Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference Held in Cambridge


The MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) convened professional data scientists, academic researchers, and students from a variety of disciplines for the third annual daylong Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference in Cambridge on March 4th, 2019. WiDS Cambridge is one of many global satellite events of the WiDS conference at Stanford University, where attendees join a global community of data science researchers and practitioners.

The conference is open to anyone interested in data science but strives especially to create opportunities for women in the field to showcase their work and network with each other. Topics at this year’s WiDS Cambridge included artificial intelligence, bias in algorithms, prediction and forecasting, and developing a better understanding of machine learning and neural network properties. The wide array of applications for data science was also on display during the conference’s poster session, where almost 30 students presented their research. WiDS attendees from industry similarly have the opportunity to learn from cutting-edge academic research and strengthen industry connections with academia.

Profess Stefanie Jegelka, an IDSS affiliate faculty member with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), gave a talk entitled, "What Can Neural Networks Represent?" (see the figure) “I think WiDS is a great opportunity to bring together women at all professional levels — students, postdocs, faculty, and professionals in industry — who are working in data science, building community, and learning from a wide variety of perspectives,” said Stefanie Jegelka.


WiDS Cambridge was co-hosted by Harvard University’s Institute for Applied Computational Science at the Microsoft Research New England NERD Center.

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