Machine Learning Center Launches Program Supporting Female Researchers

Jul 09, 2019

The University of Maryland Center for Machine Learning is launching a program to support up-and-coming female researchers in machine learning and related disciplines.

The Rising Stars in Machine Learning program provides three outstanding applicants the opportunity to present their work at the University of Maryland and network with other machine learning experts. The program covers all travel expenses for the selected researchers.

Rising Stars in Machine Learning will be featured at a seminar series that starts this fall, consisting of talks on cutting-edge machine learning research by UMD faculty and graduate students, as well as distinguished lecturers from off-campus. The seminar series will be held at the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering.

The three 2019 Rising Stars in Machine Learning are: Adji Bousso Dieng, a doctoral student in statistics at Columbia University; Gintare Karolina Dziugaite, a research scientist at Element AI; and Surbhi Goel, a doctoral student in computer science at the University of Texas at Austin. (Check the center's Twitter feed @ml_umd for the exact date when each person will speak.)

The three were selected from an excellent pool of 18 candidates representing top institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

According to a study that analyzed the gender imbalance in machine learning across 23 countries, women make up just 12 percent of researchers who are published at the leading AI conferences.

“Our goal for this program is to support outstanding women researchers in the field of machine learning, especially before they start applying to faculty job positions,” says Soheil Feizi, an assistant professor of computer science and core member of the Center for Machine Learning.

Another benefit, Feizi says, is that the three Rising Stars scholars will be excellent role models for current UMD students active in machine learning.

The University of Maryland Center for Machine Learning, supported in part by financial and technology leader Capital One, is one of seven major centers in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS).

–Story by Maria Herd