WiDS @ University of Calgary

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Hear about the latest data science-related research and meet local keynote speakers working in this field.

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Join us on March 8th, 2021 for the Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference hosted at the University of Calgary

The Women in Data Science (WiDS) 2021 Conference at the University of Calgary is an independent event organized by ambassadors from the Centre for Health Informatics (CHI), the Schulich School of Engineering and the Faculty of Science at the University of Calgary. We are a part of the annual Women in Data Science (WiDS) Worldwide conference organized by Stanford University and an estimated 150+ locations worldwide, which features outstanding women doing outstanding work in the field of data science.

All genders are invited to attend WiDS @ the University of Calgary. WiDS aims to inspire and educate data scientists, regardless of gender, by showcasing work done by women in the field.

This regional event will be held concurrently with the Stanford 24-hour WiDS Worldwide Conference on March 8th. They'll be following the sun around the world, bringing you ​speakers from around the world on International Women’s Day. Registration to this regional event will give you access to WiDS @ Stanford.

Registration for the event:

Date: March 8th, 2021

Time: 8:45am-5:00pm MST

Price: Free

Platform: Zoom and

When you register to attend WiDS @ UCalgary you will be automatically entered in to a raffle to win a prize package which contains 2 Therapeutic Massage Therapy Sessions from Britannia Bodyworks! The winner will be announced at 4:45 pm in the closing remarks. The winner must be present to accept the prize.

WiDS @ the University of Calgary registrants get access to the full conference including:

- One full day of local Keynote Speakers in two different streams of data science content

  • Health Data Science (hosted by CHI)
  • Engineering/Computer Data Science (Hosted by Schulich School of Engineering)

- Poster Presentation *

- Lunch hour networking session

- Mentoring sessions

- WiDS Worldwide 2021 keynote addresses, technical talks, and panel discussions

*Female-identifying data scientists of all levels are encouraged to submit an abstract by March 3, 2021 (email us at, you will get a chance to present at our interactive poster session and win prizes! (you can participate as a gender-mixed team if your presenter identifies as a female)

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Call for Poster Abstracts for WiDS 2021

The WiDS Interactive Poster Presentations will be held virtually on Monday, March 8th, 2021. These presentations are intended to provide enthusiastic teams of all levels with the opportunity to present their research in data science. This year, the conference will highlight two data science domains: (1) Health Data Science and (2) Engineering/Computer Data Science. The poster presentations will follow the same format. When submitting an abstract for the poster presentations, please choose a stream to compete in.


First place prize valued at $500, second place prize valued at $300 and third place prize valued at $200.

Important Dates

Submission Deadline: March 3rd, 2021

Teams interested in participating in the competition must submit the following information by emailing Your submission should include:

- Names, emails and institutions of the team leader and members

- The stream you wish to enter

- Presentation title and abstract (450 words)

Please note : at least one member of each team needs to register for and attend WiDS @ UCalgary 2021.

Additionally, one female-identifying team member will need to present the poster during the poster session from 12-1pm MST on the day of the conference.

Committee Decision: March 4th, 2021

The Committee will review all the submissions and confirm your participation by March 4th, 2021 at 12:00pm MST.

Poster Preparation

Each poster is recommended to contain the following information:

- Title of poster

- Names of team members and university affiliation(s)

- Objectives

- Methods

- Results/Main findings (use figures, tables, and text) - if applicable

- Conclusions (including strengths and limitations of your analysis) - if applicable

These presentations will be held on a virtual platform so please present a powerpoint.



** Common session shared between both streams

Health Data Science Stream - hosted on Zoom

8:45-9 am OPENING REMARKS, Dr. Cathy Eastwood, Operations Manager, Centre for Health Informatics

9 -10 am, Nicole Janssen, Co-CEO, Alta ML, Rapid Development: How Applied Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Business

10 -10:45 am, Tara Whitten, Data Scientist, Alberta Health Services, A neuroscientist explores data

11-12 pm, Caitrin Armstrong, CTO, Aifred Health, AI in Healthcare - Deep Learning for Precision Psychiatry

** 12 - 1 pm, Interactive Poster Presentation - hosted on

** 12 - 1 pm, Interactive Networking Lunch - hosted on

1-1:30 pm, Laura Gutierrez Funderburk, Data Scientist, Cybera, The Unfair Dice Problem: using data science to teach kids the impact of social disadvantages

1:30 - 2 pm, Panel: Laura Gutierrez Funderburk, Data Scientist, Cybera; Preethi Kumar, Developer, Cybera; Tatiana Melshko, Data Scientist, Cybera; Moderator: Meagan Hampel, Vice-President, External Relations, Cybera, Fostering a workspace that encourages women data scientists

3-4 pm, Danielle Southern, Senior Researcher, Centre for Health Informatics and Christine Friedenreich, Division Head, Dept of Oncology, University of Calgary, Informing Decision Makers’ COVID-19 Pandemic Response with Data Science

**4-4:45pm, Interactive Mentoring Session - hosted on

4:45-5pm, CLOSING REMARKS, Poster Prize Announcements for Health Data Science Stream and Raffle Prize Announcement

Engineering and Computer Science Stream - hosted on Zoom

9-9:15 am, WELCOME to the Engineering Stream, Laleh Behjat, Schulich School of Engineering, NSERC Chair Women in Science and Engineering (Prairies)

9:15-10 am, Svetlana Yanushkevich, Professor, Dept of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Calgary, Chair of the Biometric Taskforce in the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, How was your summer (research)?

10-10:45 am, Denise Man, Chief Technology Officer at ATB Financial, Leadership roles in the Digital Revolution Era

11-11:45 am, Emma Towlson, Computer Science, University of Calgary, Network Neuroscience: How Graph theory and Network Science help us understand brain structure and function

** 12 - 1 pm, Interactive Poster Presentation - hosted on

** 12 - 1 pm, Interactive Networking Lunch - hosted on

2-2:45 pm, Taraneh Khazaei, National AI Lead at Microsoft, Responsible AI: What, Why, and How

2:45-3:30 pm, Ann Barcomb, Assistant Professor, Dept of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Calgary, Managing episodic participation in software development

**4-4:45 pm, Interactive Mentoring Session - hosted on **

4:45-5pm, CLOSING REMARKS , Poster Prize Announcements for Engineering and Computer Science Stream and Raffle Prize Announcement

		WiDS  @ University of Calgary image

		WiDS  @ University of Calgary image


For program-related inquiries, please email:

Thank you to our sponsors:

		WiDS  @ University of Calgary image

		WiDS  @ University of Calgary image
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