Data Science Forum at PSU aims to boost women representation

A session at the recent Women's Data Science Forum (WiDS) organized by Prince Sultan University. — Courtesy photo

RIYADH — The Prince Sultan University (PSU), represented by the College of Computer and Information Systems (CCIS), organized the Women's Data Science Forum (WiDS) in collaboration with Stanford University here recently.

Speakers in forum include local and international data scientists from research institutions, government, academia, NGOs and industry as well as international speakers from IBM, MIT and SAP spoke at the event. By organizing this forum, Price Sultan University became the first university ambassador for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

"We're thrilled to be working with Prince Sultan University to bring the Women in Data Science conference to the Arab Middle East," said Judy Logan, co-director of the Global Women in Data Science Conference at Stanford University.

WiDSRIYADH@PSU is a global event that is the first of its kind in Saudi universities. The forum aims to increase the representation of women and encourage their professional participation in the data science field. The forum presented the latest researches and practices in data science in Arab Middle Eastern countries, and promoted exchange of ideas while encouraging collaboration between several disciplines related to this field.

In addition, it aims to link regional researchers and practitioners to international leading networks in data science. This event demonstrates the university’s direction to enhance academic research, which contributes to the national development in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The forum included a live feed of the conference of Women in Data Science (WiDS) that was held at the American University of Beirut. It also included several sessions and workshops on the future of data science in education, humanizing analytics, privacy and security issues, data science and bioinformatics, big data architecture and other topics on data science and its role in the lives of contemporary women.

The sessions and workshops were conducted by a number of university leaders and faculty members as well as guests speakers from other universities and industrial sectors such as Aramco, IBM, SAP and others.

"WiDS Riyadh at Prince Sultan University is bringing the latest data science research and applications to the Kingdom, inspiring students, faculty, and industry participants," said Dr. Mohammed Al Kanhal, dean College of Computer and Information Sciences. Students taking predictive analytics course at the department of Information Systems participated in the WiDS Datathon challenge and were rewarded during the conference. It is important to note that all colleges at PSU actively participated thus strengthening the strategic goal of promoting interdisciplinary research at the university.

Vice Rector of Women's Campus in PSU Dr. Rimah Bint Saleh Al-Yahya stated in her opening speech that “PSU is proud to be one of the pioneers in promoting the use of advanced technologies.” She added, The goal of the university is to provide successful education through integrating modern technologies and human ethics to develop the process of scientific research, discovery, productivity, and leadership for a meaningful and profound social life.” — SG