American University of Beirut

Women in Data Science conference at AUB brings together international speakers

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Sally Abou Melhem, Office of Communications,​​​​​​​​​

Award-winning researchers and business professionals from around the world recently spoke at the American University of Beirut's 7th annual Women in Data Science (WiDS@AUB) conference, held this year under the theme of data science in crises management. The event was organized by the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business​ (OSB) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), in collaboration with the Stanford Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering (ICME).

“The Women in Data Science conference at AUB is an opportunity to regularly celebrate the achievements of inspiring women in this field and to encourage more women, especially locally and regionally, to pursue careers in data science," said Dr. Fadlo Khuri, AUB president. “By leveraging the power of data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, we can develop more effective strategies for crises response, preparedness and recovery."

“We at the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business believe that our collective intelligence as a team is by leveraging the diverse team of colleagues to make this institution the great institution that it is," said Dr. Yusuf Sidani, OSB dean.

“WiDS aims to provide participants of all genders with opportunities to learn about the latest female-led data science research and applications," said Dr. Lama Moussawi, associate dean for research and faculty development at OSB and WiDS@AUB ambassador. “The conference also ensures Lebanon remains an integral part of the data science global movement and paves the way for the country to become the data science hub of the Middle East and North Africa."

The event's high-profile female speakers – representing entities including Amazon, the World Food Program, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, Harvard University, the University of Michigan, University College London, and Vanderbilt University – focused on how data science is used to tackle the world's most pressing challenges, including food security, disaster preparedness, infodemics, smart city and infrastructure systems, public policy, and epidemics.

The conference, which is the largest data science hub in the region, attracted more than 900 people over two days, with in-person and online attendees joining from more than 300 organizations and 30+ countries, including the USA, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, France, the United Kingdom, and Lebanon.  

About WiDS

WiDS at the American University of Beirut (AUB) is an independent event organized by the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB) to coincide with the annual Global Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference held at Stanford University and an estimated 200+ locations worldwide. All genders are invited to attend WiDS regional events, which feature outstanding women doing outstanding work. WiDS at AUB is the largest regional event, bringing in Arab and international female leaders in data science to Beirut.

WiDS aims to present the latest practical and research developments in the field, outline how leading-edge organizations are leveraging data science for success, encourage exchange of ideas and multi-disciplinary collaboration, and increase opportunities for women and girls in data science, by providing support and mentorship, showcasing highly accomplished female pioneers, and leading the way for the next generation of female leaders.

WiDS at AUB is organized by OSB, in collaboration with Dx Talks, Beirut Digital District, AUB Center for Advanced Mathematical Sciences, AUB Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, & Computing Hub, Talal and Madiha Zein AUB Innovation Park (iPark), AUB Faculty of Medicine, AUB Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, AUB Office of Innovation and Transformation, AUB OSB Executive Education, AUB OSB Career Management Services, and the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering (ICME) unit at Stanford University.

WiDS 2023 featured 20+ international and regional speakers, with general technical talks on April 27 and more in-depth research talks on April 28. To learn more, visit the event's website here.

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