forecasting sales, and improving search relevance.
About West Big Data Innovation Hub
The West Big Data Innovation Hub is a consortium launched with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). As one of four hubs in the nation, the West Hub builds and strengthens partnerships across industry, academia, nonprofits, and government to address scientific and societal challenges.
WiDS Press Release
WiDS Fact Sheet
Available upon request
Headshots: Google Drive folder
Prior event photos:
Facebook photo album
WiDS 2017 Highlight video
Why we started WiDS
featuring Margot Gerritsen
WiDS YouTube playlist
SiliconAngle TV / The Cube:
WiDS 2017 Speaker Interviews