Upcoming WiDS Regional Events in April alone, include:
WiDS ambassadors that hosted events thus far have provided the following event summaries, screenshots, and videos for you to enjoy.
WiDS Philadelphia @ Penn
The third annual WiDS Philadelphia @ Penn was organized by The Wharton School and Penn Engineering on February 9-10, 2022. Over the course of two days, attendees tuned in for talks showcasing the latest advances in data science, live speaker Q&A sessions, and networking opportunities. This year’s theme, “This is What a Data Scientist Looks Like” emphasized the diversity of data science, both in subject matter and personnel. With 24 speakers and more than 450 registrants, WiDS Philadelphia @ Penn 2022 was able to raise over $11,000 in scholarships for young female students.
Watch the event recap video and read the Forbes article where WiDS Philadelphia @ Penn is featured.
The annual WiDS Hyderabad was organized on March 5th hosted by ambassador Sulakshana Sreeram at Sri Vishnu Educational Society was attended by 300+ participants. The conference included a line-up of tech talks, a keynote and a special segment where girls from BVRIT Hyderabad College of Engineering for Women and Anurag University showcased their futuristic projects in the field of data science.
They also had special video recorded messages from eminent women leaders who could not make it to the in-person event. The conference closed with a WeHub segment, where Deepti Ravula, the CEO of WeHub, spoke about their collaboration with WiDS and their contribution in the field of data science.
Watch the WiDS Hyderabad video clips from their event.
WiDS Dallas @ UT Dallas
The annual WiDS Dallas @ UT Dallas hosted another successful event. WiDS ambassadors and co-directors of the event, Bhavani Thuraisingham and Latifur Khan, extend their thanks to all who made it happen, especially Rhonda and PhD student Ashrafi. Bhavani and Latifur first got involved in WiDS back in 2018 when Bhavani spoke at the WiDS conference at Stanford that year, while Latifur organized the WiDS Dallas @ UT Dallas event.
At WiDS Dallas @ UT Dallas in 2022, Dean Jennifer Holmes presented a motivational talk on social sciences. Bhavani and Latifur received a small NSF grant to develop Data Science for Social Good lectures to present at MSI universities. Professor Sanda Harabaglu gave an excellent keynote presentation.
This was followed by a UT Dallas PhD alumnus, Palavi Parveen from AT&T, who gave an outstanding talk on what she is doing in the field. This was followed by a UT Dallas MS alumnus Lipi Patel, who is now a Technical Manager for Amazon AWS, whose talk provided much insight. She was followed by current PhD student, Ashrafi Akbar, who talked about her promising research. This was followed by Bhavani’s inspirational address, "Why a Career in Data Science is for Women?".
Then, the audience tuned in to watch the WiDS Worldwide conference livestream from Stanford. The team looks forward to continuing with WiDS in the future.
Watch the video recording of WiDS Dallas @ UT Dallas.
WiDS Africa was hosted by WiDS ambassador Mahadia Tunga, Co-Founder and Director at Tanzania Data Lab, where she has organized WiDS Africa since 2019 with a team of WiDS ambassadors from across the continent at H3ABionet and Microsoft Africa Research Institute. This year’s WiDS Africa conference was attended by more than 100 people both in-person and online. WiDS Africa attracted data scientists, college students across disciplines from various universities, government officials, and development partners across Africa.
The theme for WiDS Africa 2022 was, “The role of data science in improving women’s health and safety”. Salome Maro, a lecturer from the University of Dar es Salaam, said that having more women in the field of data science would help data science products and services be gender-inclusive. Additionally, Neema Mgimba Co-Founder of Sheria Kingajani platform, cautioned data scientists on ensuring privacy to the data they use to build models.
dLab, in partnership with WiDS Africa ambassadors, have launched a data science scholarship to sponsor female students to pursue master’s in data science at the University of Dar es Salaam. This year, three students have been awarded scholarships.
Read more about WiDS Africa, in a recent article written by Mahadia Tunga and published at dLab. You can also watch WiDS Africa conference session videos.
