Femke Vossepoel, Professor in Geoscience and Engineering at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, explains how data assimilation tools can be used to improve COVID-19 forecasting models on a recent WiDS Podcast episode.

After earning her PhD in Aerospace Engineering at Delft, Femke spent several years in oceanography, climate research, and subsurface modeling. She developed an expertise in data assimilation that she’s now applying to improve COVID-19 pandemic forecasting models.

Femke explains that data assimilation originated in weather forecasting, where a model is updated with the current day’s weather observations to provide a more accurate forecast for the next…


Srujana Kaddevarmuth, Director of Data Science and Value Realization at Walmart Labs, leads the data science team to create solutions with business value and impact. She has been actively involved with hosting regional WiDS events and shaping the WiDS datathon.

Srujana Kaddevarmuth, Walmart Labs

Tell us about your background.

I was born into a family of academics and dreamed of becoming a doctor but unfortunately, or fortunately, that did not happen. I fell a few ranks short for the medical track and for the first time in my life, I felt that my dreams were shattered. …


We’re thrilled to announce that the WiDS Ambassador program for 2021 is now live, and we are accepting applications.

WiDS Ambassadors collaborate with the WiDS Worldwide team to bring the Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference to their cohorts, colleagues, and communities. WiDS regional events range from meetups with women in the industry sharing their interest in data science to online events highlighting regional speakers talking about their research in multiple data science domains.

Why should I join?

WiDS Ambassadors are part of a worldwide movement to inspire, educate (regardless of gender), and support women in the field. …


Megan Stodel loved the arts and humanities as a student but a few years after graduation, she discovered that she enjoyed working with data and wanted to work in data science. After attending WiDS London in 2018, she found a supportive community and network that helped her prepare, search for jobs, and launch her data science career.

Megan Stodel, BBC

Tell us about your background.

When I was at school, I was very focused on the arts and humanities. At university, I studied English Literature, and then pursued a Master’s degree in Gender and International Relations. I knew I wanted to work in a socially impactful field. This…


WiDS Ambassadors from Salvador to Bogota to Amman to Bangalore have hosted WiDS regional events, demonstrating much dedication and perseverance during a global pandemic. They share event summaries, highlights, and videos below for you to enjoy.

Attend an upcoming WiDS regional event, happening in person or online:

WiDS Lima @ Data Science Women

The first annual edition of WiDS…


With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Francesca Dominici and Rachel Nethery of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health saw a way to connect the research they were doing on air pollution and health with the pandemic. On a recent episode of the WiDS Podcast, they discuss how they are studying the effects of air pollution exposure on different causes of hospitalization to see if pollution could increase a person’s vulnerability to COVID-19. …


WiDS ambassadors from Beijing to LaPaz to Kuwait City have hosted WiDS regional events, pivoting and persevering during the global pandemic. In this article, they share event highlights for you to read, and links to watch the recorded videos.

Attend an upcoming WiDS regional event happening online:

  • WiDS Ciudad de México @ SAP, July 22
  • WiDS Bogota, July 23
  • WiDS Rabat, July 25
  • WiDS Ibadan, July 25
  • WiDS Lima @ Data Science Women, July 25
  • WiDS Salvador, July 27
  • WiDS Bangalore @ MiQ, July 29
  • WiDS Portland @ Nike WHQ, July 30
  • WiDS New York City @ SAP Hudson Yards…


Iryna Ivanenko, second place winner of the WiDS Datathon 2020, is a data science and machine learning developer and former WiDS ambassador from Kyiv, Ukraine.

Iryna Ivanenko, data science and machine learning developer

Tell us about your background.

I’m from Kyiv, Ukraine and have a Bachelor’s degree in economics and finance. I always liked science fiction, especially stories about Artificial Intelligence. I’ve tried for a long time to figure out how to connect my education in economics and finance with my interest in AI.

How did you get interested in data science?

In 2014, just after the “Euromaidan Revolution” when the situation in my country was very unclear and unstable, I decided that there was no time to put off my…


Manisha Desai is a professor of medicine (research) and of biomedical data science, and director of the Quantitative Sciences Unit at Stanford University. She is an expert in the design and analysis of clinical trials and epidemiologic studies across multiple diseases, including COVID-19. In a recent episode of the WiDS Podcast, she provides some insights into the challenges and progress of COVID-19 clinical trials.

When COVID happened, Manisha knew her team’s expertise in clinical trials would allow them to get up to speed quickly to study this new disease. So, she augmented her team with additional data science experts…


Newsha Ajami is a hydrologist specializing in sustainable water resource management, water policy, the water-energy-food nexus, and urban water strategy.

When she was studying hydrology in grad school, she took a water policy class that changed the trajectory of her career. “I would say that was one of the most important events in my professional career. I realized that laws and policies are what change the way we manage resources,” she says. All the data optimization and modeling means nothing unless you can understand the policy layer imposed on how our natural systems operate.

This interdisciplinary approach guides…

Women in Data Science

Inspiring and educating data scientists, regardless of gender, featuring outstanding women in the field. widsconference.org

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