iSchool undergraduate launches new initiative to promote women in data science

Samridhi Verma

A new student organization at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will promote diversity and inclusion in data science and empower women in the STEM field. Samridhi Verma, BSIS+DS student and an ambassador for Women in Data Science (WiDS) Worldwide, launched the new initiative because of her interest in fostering a community where students and professionals can connect, share insights, and grow together. WiDS Urbana-Champaign welcomes individuals of all genders who support the cause, including students, professionals, and academics from a variety of backgrounds and expertise levels in data science and related fields.

"We're planning on hosting networking sessions and speaker events, creating opportunities for members to engage with each other and learn about the latest trends in data science," said Verma. "With the support of the Illinois Data Science Club, we aim to provide a supportive space for those interested in exploring data science, whether a beginner or those looking to expand their expertise."

Women in Data Science Worldwide: Urbana-Champaign

Plans for the future include organizing datathons and providing more hands-on experiences for participants to apply their skills and innovate within the field.

"Joining WiDS Urbana-Champaign offers students a great opportunity to actively engage with this rapidly evolving field. This initiative provides more than just educational knowledge: it's a chance to be a part of a community of professionals and peers passionate about technology and innovation," said Verma.

Anyone interested in learning more about WiDS Urbana-Champaign can follow its Instagram page for updates and information. On Tuesday, March 5, the new intitiative will hold its first networking event, which will feature speakers from American Express and Burtch Works.

"Everyone is welcome to join us for our networking event," said Verma. "Meet the team, learn about our mission, and discover how you can get involved. It's a great opportunity to connect with individuals and kickstart your journey with WiDS Urbana-Champaign."

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