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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Pushing Boundaries


Microsoft Research New England managing director Jennifer Chayes opened the conference.

More than 100 female technologists, researchers, and students gathered in Cambridge, MA, for the global Women in Data Science Conference, a day-long event aimed at inspiring, connecting, and educating women in technology.

Credit: Adam Zewe/SEAS Communications

The recent Women in Data Science Conference in Cambridge, MA, provided a forum for female data scientists to discuss a range of topics in the field, including gender imbalances and data science's role in artificial intelligence, healthcare, and renewable energy.

The conference was hosted by Microsoft, Harvard University's Institute of Applied Computational Science, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Institute for Data, Systems, and Society.

Symposium speakers discussed the necessity of using machine learning to handle rapidly growing volumes of data, which has been challenging for smaller technology firms due to tensions between researchers and engineers.

iRobot's Angela Bassa says diverse teams that explain algorithmic models to people without data science backgrounds can drive a project's commercial success. "To get a better solution at the end you want to enable innovation that allows engineers to build something...in a way that fosters the curiosity and the academic pursuit that will be part of your insight engine," she notes.

From Harvard University
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