Meet the Women Conquering Data Science

ODSC - Open Data Science
3 min readJun 25, 2019

On the last day of ODSC East, a group of speakers kicked off a new tradition at ODSC, one that celebrates the achievements and prowess of some of the data science community’s brightest minds.

On Friday afternoon, the inaugural Women in Data Science Ignite event kicked off with a full room of observers waiting to hear the diverse panel of women give 7-minute-long keynotes on various topics ranging from social media marketing strategy to Alzheimer’s diagnoses. First to speak was Lenka Kovalcinova, UX Quantitative Researcher at Google.

Kovalcinova’s talk began with a history brief on the trajectory of language processing in society, starting from Descartes and Leibniz on the theory of relating language up to the current standards of machine learning. She continued by describing the best practices for natural language processing, which can be used to gain one-sentence insights from data.

[See more ODSC East 2019 recaps here!]

Next up at the podium was Jamie Warner, the Director of Data Science at Lincoln Financial. Warner’s presentation was loaded with hilarious anecdotes that won the room over, especially considering the jokes were geared toward data science savants. She detailed the issues that occur when highly regulated industries like her own oversee machine learning projects. Things like technical stakeholders, legacy systems, and gut feelings from executives can often stunt the workflow of a machine learning project.

“Even when we’re thinking we’re making a data-driven decision, it’s usually not a data-driven decision,” Warner joked.

Louvere Walker-Hannon, an App Engineer at MathWorks was next onstage, and gave a presentation on the importance of educating young female programmers to give them a head start in the world of data science. Walker-Hannon emphasized the importance of connecting young women with both women and underrepresented groups through artificial intelligence training sessions.

At the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Houston last year, Walker-Hannon and several of her colleagues at MathWorks organized an…

ODSC - Open Data Science

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