- The biggest event on the data science community calendar is the one that showcases women in the field.
- Global Women in Data Science (WiDS) is like the Women's March for analytics.
The biggest event on the data science community calendar is the one that showcases women in the field.
Global Women in Data Science (WiDS) is like the Women's March for analytics. It's a phenomenon too big for just one city.
The conference was founded by Margot Gerritsen, a Stanford faculty member and Director of Stanford's Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering (ICME). Stanford staff members Karen Matthys and Judy Logan are the even's Co-Directors.
WiDS' attracts technical expert speakers from a full range of analytics specialties. All of them are women.
This year's headliners include professionals from companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Uber and Airbnb. Influential academics, among them Latanya Sweeney of Harvard, Daniella Witten of the University of Washington and Maria Klawe of Harvey Mudd College, are also on the agenda.
The anchor event happens March 5 at Stanford University, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, sister conferences expand the action to cities across the US and more than 50 countries. Livestream and Facebook Live open the conference to still more analytics aficionados.
Last year's event drew 75,000 people worldwide. This year, they're expecting 100,000. Global Women in Data Science is the largest analytics conference on Earth.
About one-third of the attendees are professionals from industry. Another third are academics. Also present are the students who are soon to be sought-after data science hires.
Karen Matthys explains, "Unheard-of amounts of data and high-performance computing enable us to do things that have never been done in the past."
She and her co-organizer, Judy Logan, wanted the event to span a "wide umbrella across impactful new areas." And they believed in comprehensive involvement for women.
Management consultant Veena Raman teaches analytics at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. She wants more people to be aware of the number of women in the field. "The analytics program I teach at Duke is 58% women," she points out.
If you don't see an event listed for your city, check with local data science groups to see if they're organizing something. For instance, there's no Chicago event listed on the WiDS website, Chicago Women in Machine Learning and Data Science
is screening the conference.
I was at the Chicago screening last year. The place was packed.
Just don't look this behemoth data science conference on lists of hot data science conferences. Go ahead, Google "largest data science conference" and see what you find.
Registration is still open for most locations, or you can sign up for the livestream. (Yes, men may attend, too.) WiDS Stanford, and events in many international cities, are sold out.
Meta S. Brown is author of Data Mining for Dummies and creator of the Storytelling for Data Analysts and Storytelling for Tech workshops. http://www.metabrown.com