WiDS Kenya ambassadors Philomena Githiri, Teresia Muiruri, and Carol Muchemi held a virtual conference on March 8th to celebrate International Women’s Day. This was their first virtual conference, enabling them to reach a broad scope of audience and speakers. They had six speakers and their sessions revolved around the theme, “Thriving in the Tech space as a woman”.
The event included approximately 60 people. Their audience really enjoyed the hands-on data science project on “How to approach a DS project” and they plan to add more of such sessions in the future. Attendees were also able to network during breakout sessions, increasing conference engagement. The WiDS Kenya ambassadors have received a lot of positive feedback from speakers and attendees who have expressed interest to attend future conferences.
WiDS ambassador Philomena says,
“I really enjoyed the process of planning a conference and a datathon for women in data science. It is an initiative I am very passionate about and I am honored to be a part of such an amazing community. Thank you to the WiDS global team for supporting us in all this.”
The WiDS Kenya team looks forward to planning more events in the future and to building a women in data science community in Kenya.
WiDS Pimpri-Chinchwad 2022 was a successful event with excellent participation. Hosted by WiDS ambassadors Drishti Jain and Barkha Jain, the talks covered interesting topics on blockchain, AI & neuroscience, and graph theory. The event had a great engagement from the attendees!
WiDS Quito @ UDLA
For the fourth consecutive year, Universidad de Las Américas (UDLA) hosted WiDS Quito @ UDLA led by WiDS ambassadors Patricia Acosta Vargas, María Isabel, and Salvador Crespo. The conference was held virtually and it featured seven speakers and eight panelists, inspiring women who are making their mark in data science and its applications.
To inaugurate the conference UDLA´s Academic Vice-Rector Marlena León welcomed all attendees to this space for visibility of the women's role in data science. In addition, she expressed her pride of having UDLA holding WiDS as an academic environment showing that talent has no gender. The conference covered topics such as: "The importance of data analysis in companies", "Artificial Intelligence and Scientific Computing in Water Resources", "The future of artificial intelligence", "Data processing and transformation with Python", "Data analytics in decision making", "Ecuador's advances in open data" and "Breaking barriers between women and technology". Speakers María José Puente, Jhoanna Orellana Alvear, Anita Sancho, Estephani Rivera, Karen Vargas, Johanna Pazmiño and Natalia Trujillo showed how data science is used and its different applications.
María Isabel Salvador, as Director of External Relations and WiDS Co-Ambassador, presented the closing panel. In her opening remarks, she pointed out that "we all know that the global social, economic and environmental challenges that the world is experiencing today require the development of research, data science and digital transformation to generate sources of empowerment for women by providing us with a new space for personal, economic and, at a global level, inclusive growth (...). We hope that this space will allow us to inspire many more girls, young women and women to become key drivers of digital innovation".
She gave way to a panel moderated by Patricia Acosta, WiDS Quito @ UDLA Ambassador. With the theme "Data Science and the role of women in digital transformation" brought together eight outstanding women who discussed the role of data scientists in an era that demands technological and digital skills and how female talent is beginning to bridge the gap.
WiDS Quito @ UDLA awarded local regional winners of the WiDS Datathon: Ángela Figueroa in third place, Nahomi Aguas in second position and Emmy Quilumba as the winner. Emmy, who thanked WiDS and UDLA for organizing the event, also recognized that "thanks to this technical career, I have new aspirations for my future. I would also like to congratulate my classmates for all the effort they put in", she concluded with heartfelt words of a sorority.
Read more about WiDS Quito @ UDLA, in a recent article published by UDLA.
WiDS KSA was held for the third year in a row on March 5th-7th, featuring a distinguished tour in twelve cities throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia including Riyadh, Jazan, Jeddah, Makkah, Abha, Al Baha, Madinah, Dhahran, Tabuk, Taif and Jouf. Over three rich and informative days, the event series sought to produce empowered minds capable of facing the development of data science in a variety of domains.
The first day of the event was held at Al-Faisal University Theater in the capital Riyadh, attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Al Saud, Assistant Professor at Al-Faisal University. The following two days were held online during a broadcast hosted by the Digital Giving Platform. The global event included the attendance of important personalities with long experience in the field of data science with many workshops that were held.
