Read about the highlights of the WiDS Datathon Workshops that were conducted in 2022:
WiDS Lima @ UP
WiDS Lima hosted a WiDS Datathon workshop series in January to facilitate knowledge on how to use a variety of tools and deal with the topic of climate change. Leda Basombrio shared her university experience, professional growth, challenges, and how she discovered data science. The event closed with a Python and database workshop organized by CodeUP. On March 7th, the WiDS Lima team hosted a conference for the sixth year in a row, featuring a panel with Michelle Rodriguez, Mabel Raza, and Daniela León, and presenting graduate data scientists Andrea Palomino, Jazmin Wong, and Giuliana Barnuevo.
You can watch the WiDS Lima workshop recording here.
The WiDS Maastricht datathon workshop was hosted for the third time in February by the Institute of Data Science at Maastricht University. During the two-day online event, participants analyzed differences in building energy efficiency and created models to predict building energy consumption. The WiDs Maastricht team offered a series of activities including two pre-training sessions for beginners, and a lot of hacking time followed by a pitch session, health and fitness break, and social activities for networking. The participants were encouraged to learn from each other and improve their data science skills, think about how to optimize their models, and explain their approach to the domain experts and other participants in their pitches.
At the end of the event, they awarded the Responsible Data Science Pioneer Team to Team “Abracadabra” (Anjali Nair, Bharath Raj Mahadeva Rao, Julia Jerke, and Shajenna Raduzzi)! All the teams were encouraged to keep improving their models and win the global and local prizes.
You can view the WiDS Maastricht pre-training sessions and pitches here.
WiDS @ Mathworks
In January, WiDS ambassadors Gaby Arellano Bello, Martina Sciola, Neha Sardesai and Julia Hoerner from MathWorks hosted their first worldwide WiDS Datathon Workshop @ MathWorks: "Climate change competition: get ready!"
The virtual live event targeted all those interested in participating in the WiDS Datathon challenge. It provided the audience with the tools and workflow necessary to solve the challenge.
The MathWorks team organized two 90-minute sessions; spread across various time zones to provide guidelines about the datathon, in terms of resources, dataset and software access. The ambassadors illustrated various techniques to load data, pre-process it, and interactively develop the best regression model using MATLAB. MATLAB is a programming and numeric computing platform used by millions of engineers and scientists to analyze data, develop algorithms, and create models.
WiDS @ MathWorks also featured a livestream on Youtube where they walked through an example data set to help participants get started in the datathon using MATLAB. The WiDS @MathWorks ambassadors look forward to organizing their next event to inspire the younger generation!
WiDS Sacramento held a datathon workshop hosted by WiDS ambassador Wanli Cheng. The participants were from a diverse background with different levels of experience. The WiDS Sacramento team was delighted to see people come together to share experiences, learn from the helpful resources shared, and collaborate. The experience was educational, for participants and mentors alike.
WiDS Romania held a successful WiDS Datathon event with a contest featuring many eminent speakers who shared their knowledge and expertise:
Pamela Ward, US Embassy in Romania stated that, "the datathon not only creates interest and enhances skills in addressing the world's major problems, but also highlights diversity and inclusion, which are key to success. The Biden government emphasizes that gender equality is essential for economic growth and development, democracy and security throughout the world. The US Embassy especially supports women in the development of technology in Romania".
Watch Pamela deliver her talk here.
Some of the other speakers included Ghiță Bârsan, Rector of Military Academy from Sibiu (AFT), Ms. Ligia Deca, Presidential Adviser in the Department of Education and Research of the Presidential Administration, Alina Popa, CFO OMV Petrom, and Ella Ciuperca, Scientific Director Think Tank 360 left the audience with inspirational quotes and learnings from their shared insights.
WiDS Kathmandu ambassador Manisha Panta hosted the first WiDS Datathon Workshop virtually. The workshop was designed for beginners who were interested in data science. The total number of participants in the event was 120+, among which 67% were students and 29% were professional. The event began with a talk on climate change and its relevance per the datathon, followed by an introduction to the dataset by Manisha. The mentors, Shruti and Shreeya, presented their curated hands-on notebooks on building predictive models using Machine Learning and Deep Learning techniques, respectively. Finally, Reccha gave the audience a walkthrough of the WiDS Datathon in Kaggle and demonstrated how to make their submissions.
