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Newark, NJ, April 8, 2021 – This March, Edge, IEEE Women in Engineering Princeton, and Verizon collaborated with Stanford University to host Women in Data Science (WiDS) New Jersey, a virtual conference showcasing the role of women in data science. The event was open to the public and hosted virtually, welcoming nearly 400 attendees from across the globe. WiDS New Jersey provided a platform to explore and promote the important role of data science in industry and research, and connect a broad network of women in data science to build community and support.

Forough Ghahramani, EdD, MBA, MS, Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Sponsored Programs at Edge, served as a lead organizer for the event. A diverse group of speakers covered topics including the role of data science in the humanities, data-informed sustainability and urban development initiatives, and an industry panel exploring the expanding role of data science in healthcare, telecommunications, and IT services.

“The conference featuring speakers from academia and industry provided opportunities to showcase the latest data science-related research in a number of domains, learn how leading edge companies are leveraging data science for success, and to connect with potential mentors, collaborators and others in the field,” said Dr. Ghahramani. “Attendees left with a better appreciation of the fact that data science needs diverse perspectives to determine the future of data-driven decision making in a world where data collection and analysis are increasingly penetrating every aspect of our lives.”

“The selection of talks, the pace, and the interaction [among speakers and attendees] were so well done, and valuable to all in attendance. I personally had several takeaways, especially for my work in developing Data Science programs with an eye on diversity, equity and inclusion,” said a university Dean in attendance.

The event, and Dr. Ghahramani’s role as organizer, also highlights Edge’s commitment to supporting academic research and data science initiatives via EdgeDiscovery, a research and discovery framework designed to provide access to leading-edge technology, advanced computing resources, and training for the research community. 

Event Speakers and Panelists:

  • Opening Keynote: “Data Science for Sustainable, Healthy, and Equitable Cities”
    • Anu Ramaswami, PhD, Princeton University
      • Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and the High Meadows Environmental Institute
      • Swani ’87 Professor of India Studies
  • Industry Panel:
    • Rashmi Ketha (Panel Moderator), AI/ML Engineer, Verizon
    • Radha Sankaran, Executive Director of Advanced Analytics, Verizon
    • Paige Bailey, Principal Product Manager (DevDiv), Microsoft  
    • Laila Rehan, Client Partner, IQVIA, The Human Data Science Company 
  • Research Presentations:
    • “Data Science in the Humanities”
      • Meredith Martin, PhD, Director of the Center for Digital Humanities, Princeton University
    • “Statistical Methods Accelerating Research”
      • Zoe LeBlanc, PhD, Research Associate, Princeton University
  • Closing Keynote: “Data Science Across Multiple Disciplines”
    • Wind Cowles, PhD, Director, Office of Research Data and Open Scholarship, Princeton University

Event Organizers: 

  • Forough Ghahramani, Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Sponsored Programs, Edge
  • Rashmi Ketha, AI/ML Engineer, Verizon
  • Vaishali Lambe, Consultant – Digital Practice