In total, there were over 150+ speakers, 12 workshops, 6,600 views, and 900 global participants. WiDS KSA was hosted by 45 WiDS ambassadors and co-ambassadors from 12-cities within the kingdom, led by Dr. Aseel Addawood.
See the WiDS KSA Report, containing additional photos, session topics, and details of their meetings and workshops.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) celebrated the fifth annual WiDS Livermore, featuring workshops, mentoring sessions and a discussion with LLNL Director Kim Budil, the first woman to hold that role.
WiDS Livermore was entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees tuned in via Webex to view talks and presentations by LLNL women who are data scientists, engage in breakout sessions and view a livestream of the WiDS Worldwide conference, hosted by Stanford University. The WiDS Worldwide conference consisted of keynote addresses, technical talks and panel discussions with researchers from academia, government, industry and non-profit organizations. The all-day LLNL event attracted women data scientists and students inside and outside the Laboratory, who gathered virtually to share coding tips and swap stories of their experiences growing their careers.
Livermore WiDS Ambassador and LLNL Bioinformatics Group Leader Marisa Torres shared her motivation behind starting a local event and her drive to support women in the field and create a space for women to share how they’ve grown in their careers,
“Our goals are really to sustain this community,” Torres said. “We’ve been isolated these past couple of years, but we’ve still managed to have a very interactive event. But now we want to have further things to celebrate throughout the year.”
Read more about WiDS Livermore, in a recent article published by LLNL. You can also watch WiDS Livermore conference sessions, on YouTube.
WiDS @ AUB
For the sixth year in a row, Women in Data Science at AUB (WiDS @AUB) held a successful conference at the American University of Beirut (AUB). This conference was virtually conducted to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8th. There was 90+ professionals, academics, students who joined from the MENA region, supporting the mission of WIDS @ AUB of advancing the knowledge creation and dissemination of data science in the region by showcasing female role models in the field, and empowering women to join this exciting field.
The conference featured two tracks, healthcare and technical tracks. The theme of the healthcare track was Digital Health Serving Societies and featured three inspiring speakers. Dr. Maliha Hashmi, who discussed the role of AI and digital technology in the ever-changing landscape of health and wellbeing data science from medical records to everything else in our environment to serve citizens. Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram, shed light on a digital healthcare platform aiming to improve access to surgical care and to scale clinical expertise; and clinical applications. And Dr. Marinka Zitnik, spoke about biotechnology and development of medicine.
The technical tracks had a theme that covered Data Science at the service of smart living with two industry experts sharing their views. Lama Nachman, shared insights on how AI can be utilized to amplify human potential, to assist people in everyday life, from education, to manufacturing to supporting our most vulnerable population. While, Veronic de Puysseleyr, shared insights on the challenges facing our global food system are enormous: by 2050, we will need to feed and nourish more than 9 billion people while adapting to climate change and decreasing the large environmental footprint of agriculture.
Watch videos from WiDS @ AUB conference sessions.
WiDS Research Triangle @ IBM
On Friday April 1st, 2022 approximately 80 people attended WiDS Research Triangle @ IBM. Attendees learned from Data Scientists Rebecca James (Data Scientist IBM Expert Labs), Victoria Lopez Miranda (Lead Data Scientist IBM CIO), Katrien Mooney (Data Scientist IBM Technology Support Services), and Eliza Salkeld (Senior Data Scientist Fidelity Investments) during a panel led by Caryn Woodruff (Director of Business Technology, IBM Technology Support Services). They also had the opportunity to ask the panel their own questions.
This session was followed by "How to Market Yourself as a Female Technologist", by Kathryn Guarini, IBM CIO. Kathryn shared her journey to leadership and how she started her own blog. Finally they ended the day with a networking activity and workshop led by Brianne Boldrin, IBM AI Technical Specialist. Participants learned about manual and automated features of Watson Studio and the steps and tools for solving a business problem with Data Science.
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.