Even though 88% of the datathon workshop participants never attended any machine learning or predictive analysis competition, we had an interactive session. We hope to host another WiDS Kathmandu in the coming year and plan a multiple-day event where participants will get more detailed, informative hands-on content to further participate in the datathon challenge.
Check out the recording and notebooks prepared by the WiDS Kathmandu mentors here.
WiDS Hubballi hosted a two-day workshop in February 2022 to support the global WiDS Datathon challenge. The aim of this workshop was to enable the participants hone required data science skill sets to participate effectively and contribute to the solutions.
The first day of the workshop had a keynote address by Dr. Meena S.M on the topic “AI/ML and Climate Change” to echo the theme of the challenge and the prevalent local climatic issues. A session by Ms. Srujana Kaddevarmuth on “Datathon enabling Data Science for Social Good” was engaged to provide the insights of the datathon and data science. On the second day of the workshop a keynote was addressed by Dr. Uma Mudengudi on “Role of AI and Data: Effect on Heritage” to cater about the preservation and reconstruction of heritage digitally. Kaggle grandmaster Ms. Usha Rengaraju demonstrated a “WiDS 2022 Datathon Solution walkthrough”, where the participants acquired knowledge of navigating the Kaggle platform, data processing, model development, testing and submitting the solution. Over a hundred students/faculty participated in the workshop, finding it effective and useful.
WiDS Hyderabad organized two datathon workshops this year, with around 200 participants from academia and the industry. In the first workshop they had a walk-through of the live challenge in Kaggle. The second workshop explored the data and also best practices. Many notebooks were shared by presenters who also assisted their audience by connecting them with mentors from the industry. The WiDS Hyderabad team hopes to host a workshop in-person, next year.
In February WiDS Moscow held an online WiDS Datathon workshop. The workshop was organized by WiDS ambassador Anna Vysotskaya.
In this workshop, they engaged participants with a deeper understanding on how data science and climate change are linked. This workshop was conducted by Natalia Ischenko, Director of Operations, COO, Robocash Group; Natalie Tatyana Churyk, William F Doyle Endowed Professor of Accountancy-Northern Illinois Univ., Editor-in-Chief-Journal of Accounting Education, Ewa Dziwok, Associate Professor at University of Economics in Katowice, Programme Director - Quantitative Asset and Risk Management ARIMA; Adriana Tiron-Tudor, Full Professor, Ph.D. Supervisor, Coordinator at Master program: Accounting management, audit and control, FSEGA, UBB.
The WiDS Jordan datathon workshop was hosted by Dr. Zaher Al- Sai, WiDS Jordan ambassador and the founder of Big Data Minds.
The workshop included intensive integrated workshops in data science in celebration of the Women in Science Day to highlight women's successes, and their ability to make great achievements locally and globally.
The workshops were held on February 11-12 at the headquarters of Umniah Entrepreneurship Incubator “The Tank” at Business Park. The workshops included technical and interactive topics specialized in data science and climate change, presented by a group of women specialized in data science and big data from various sectors. In addition to specialized speakers from technology companies in Jordan, the workshop, which was attended by about 150 people, hosted many guests specialized in climate change and data science, including specialists from the staff of the “Arab Weather” company.
WiDS Silicon Valley
The WiDS Silicon Valley workshop series were unique and two-fold, in partnership with Omdena and its Silicon Valley Chapter. The first part included 11 speakers over four weekends, where they shared their expertise on various topics in data science related to climate change; from charts to EDA, feature engineering models, and entire pipelines, to deployment in the cloud and taking code into production. The second part was the Omdena's Silicon Valley Chapter challenge, where over 50+ data science enthusiasts came together over four weeks to learn, explore, and develop solutions to the WiDS Datathon Kaggle challenge. At the end of the four weeks teams made submissions to Kaggle.
Watch the WiDS Silicon Valley videos and view the workshop here.
WiDS LaPaz hosted a series of online sessions on four Thursdays. The sessions started by introducing Kaggle and tools that can be used online, including Colab, then walking through a first analysis of the data for the WiDS Datathon 2022. WiDS LaPaz hosted an exclusive second session on predictive models sharing an example using the decision trees of Xgboost models. The third session was related to data cleaning, given an overview of the process of preparing data for analysis by removing or modifying data that is incorrect, incomplete, irrelevant, or duplicated. In the last session a notebook guide was built and explained step by step. At the end of every session the speakers answered questions from the audience.
