The dedication and tenacity of the WiDS ambassadors worldwide are inspiring. Many of the events described below took place in person, just prior to the series of global restrictions in response to COVID-19. Other WiDS ambassadors, when faced with the challenges of the global pandemic, have quickly pivoted to online conferences, with great results.
There are many more WiDS regional events happening online, including:
- WiDS Raleigh-Durham @ IBM, April 15th (internal only)
- WiDS Oslo, April 16th
- WiDS Madrid @ Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, April 16th
- WiDS Tucson, April 17th
- WiDS Santiago @ Universidad Santo Tomas, April 21st
- WiDS London, April 24th
- WiDS São Paulo, April 29th and April 30th
- WiDS Puget Sound, May 4th
- WiDS Montevideo, May 7th
- WiDS San Diego @ Airspace, May 21st
- WiDS Cambridge @ Broad Institute, May 21st
WiDS Dar es Salaam
For the second year in a row, WiDS Dar es Salaam has been hosted by Tanzania Data Lab (dLab) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This year, WiDS Dar es Salaam included 160 participants from government, private sector, startups and international organizations as well as academia. Applicants were among data scientists, engineers, development partners and more unique aspiring scientists from secondary and high school. Guest of honor was Jokate Mwegelo, the District Commissioner from Kisarawe district in the Coast region. The keynote speech was delivered by Ellen Kalinga, the Deputy Principal from the College of ICT, University of Dar es Salaam. The conference featured outstanding women from the field of data science such as Connie Francis the Director of ICT and Application Services at Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority commonly known as TCRA, and was broadcasted in various National and International media such as East African TV, Mwananchi Digital and BBC. In the end, Women in Data Tech database was launched in the efforts to identify and bolster the visibility of outstanding women in the field of data science in the region as well as creating a pipeline of mentors and role models to the aspiring data scientist.
With more than 1,000 participants, WiDS Pune is among the largest WiDS regional events, planned by WiDS ambassador Sucheta Dhere, and a team of volunteers from the WiML/DS Pune community. This two-day event featured more than 30 speakers, 5 presentations of papers, an exhibition area for technology product demonstrations, and machine learning powered healthcare screening for breast cancer and digestion health. WiDS Pune video sessions are now available.
WiDS Philadelphia @ Penn
Women in Data Science Philadelphia @ Penn was hosted for the first time in collaboration with various schools and centers across the University of Pennsylvania community. On Feb. 14, more than 100 attendees gathered at Perry World House in Philadelphia, PA to hear faculty, industry, and student speakers discuss the latest research, state of-the-art technologies, challenges, and future trends in data science. Topics ranged from developing marketing mix models to better understand “brand halos,” to using deep learning to elucidate the roles of individual cell types in disease, to using random forest modeling to help prevent random forest fires. This event reinforced the importance that, regardless of gender, shared spaces are crucial for the development and growth of stronger networks in the data science community.
WiDS Tokyo @ Yokohama City University
The second annual WiDS Tokyo @ Yokohama City University (YCU) was originally planned as an in person event on March 18. Once the COVID-19 outbreak hit Japan, however, WiDS ambassador Yoko Ono pivoted quickly to an online event on the same date as originally planned. The theme of the conference was “work healthily, well-being”, and demonstrated that data science is essential in a wide variety of domains including industry, the arts and culture, and the public sector. Approximately 20 speakers and staff attended the event, which was broadcasted to other attendees via live stream. You can also read more about the event in this event summary article written by Professor Ono, or you can watch the entire conference on YouTube.
WiDS Broomfield @ Alteryx
On March 12, WiDS ambassador Olivia (Libby) Duane Adams hosted the inaugural WiDS Broomfield @ Alteryx event, featuring video sessions from WiDS Stanford, along with a lively panel with three amazing women who are passionate about data science and analytics. Alexandra Mannerings, Julie Burroughs, and M. Radhika Nath. Attendees heard Alexandra, Julie and Radhika discussing their own personal journeys in data science and analytics, and how our community of women and allies can help to engage other women in get involved in STEM — from influencing parents to encourage their young daughters to pursue activities in the field, to engaging professors at higher education institutions to optimize their curriculum with the right tools and accessibility for students. Watch the WiDS Broomfield @ Alteryx panel on YouTube.
