The impact that women have had on data science and AI cannot be measured. From Ada Lovelace to Katherine Johnson, women have been responsible for the technologies and tools that we take for granted today. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’d like to spotlight some of the influential women in AI who have spoken at ODSC conferences over the years. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the women who are shaping the future of their fields and our lives.
Manuela Veloso, PhD
Over the course of her career, Manuela Veloso, PhD, has received countless accolades. Most recently in 2022, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, for her work in machine learning in the fields of robotics and financial services.
At Carnegie Mellon University she served as the head of the Machine Learning Department and researched and taught about machine learning, AI, and robotics. Currently, Dr. Veloso leads an AI group, which she founded, at JP Morgan as they work to bring new ways to integrate AI into the financial services industry.
Cassie Kozyrkov has been Google’s Chief Decision Scientist since 2018. In this role, she has trained over 15,000 Googlers in decision intelligence and advised on decision processes, AI strategy, and building data-driven organizations.
Dawn Song, PhD
Dr. Dawn Song is one of the pioneers in the field of AI safety and security. As a graduate student, she demonstrated that ML algorithms could discern what someone is typing based on the timing of their keystrokes. Dr. Song and her students were also the first to show that computer vision could be easily fooled into misidentifying stop signs. Over the course of her career, she has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Fellowship, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the NSF CAREER Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the MIT Technology Review TR-35 Award, the Faculty Research Award from IBM, Google, and other major tech companies, and Best Paper Awards from top conferences in Computer Security and Deep Learning.
Raluca Ada Popa, PhD
In 2021, Raluca Ada Popa, PhD, was awarded the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award for her contributions to the field of cyber security. Dr. Popa is the innovator of the solution for one of the major challenges of cyber security. Using her method, one no longer has to rely on firewalls to protect data from malefactors. She is also a co-founder and co-director of the RISELab and SkyLab at UC Berkeley and a co-founder of Opaque Systems and PreVeil.
Jeannette M. Wing, PhD
In 2022, Jeannette M. Wing was elected to the National Academy of Inventors for her “highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.” As the Executive Vice President for Research at Columbia University, Professor Wing is responsible for the university’s research objectives at the Morningside and Manhattanville campuses, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Nevis Laboratories, and all locations abroad.
Hilary Mason is a serial entrepreneur, who founded Fast Forward Labs which was acquired by Cloudera in 2017, co-founded HackNY, and is currently the co-founder and CEO of Hidden Door. Additionally, she was Data Scientist in Residence at Accel Partners, co-founded HackNY. Hilary Manson is also a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and has received numerous awards throughout her career.
One of the leading experts in the governance of AI, Kay Firth-Butterfield is interested in how we can fairly benefit from AI and other novel technologies. Currently, Kay Kirth-Butterfield is the Head of Artificial Intelligence and a member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum. She is also the co-founder of AI Global and the first ever to hold the title of Chief AI Ethics officer. Additionally, she was recognized by The New York Times as one of 10 Women Changing the Landscape of Leadership.
Monica S. Lam, PhD
Professor Lam is a recognized expert in compilers for high-performance machines and has pioneered a unifying theory to the field of loop transformations for parallelism and locality with affine partitioning. Her current work focuses on privacy protection for conversational virtual assistants using “deep learning to map task-oriented natural language dialogues into formal semantics, represented by a new executable programming language called ThingTalk”.
We are excited to see what these women in AI will contribute to the development and application of data science and AI in the coming years. And how the data scientists they mentor and inspire will help the community advance and grow.