About WiDS Austin

WiDS aims to inspire and educate data scientists worldwide, regardless of gender, and support women in the field. WiDS started as a conference at Stanford in 2015. Now, WiDS includes a global conference, with 150+ regional events worldwide.

On the 2nd of March, 2020 Austin is joining the international conference. Our program contains a talks by data scientists and a panel discussion with women in data science focusing mainly on diversity and mentorship. The local event in Austin will have a special session, The AI Health Data Challenge will be kicked off by UT Austin and will be open to data science community regardless of gender.


Date And Time

Mon, March 2, 2020


10:00 AM – 7:00 PM CST

2020-03-02 10:00:00 2020-03-02 19:00:00 America/Chicago WiDS Austin 2020 GM Austin Innovation Center 13301 McCallen Pass Austin, TX 78753 Meltem Ballan meltem.ballan@gm.com


GM Austin Innovation Center

13301 McCallen Pass

Austin, TX 78753

Key Note Speaker

Karen Wilcox

Karen Wilcox

Director of Oden Institute at UT Austin

Towards Predictive Data Science: From Scientific Machine Learning to Digital Twins

It is an exciting time in the computational and data sciences. There is a tremendous opportunity to harness our growing amounts of data to address some of society’s most pressing problems. This talk will discuss challenges and opportunities for data science, focusing on high-consequence decisions within the domains of science and engineering. I will highlight the essential need for a synergistic combination of data-driven learning and predictive physics-based modeling. I will discuss exciting new developments in Scientific Machine Learning and Digital Twins, all built upon the notion of learning from data through the lens of predictive models.

Featured Speakers

Ashley Odom copy

Ashley Odom

Principle Data Scienist, 1nformatics


Anna Chaney

Engineering Director – Machine Learning at Resideo

Betsy Woldman

Betsy Woldman

Design and Marketing, City of Austin Public Information Office

Maria Wellen

Maria Wellen

Statistical Consultant at Arkansas Children’s


Ali Gallagher

Co-Founder at 7th Street Group

yan leng

Yan Leng

Research Assistant at MIT Media Lab


Jaya Zenchenko

Principal Data Guru

karen cook-hellberg

Karen Cook-Hellberg

Head of Automotive for Region North America at Ericsson

Patricia Moravec

Patricia Moravec

Assistant Professor at UT Austin


Chandni Sharma

Cloud Engineer at Google

Jean-leah Njoroge

Jean-leah Njoroge

Sr Data Scientist at Dell EMC

Gaia Bellone

Gaia Bellone

Sr. VP, Data Science Leader at Keybank

Laryssa Parker

Laryssa Parker

VP, Head of ITS Digital Lab Americas at Siemens

janani Mukundan

Janani Mukundan

VP, Cognitive Research Staff Member at State Street Bank

Monica Kofler

Monica Kofler

Software Development at Amazon

Aga Webb

Aga Webb

IT Director at General Motors

Amy Daali

Amy Daali

Founder & CEO at Lucea AI

Madhavi Rao

Madhavi Rao

Chief Strategy Officer at Valkyrie Intelligence

Randi R. Ludwig

Randi R. Ludwig

Data Scientist at Dell


Shanaz Hemmati

COO and Founder at ZenBusiness

Meredith Butterfield

Meredith Butterfield

Principal Data Scientist at Valkyrie Intelligence


Nancy Giordano

Post-Digital Futurist + Global Keynote Speaker + Gatherer


Sheetal Mahesh

AI/ML Scientist at General Motors

christina F

Christina Freeman

VP, Product Marketing at The Zebra


Annette Jonker

Director, Digital Customer Analytics & Data Monetization at HARMAN International



9:30 am

– 10:45 am

Registration, Breakfast,

Meet and Greet with GM Talent Team & City of Austin Show me your Austin Project Leads


10:30 am

– 11 am

GM Opening Ceremony

Meltem Ballan


GM Opening Address

Mary Barra, CEO and the Chair


Stanford Broadcasting –
WiDS Stanford University Welcome Ceremony

Margot Gerritsen, Karen Matthys, and Judy Logan

11 am

– 12:40 pm

Opening Address

Persis Drell, Provost, Stanford University


Stanford Keynote Address: “Machine Learning: A New Approach to Drug Discovery”

Daphne Koller, insitro


Stanford Ethics Panel

Moderator: Margot Gerritsen

12:30 pm

– 1:30 pm

Lunch Break & Network (Lunch will be served outside of Auditorium):
Please visit GM Talent Team Resume Help Desk & City of Austin Show your city desk & Women in Data Science Austin Group

1:30 pm

– 2 pm

Keynote Address: Towards Predictive Data Science: From Scientific Machine Learning to Digital Twins
Karen Wilcox, UT Austin

2 pm

– 2:10 pm

Breaking Out to Tracks

Challenge Session

2:20 – 4:10

Chair Caitlin Barber

The session will start with Dr. Ying Ding’s AI healthcare data challenge kick off talk. The healthcare data will be discussed in its entirety including privacy, AI and ethics. Kaggle experts will give tips about participating in a Kaggle data challenge.

Community Session

2:20 – 4:10

Chair Mary Oleary Kasales

This session will include community data science projects and strategies as well as a mentorship panel discussion

4:10 pm

– 4:30 pm

Coffee Break

Leaders in Data and Analytics Session

4:30 – 6:00

Chair Beibei Chen

We will have two seasoned data science leaders talking about their projects. This sessions will also include diverse leaders discussion and a pathway to the leadership panel.

AI Road Map Session

4:30 – 6:00

Chair Amber Rucker

AI experts will give lightening speaks about their projects along with AI road map discussion session and also a panel including the future of AI and ethics.

6:00 pm

– 7:00 pm

Closing Remarks and Networking


GM_logo (1)

WiDS Austin Ambassadors

Meltem Ballan

Meltem Ballan

General Motors


Ying Ding

Unversity of Texas at Austin



Caitlin Barber

Wei-Chan Chou

Wei-Chun Chou


Amber Rucker


Julia Rose