WiDS Abu Dhabi and Dubai 2020

On June 13th, IBM Developer and Heriot-Watt University in Dubai, in collaboration with Arab Women in Computing (ArabWIC) conducted the Women in Data Science Stanford (WiDS) regional event for Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The audience wasn’t limited to the region, we had over 100 attendees from all over the world!

We had extraordinary women speaking about very interesting topics from different domains like Research, Biology, Academia, Cyber Security, etc.

The event kicked-off with Dr Eva-Marie Muller-Stuler’s keynote session. She is the Data and AI practice leader at IBM and she spoke about how we can leverage data science opportunities in this time of the COVID-19 crisis.

First Phase

Next up, we had 2 brilliant speakers who gave 20-minute tech-talks. The first tech-talk was by Dr. Bushra AlBlooshi who is the Research & Innovation Manager at Dubai Electronic Security Centre and she spoke about how AI is shaping the future of CyberSecurity especially in the UAE. Following that, we had Dr. Hind Zantout who is an Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University. Her talk was about Ethics in AI and why is there a need for legislation.

We then had a round of lightning talks where speakers were given 5 minutes to speak about an interesting topic with high-level detail. There were 5 speakers for this session:

  1. Melissa Sassi, Chief Penguin — IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator, IBM: she spoke about purpose & passion in your career, entrepreneurship and imposter syndrome

With data science being one of the most trending jobs out there, there is a lot of confusion on how you get started with a data science career. The first panel, led by Chada, was about careers in data science for women. The panelists answered some of the most pressing issues when it comes to data science careers. The panelists included: Divya Sharma from IBM, Dr. Haleh Najafzadeh from GE Aviation and Melissa Sassi from IBM.

Second Phase

After we all had a short break, we began the second phase of our event. In the second phase, we had 2 tech talks speakers: Nabila Sofia Echadli who is a Cyber Security and Data Expert and CEO at Anthenorm Intelligence, and our second speaker Rema M. Algunaibet who is an A.I. and Robotics Project Leader. In the first talk, Nabila spoke about Meta Data and the future of data science in Cybersecurity. Whereas, in the second tech talk, Rema spoke about Elevating Customer’s Experience (CX) with A.I. and Robotics.

Next, we had another round of lightning talks where speakers were given 5 minutes to speak about an interesting topic with high-level detail. There were 5 speakers for this session:

  1. Lama Halwaji, Design Lead for IBM Garage MENA, IBM: spoke about how you can apply design thinking to a data science project

The last session was a panel that was again hosted by Chada. The topic of discussion was ‘Future Outlook of Data, at times of crisis’. The panelists spoke about how the future of data science looks like and the next steps after COVID-19. The panelists were: Nabila Sofia Echadli from Anthenorm Intelligence, Tilila El Moujahed from Microsoft and Dr. Hind Zantout from Heriot-Watt University.

Communities and Conclusion

In the end, Susan Malaika discussed the various communities for women interested in the data science field. You can see the links to join the communities below:

  1. Arab Women in Computing (ArabWIC) UAE — http://arabwic.org

Missed the event? Don’t worry here’s the playlist of all the talks: Playlist

Thanks to the WiDS ambassadors and Susan Malaika for pulling off this amazing event.

Data and AI Technical Specialist @IBM | Lead Community Coordinator @womenindataorg, Dubai | @WiDS_Conference Ambassador 2020 | Eat. Sleep. Code. 🔃

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store