With a straight dive into data clustering and algorithms Claire Mathieu opened the 2019 Women in Data and Science (WiDS) conference.
The Parisian Director of Research at The French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), had, like many other speakers, come from afar to participate in the WiDS conference at the IT University of Copenhagen (ITU).
Barbara Plank, Associate Professor at ITU, who together with Associate Professor Natalie Schluter organised the conference, introduced it as "the creation of a network to inspire, educate and support the next generation of data scientists, with an emphasis of on highlighting the contribution of women in the field."
Barbara Plank has next to her work as part of ITU’s research group, on Natural Language Processing (NLP) chosen to take part in creating yesterday’s held WiDS conference in Copenhagen.
Despite an already packed schedule, Plank happily lent time to empowering women in science networks, telling ISB: ”Females are still underrepresented in leadership positions, and in all areas of science that shape society today, and evidence shows that this gap is widening.”
The conference day
The day featured talks from a wide array of researchers, both from Denmark and around the world. It headlined insightful talks on everything from 'Understanding Emergent Linguistic Representations in Neural Models of Language' to 'Data Science in the Health Sector'.
“[..] we are thrilled to have gathered an outstanding pool of international and national female speakers from both academia and industry,” Plank told ISB.
Knowledge without gender
Speakers were introduced with warmth, providing insights and information on their admirable work. This approach helped set the tone for the one-day conference. Throughout the day there was a sense of knowledge expansion, mutual respect, and a desire to learn in the atmosphere.
Men and women alike partook in the conference, where gender was only a focus in the event title: Women in Data and Science. Overall, participants were focused on the content, and expressed satisfaction with the day.
Contestant Cecilie Fakkelskov, from Copenhagen Libraries, summarised the WiDS conference as having “great content and very informative, [but] they could have maybe had a bit more [of an] introduction to what the different talks contained in the program brochures”.
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