WiDS ambassadors that hosted some of the April events have provided the following event summaries and screenshots for you to enjoy.
This year, the WUMANetwork for female scientists and GESIS- Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences hosted the regional online WiDS Mannheim conference on April 29, 2021, which demonstrated how data science is much more than programming for a broad group of 200 participants.
WiDS Mannheim speakers came from many different domains of applied scientific fields including psychology (Prof. Beatrice Rammstedt), social sciences (Prof. Annelies Blom), and philosophy (Dr. Rebecca Ruehle), as well as from industry (Sarah Detzler) and enterprises (Gordana Apic and Olga Mordvinova). The speakers showed that data collection, data analysis, communication, and ethics play a crucial role in a wide range of domains.
WiDS Madrid @ URJC
WiDS Madrid @ URJC (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos) was hosted on April 16, 2021, where leaders from companies such as Atos, Womenalia, everis, and Eva Levy & Partners offered their perspectives. In all, around 1,200 people viewed the event live, which is now available on TV URJC.
Professor and WiDS ambassador Carmen de Pablos Heredero introduced the event, followed by a talk by Eva Levy, Managing Partner of Eva Levy & Partners. who cautioned attendees, “We must not allow fear or caution to decide the studies and then the subsequent steps”.
María Teresa Ballestar de las Heras, Associate Professor at URJC, highlighted data that represent the scarcity of women in these sectors, only 15-22% of the professionals in Data Science are women. She cites multiple factors including the lack of female role models, social stereotypes and gender roles, and other conscious and unconscious biases. Lucila Ballarino, Chief Executive Officer of Womenalia, followed, paying special attention to the need for girls to find female role models when deciding to study these disciplines, supporting her argument in her personal experience. After the break, Sandra Sans Estrada and Mayte Hidalgo, executives at everis explained how their company is working to become a more inclusive and diverse company. Finally, a panel discussion moderated by Mónica de Pablos Heredero focused on the role of the University in training and orienting women toward careers in data science.
This year marked the beginning of WiDS Ashoka, hosted by Ashoka University in collaboration with WiDS Worldwide, Stanford. It was the first time WiDS Ambassador Ruthu Rooparaghunath organized a WiDS event which was viewed by 550+ people. WiDS Ashoka had participants from across the world including India, the United States, Mauritius, and Brazil.
Equal access to technology was an important theme at WiDS Ashoka. Many WiDS Ashoka speakers gave lightning talks in regional languages from across India and took us a step closer to making WiDS and Data Science equally accessible to everyone in the world by removing language barriers. Kalika Bali, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research Labs, spoke about how technology brings opportunities to people that otherwise may not be able to access them. Expanding on natural language processing (NLP), Lipika Dey, Principal Scientist at TCS Innovation Labs took us on a Deep Dive into the Mathematics Behind Language Processing, while Kanimozhi U, Senior Data Scientist at Crayon Data, answered frequently asked questions about NLP in a fireside chat. Speakers in the Data Science for Social Good panel emphasized we don’t need complex algorithms or fancy maths to create a positive impact with data science. In the panel, AI leader Dr. Bindu Narayan shared the story of Aju Saigal, an employee in Kerala who used a matching algorithm on a dataset of ration cards, addresses, and vehicle and building registrations to prevent the misuse of over 5 million ration cards (documents used by those eligible to acquire subsidized food). There were many other talks at WiDS Ashoka which reflected the essence of WiDS: creating positive impact through data science, empowering women in data science, and having more representation in it.
WiDS Taif @ Taif University
Taif University hosted the first collaboration with Stanford University with the International Conference of Women in Data Science at Taif University on March 30-31, 2021, as hosted by WiDS ambassador, Dr. Eman Alkhammash, and co-ambassadors, Dr. Eman Almutib, Prof. Khalda Ali, Dr. Fatma Alzahrani. Attendees and scholars discussed the latest research and applications of data science in a broad set of domains: Medicine, physics, chemistry, computational biology, social science, economics, computer science, mathematics, digital humanities, and more.
This year the conference planners received over 125 submissions from different countries and accepted 61 papers. Each paper went through a rigorous peer-review process by national and international reviewers in related fields.
The WiDS Taif @ Taif University team is grateful to many people for their support. Special thanks go to the president of Taif University Prof. Yousif A. Asiri for his support and encouragement. We also would like to express our sincere thanks to the authors, participants, keynote speakers, session chairs, technical committee members for their valuable participation in the conference.
