Cutting-edge Practitioners share knowledge at "Women in Data Science" conference

The latest developments in data science research and their use in businesses were in the spot light at the Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference, hosted at Birzeit University on February 1, 2016.

Under the umbrella of Stanford University and The American University of Beirut (AUB), the conference was organized in Palestine by the Office of the Quartet in partnership with Arab Women in Computing, SA, along with 50 other locations worldwide.

The technical conference at Birzeit University offered the opportunity to hear about the latest data science related research in multiple domains, learn how the university and leading-edge companies are using data science for success, and connect with potential mentors, collaborators, and others in the field. ​

University President Dr. Abdullatif Abuhijleh said that the university seeks to be the best university in the promotion of gender equity and equal opportunities in education. He added that Birzeit University encourages innovative data sciences among its faculty, researchers and students, and needs to provide the supporting infrastructure to achieve collaborations in this high-demand field.

Abuhijleh noted that the Center for Continuing Education (CCE), one of the university's centers, is currently working with the International Development Research Center, in collaboration with American University in Cairo and Al- Akhawayn University in Morocco, which aims to build capacities in data science and data journalism.

He alluded to the unique efforts that the university is making towards the environment. "The Center for Continuing Education (CCE) is also working with on an environmental data project using online sensors (IoT) which provides an open data for public use."

Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology Dr. Allam Mousa talked about the relationship between data science, and information technology. "These two disciplines are the smartest investment in any institution", said Dr. Mousa. He explained that this inter-wined relationship is all about innovation, data-driven solutions that make institutions more efficient and more effective.

ICT Advisor at the Office of the Quartet Enas Abu Laban stated that Data science is an actively growing area in various careers and fields.  She assured that, explaining that this conference aims to inspire and educate data scientists regardless of gender and support women in the field.

Female pioneers from different sectors and institutions highlighted their role and involvement in this feildat the conference on women in data science; including the Director of National Accounts Department at the Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics Mrs. Amina Khasib, and the Chief Operations Officer at RedCrow Mrs. Laila Akel. In addition to Software Engineer at IBM Mrs. Ishita Mandhan, and Research Scientist at IBM T.J, Watson Research Center Dr. Kaoutar El Maghroui who participated remotely in the conference.

The main conference was held on February 3, 2017 at Stanford University, and the American University of Beirut (AUB), featuring keynotes and several technical vision talks.