All notebooks were shared on social media and the WiDS LaPaz sessions can be found here.
WiDS Barcelona & Madrid
WiDS Barcelona & Madrid held a two-day WiDS Datathon hybrid workshop in collaboration with Aula Magna Business School and Nuwe. There were 60 participants and 14 teams that participated in the event, many of whom had no background in data science.
WiDS London went against all odds and the difficulties that the Storm Eunice posed to create a hybrid WiDS Datathon workshop with Monzo on February 18th. While only a few made it in-person, many graced the event with their presence online.
WiDS Kenya ambassadors held a WiDS Datathon workshop series for the first time across three Saturdays in January 2022. Around 30 participants registered for the datathon competition. The first workshop was held on January 15th, onboarding participants into the worldwide datathon challenge. The second workshop was on January 22nd with training by Manal Jalloul, an instructor from the NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute, on Fundamentals of Accelerated Data Science. Finally on January 29th, the last workshop was by a NVIDIA team member on AI for climate change.
“It was a pleasure to host the WiDS Kenya Datathon for the first time in 2022. I personally learnt a lot in terms of team/ community building, many thanks to NVIDIA for facilitating our workshops and most importantly, I am grateful for WiDS Stanford for giving us a platform to enable us to inspire, support and educate our participants in applying data science to impactful real-life problems through hands-on practical experience.” -- Millicent Ochieng, Data and Applied Scientist, Microsoft Africa Research Institute
WiDS Livermore held a successful two-day WiDS Datathon workshop on February 16th - 17th, organized by WiDS ambassador Marisa Torres and team at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. LLNL data scientists Olivia Miano and Juanita Ordoñez led a Jupyter Notebooks tutorial on how to analyze the datathon dataset with Pandas. LLNL researchers Gemma Anderson and Aaron Donahue presented an overview of global climate models, explaining how the Lab uses deep learning to extract complex patterns and connections from climate data.
According to Gonzales, WiDS activities provide an important opportunity for professional curiosity and growth,
“Getting into the data sciences is more than learning about the fundamentals. It’s about applying that foundational knowledge to a real-world problem. The WiDS Datathon provides just that—a challenging problem for those looking to explore the data sciences in a relaxed environment.”
LLNL features a recap article of the event.
WiDS @ Google
Google organized the WiDS @ Google datathon workshop in February to support the participants of the WiDS Datathon 2022. The event, spread across two days, included multiple technical sessions on machine learning best practices, a panel discussion on navigating careers in data science, sessions by Google recruitment team to demystify the firm's recruitment process, and networking sessions. As part of the workshop, 35+ hackathon teams received dedicated support from Google's data scientists, machine learning researchers, and engineers for their WiDS Datathon submission. The event was very well received by the participants.
Read some of the quotes shared by participants.
WiDS Riyadh @ PSU
WiDS Riyadh in collaboration with PSU hosted a series of six WiDS Datathon workshops, bringing together nearly 200 attendees. WiDS ambassadors Tanzila Saba and Fatima Khan, and mentors Ms Erum Afzal and Dr. Rosana Gomes, introduced Kaggle and walked through the WiDS Datathon 2022 problem statement. There was one exclusive session on exploratory data analysis and the other two sessions were for beginners on AI/ML introduction and auto AI models. The other workshops focused on deep learning practices and methods suitable for predictions in the climate domain, the use of transfer learning models in the climate domain aligned with the WiDS Datathon and methods to validate prediction models and mitigate biases. Many notebooks were also shared by the presenters, and continued guidance was provided to the participants.
WiDS Chicago launched two main events for the datathon this year on January 21st and February 7th to help over 40 participants connect and network with 10 Chicago-based mentors working in academia and industry. The first event introduced participants to the event and the second event was a technical workshop for teams to network and participate in Q&A. In the first event, datathon workshop speaker Weiwei Pan from the global WiDS Datathon Committee introduced the participants to Kaggle, the dataset, and forums. The workshop had two tracks catering to beginners and experienced folks in the field. The organizers had an internal evaluation system based on a write-up where each team described their thought process for cleaning, visualizing, and generating models along with Kaggle submissions.
Visit the WiDS Chicago website to learn more.