WiDS Blacksburg @ Virginia Tech
WiDS ambassador Eileen Martin planned for a scaled-up in person event for her second WiDS Blacksburg. Then COVID-19 happened, requiring Professor Martin, along with her conference committee, to pivot to an online event, as described in this article. The online conference included a keynote by Meera Parat, a data scientist at Microsoft, titled, “To Do Your Best, Be Yourself”, and two tutorial talks: “Back to the Moon with the Help of Data Science,” by Anne Driscoll, collegiate assistant professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Statistics, and “Differential Privacy: What is it?” by Claire McKay Bowen, lead data scientist for privacy and security at the Urban Institute.
WiDS ambassadors at UC Berkeley hosted WiDS Berkeley on March 2, 2020, for the third year in a row. The sold-out conference featured speakers from across the UC Berkeley campus, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Joint Genome Institute, Stanford University, and industry. Jenn Stringer, the Deputy CIO and Assistant Vice-Chancellor of UC Berkeley, kicked off the conference. Jennifer Chayes, the new Associate Provost for the UC Berkeley Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society and Dean of School of Information, delivered the keynote address, followed by technical talks from Dani Ushizima, Kjiersten Fagnan, Jade Benjamin-Chung, and Deb Agarwal, along with a Building Inclusive Data Communities panel discussion. Find out more by reading this article about WiDS Berkeley.
On February 29, 2020, Women in Data Science (WiDS) Nablus Conference was held for the second time at the Engineering Association-Nablus Branch led by ArabWIC-Palestine chapter’s leaders and other volunteers. The conference welcomed over 60 attendees that varied between students, graduates, and professionals, and included talks by Ayah Soufan, who talked about the fundamentals and first steps to become a data scientist, and Rudina Subaih, who discussed how to apply machine learning in pedestrian dynamics. For more information and event photographs, read this article about WiDS Nablus.
WiDS Bethlehem 2020 was the second iteration of WiDS held at Lehigh University. The day-long event featured women from various fields across data science. The keynote speaker detailed her research which used data science to study consumer insights. The career panel featured three women from the industry who shared their career journeys. Among the many topics that were discussed included how to transition into a technical position from a traditionally non-technical background, overcoming imposter syndrome, and how to achieve your career goals. The participants were excited to hear about relevant research in data science and connect with our many speakers!
WiDS Perth returned for a second year, and had over 170 participants, and featured panelists Clare Offner, Samantha Hall, Christina Burt, Anna Hayes and May Hu. The WiDS Perth ambassadors are grateful to the participants, sponsors, and wonderful audience.
WiDS Los Angeles @ Cal State University
WiDS Los Angeles was hosted by California State University, Los Angeles on March 2. More than 100 attendees were inspired by local data science executive speakers and event activities. Pamela Scott-Johnson, Cal State LA, Dean of College of Natural and Social Sciences, made the Opening Remarks, followed by Jeanne Holm, Deputy CIO Information Technology, City of Los Angeles delivering the talk, “With Great Data Comes Great Diversity”. Additional talks were delivered by Karin Kricorian, of The Walt Disney Company and Bronwyn Mauldin from the LA County Department of Arts and Culture. WiDS ambassador Ming Wang and MSIS students provided demonstrated SAP Real-time ERPsim Data Analytics. Haley Ye from NASA moderated the Academia to Data Science Career Panel with 4 faculty panelists, followed by a poster session featuring research by 20 students and faculty members.
The WiDS Pimpri-Chinchwad team hosted their inaugural event on March 8, 2020, International Women’s Day, complete with several technical talks given by data science students. Attendees were thoroughly engaged and gave very positive feedback on the event.
Thank you, WiDS ambassadors!
Thank you WiDS ambassadors for all your dedicated hard work organizing and hosting WiDS regional events, in-person and online.
Find out more about upcoming WiDS regional events.