On April 3, 2021, the inaugural WiDS Guwahati was hosted by new ambassador Gayatri Sharma, which saw participation from the growing data science community from the northeastern regional India. This virtual one-day event centered around the application of data science in fields such as time forecasting and it’s coupled employment with Artificial Intelligence in helping small and big businesses. Speakers Bhawna Singh and Vrutti Tanna interacted with the audience, answering questions, highlighting various deployment methods, and providing valuable mentorship about how to pursue a career in data science and related fields.
Stay connected and up to date by following WiDS Guwahati on LinkedIn.
WiDS Iberoamerica @ SAP
The inaugural WiDS Iberoamerica @ SAP was held, hosted by long-time WiDS ambassador, Maria Calzada de Neumann. The 420 registrants to WiDS Iberoamerica @ SAP heard from leaders in data science, which featured speakers of multiple ethnicities and origins to fully reflect regional diversity, including Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Germany, Jamaica, Mexico, and Spain. Speakers also came from different fields including from academia, industry, start-ups, and members of the SAP partner ecosystem from across the region. The keynote address was delivered by Raquel Seville, CEO (Caribbean), BI Brainz. Dr. Fei-Yu Xu, Global Head of Artificial Intelligence at SAP was featured as a panelist.
WiDS Silicon Valley @ SAP
Women in Data Science (WiDS) Silicon Valley @ SAP hosted their 4th regional event on April 28, 2021, with more than 25 speakers representing SAP and external organizations like Google, Stanford, Accenture, and Strava. Dr. Feiyu Xu, Global Head of Artificial Intelligence at SAP, served as the keynote speaker.
They reached a total of 200 live attendees joining from seven different countries (US, Germany, China, India, UK, Russia, and France), with more than 100 on-demand views. A replay of the live stream and the on-demand session is available here.
WiDS Raleigh & Nashville
WiDS Raleigh and Nashville was held on April 22, virtually through Zoom. This online event explored the topic of data science in coupled human and natural systems. Female scholars from Vanderbilt University, NC State University, and University of Colorado Boulder, with different academic positions ranging from undergraduate to graduate students and faculty members, shared their research. A wide range of topics from food security to climate migration were discussed. In the first section of the event, doctoral candidates Zeynab Jouzi and Kelsea Best and undergraduate student Renae Marshall, presented their research in the field of data science and coupled human and natural systems. In the second half of the event, the keynote speaker, Hiba Baroud, presented a talk about how data science is an enabler of interdisciplinary research and education.
WiDS Regensburg was the first WiDS event in the Regensburg area, organized by a motivated team of WiDS ambassadors from academia and industry. The virtual conference format presented a chance to host speakers from around the world including Ruth Urner from Canada; Barbara Poblete from Chile; Monika Henzinger from Austria; and Ute Schmid from Germany. Over the course of two days, the conference additionally hosted short lightning talks by students and more detailed technical talks by data scientists from academia and industry, both followed by lively discussions with the audience. If you would like to watch selected recordings or slides from the talks, please visit the WiDS Regensburg website where you can also find more information about the event and the speakers.
WiDS Puget Sound
Even after one year of all-virtual events, WiDS Puget Sound had high engagement with 630+ actively participating attendees for their conference on April 27th 2021. Keynote speaker Rukmini Iyer, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, kicked off the conference. Attendees then enjoyed four parallel tracks of content featuring 39 female speakers a wide range of data-related topics.
WiDS Puget Sound organizers, comprised of 35+ dedicated volunteers, strived to help attendees make meaningful connections with the launch of our Networking Cohorts program where attendees were put into curated groups based on their career level and areas of personal and professional interest (including a group for Data Science moms!). Attendees took the opportunity to consider their next career move and scheduled 180+ meetings with representatives from our 9 sponsoring companies and they took advantage of the complimentary 25- minute career coaching sessions which were provided by a local group of coaches. A virtual photo booth and raffle prizes for attendees supporting small businesses in our community gave the virtual conference a fun, warm, local feel.
Read more regional event summaries, skim through photos, and watch video recordings shared by #WiDS2021 ambassadors, in March.
Thank you, WiDS ambassadors!
Thank you to all of the WiDS ambassadors for your dedication and hard work organizing and hosting WiDS regional events, worldwide! You’re making an impact in you cohort, colleagues, and community, and are a crucial part of the WiDS Worldwide movement.