WiDS Charlotte @ Bank of America
With over 125 Bank of America participants, the WiDS Datathon workshop marked the first of many events for WiDS Charlotte @ Bank of America. The month-long datathon began with a workshop that featured a series of speakers: Lily Lai, a BAC Climate Risk Executive, spoke about tackling climate change; Akshata Kanumuri and Lily Zhang, both BAC associates, provided introductions to machine learning and data visualization, respectively. This was the first Kaggle competition for most participants, so they organized teams to include a mentoring data scientist as a resource and guide throughout the datathon. The 6-week datathon was filled with personal growth, learning, and engagement for all participants. Out of 31 teams, 19 successfully made it on the Kaggle leaderboard. This was a great experience for the data science community at Bank of America, and they look forward to participating again next year.
WiDS Akure hosted a WiDS Datathon hybrid event, organized by new WiDS ambassador Temitope (Odeyomi) Adeniy. There were three speakers who shared their knowledge and expertise on various aspects of data science. A hands-on crash class on data wrangling was presented by Flora Oladipupo; crash class on Python by Ogeh Triumph, and Machine Learning Modelling by Temitope (Odeyomi) Adeniy. The participants enjoyed the session.
The WiDS Melbourne 2022 planning committee decided to try something new for this year’s datathon. The classes for the postgraduate program at Victoria University in Melbourne had not commenced and their goal was to provide an opportunity to those participants that were completely new to coding to learn the skill. They decided to host a series of workshops, in both R and Python, that would guide the students through the process of data analysis and machine learning. It was important to them to provide participants with an opportunity to get familiar with the software, the workflows, and meet new people.
WiDS Ambassadors Elizabeth McCarthy and Amanda Jane Cole hosted a series of hour-long interactive workshops, twice a week, for three weeks, in both R and Python to introduce the students to data wrangling, predictive analytics and machine learning. Their workshop demographic included many international and remote students that accessed their interactive workshops via Zoom meetings, from different areas of Australia, across multiple time zones and countries. Hosting the workshops in smaller blocks allowed for greater accessibility for everyone. They are pleased with the level of enthusiasm and commitment to learning that was displayed each session.
The following testimonial was received by one of our team, Jessica Cork:
“The WiDS aim is to inspire and educate and I can hand on my heart say that is what participating in the datathon has done for me. The experience delivered exactly what I hoped it would achieve, which was to ‘lift the lid’ on data science and break-down my own mental barriers when it comes to just jumping in and giving it a go. My team was led by Amanda Cole and I can safely say that if it wasn’t for her encouragement and genuine enthusiasm (or passion), I would never have participated. I leave the experience well and truly inspired and with my mind set to learn more over the coming year and participate more fully at the next one.”
WiDS West Lafayette @ Purdue University
WiDS West Lafayette in collaboration with Purdue University hosted a WiDS Datathon workshop on January 17, organized by WiDS ambassador Bethany McGowan. The virtual workshop included a meet-and-greet, team assignments, and a review of the Kaggle platform and useful online resources. Sixteen women from three different countries attended the event. After the workshop, weekly office hours were scheduled in which participants could drop into a Zoom room to ask questions. Participant engagement and feedback suggested the event was an enjoyable learning experience.
WiDS Rabat @ Student Edition
WiDS Rabat @ Student Edition was held for the first time by ambassadors Ahmed Ali Attaoui, Nassim Zaari, Chihab Makkoudi, Khalil Jemghili, Yassine Karmouni, and Hamza Chafkan. They hosted an online workshop with Dr. Mariam Elkhechafi (PhD in Applied Mathematics) where they discussed the history of AI and its applications; the field of data science; an introduction to machine learning algorithms and the importance of mathematics in this field.
They ended the workshop with a Q&A session where they discussed different aspects of data science like the different tools and technologies used in this field, how to improve the results of your machine learning model, the applications of machine learning and many other subjects.
Thank you to all ambassadors who hosted WiDS Datathon workshops!
Next, WiDS Datathon Excellence in Research Award Research Paper
The WiDS Datathon Excellence in Research Award (Phase II) is now open. If you participated in the WiDS Datathon Phase I on Kaggle, we invite you to explore one dataset among several through writing a short research paper. New this year, you can connect with and receive mentorship from experts in the domain related to your choice of dataset and task.
Register now to participate in the WiDS Datathon Excellence in Research Award. Submissions are open March 8 - June 30.