Jul 14, 2020

HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan opens the First Jordanian Conference on Women in Data Science at Princess Sumaya University for Technology.

Under the Patronage of HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Princess Sumaya University for Technology ( PSUT) , the first Jordanian conference entitled ‘Women in Data Science’ was opened today Saturday 11 July 2020, in a virtual webinar organised by PSUTin cooperation with Stanford University using visual communication technology.

Her Royal Highness stressed on the importance of therole of women asa precious resource that must be nurtured and empowered in all fields, specifically for their role in data science, where she said: "diversity is essential in data science research, innovation and entrepreneurship. Indeed, gender diversity is central to our future success.” during her keynote speech.

Her Royal Highness shed light on the significant role carried out by young women across the region who are recognised at the heart of the Knowledge for Development (K4D) Movement.

Her Royal Highness drew on her daily personal engagement with talented college students, researchers, innovators and businessmen at the early stages of their careers, noting that these talented young women do not build the future but rather live it, which consequently represents a tenacious need to make data, research and innovation central to the development of our region.

In her opening remarks the Princess notedthat” When given the opportunity, women in our region have proven themselves, again and again, to be innovative and creative, resourceful and driven. Events such as this help to build confidence, to celebrate success, and to devise better strategies to achieve incredible outcomes for women in data science and, ultimately, for society as a whole”.

The Princess also commented that ”pointing out the obstacles and hindrances that make the contribution of women and their work limited compared to men, and calling for the cooperation and cohesion of all efforts to address these challenges and empower women to work and be creative, particularly in the field of data science“.

The conference coordinator, Dr. Nailah Al-Madi, an Associate Professor in the PSUT Department of Computer Science, stated that the conference is a source of inspiration and empowerment for data scientists in Jordan. It also serves to support distinguished women in this field, promotes the sharing of expertise, and encourages the next generation to benefit from that expertise and adopt an entrepreneurial role that drives development.

Dr. Al-Madi explained that the conference answers a set of fundamental questions, including the importance of data science, and the skills that a data science student must acquire and practice. It also examines the gap between academic study and jobs in data science work, what companies mean by job titles, and how they are applied in Jordan in comparison to international companies. Furthermore, the conference is an opportunity to review stories and applications in fields such as health, security, education, and others.

Participating in the conference were 12 academic speakers from Jordanian universities, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship ( MDEE ), telecommunications companies Zain and Umniah, as well as Royal Jordanian and Microsoft, Electronic health solutions , (PWC )PricewaterhouseCoopers. The event drew in an audience of more than 300 people from Jordan and abroad.

The conference included academic seminars and discussion sessions on the latest theory and application developments in data science. A practical workshop was also held on natural language processing as a tool for health science.

The conference, which was coordinated by ambassadors of the Data Science Initiative, including student Sewar Khalifa, began at Stanford University in 2015, and is currently being held in about 150 regions around the world.


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