2019 WIA Conference Topics

This year, the Women in Analytics Conference will include a diverse collection of topics and highlight a theme of ethics. The conference will be hosted on March 21st & 22nd in Columbus, Ohio and includes entry to the AI Product Showcase.

Talk Tracks and Topics

There will be three breakout talk tracks and one main track this year:

1. Ethics
Ethics in Algorithms Panel – Best Practices and Policies

2. Technical (breakout)
Using Embeddings to Understand the Variance and Evolution of Data Science Skill SetsRuffled feathers: Trait Inference on Social Networks Beyond Homophily

2. Strategy (breakout)
Data-Driven Product ImprovementsModel Feasibility and Validation for Products

3. Intro (breakout)
Workshop: Introduction to Data Science Using RWorkshop: Academia to Industry Transition


Featured Speakers

Jennifer Prendki

VP of Machine Learning – Figure Eight

San Francisco, California

Dr. Jennifer Prendki is the Vice President of Machine Learning at Figure Eight, which is a technology platform that uses machine learning assisted annotation solutions to create the high quality training data needed by models to work in the real world. Previously, she was the Head of Data Science at Atlassian, where she led all Search and Machine Learning initiatives and was in charge of leveraging the massive amount of data collected by the company to load the suite of Atlassian products with smart features. She received her PhD in Particle Physics from University UPMC – La Sorbonne in 2009 and has since that worked as a data scientist for many different industries. Prior to joining Atlassian, Jennifer was a Senior Data Science Manager in the Search team of Walmart eCommerce. She enjoys addressing both technical and non-technical audiences at conferences and sharing her knowledge and experience with aspiring data scientists.


Yvonne Wang

VP of Tech Strategy – Exos Financial

New York City, New York

Yvonne Wang has a diverse background as a senior executive launching new products across technology, pharma and financial services sectors. She was the co-founder of a technology company focused on applying advanced data analytics to build algorithmic fraud detection in the areas of investment and private banking. More recently she is again in stealth mode running technology strategy for an incumbent digital investment bank. She has 20 years of experience in new product development and innovation across multiple industries. She also started her career as a hardware design engineer at Hewlett Packard developing first generation inkjet printing and other electronic product innovations Has extensive experience launching new drug products, delivery systems and analytical techniques for Pfizer. Spent the last 12 years working in financial services at Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse in investment and private banking focused on building new businesses, new products and other client platforms before leaving to start her own company. In her spare time, Yvonne loves to go on adventures rafting and hiking with her husband and three children.


Kristen Altenburger

PhD Candidate in Computational Social Science – Stanford University

Stanford, California

She is a PhD candidate in Computational Social Science in the Management Science & Engineering Department at Stanford University advised by Johan Ugander and is a member of the Social Algorithms Lab. Her research interests include social network analysis, machine learning, and causal inference. She received her BS in Mathematics from Ohio University in 2012 where she was also a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, completed a research fellowship at Stanford Law School with Alison Morantz and Daniel E. Ho in 2012-2014, and received her AM in Statistics from Harvard University in 2015. She is also a 2016 recipient of a National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship. She was previously a Member of Technical Staff in the Data Science and Cyber Analytics Department at Sandia National Laboratories and is a 2016 SPOT Award recipient based on her research. During the summer 2017, she joined the Social Science & Algorithms team at Netflix for an internship analyzing word-of-mouth effects and other social signals.


Emily Schlesinger

Senior Attorney, AI & Research – Microsoft

Seattle, Washington

Emily S. Schlesinger is currently a Senior Attorney in Microsoft’s Corporate External and Legal Affairs group. She recently transitioned from her role as a privacy specialist to a role supporting engineers in the AI & Research engineering group. A former litigator, Emily worked as an associate in the Seattle office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. She also served as a law clerk for Judge Guy Cole, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and Judge Algenon L. Marbley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and was a Deputy Solicitor in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.


Amanda Gadrow

Principal QA Software Engineer – RStudio

Columbus, Ohio

Amanda is a software engineer with many years’ experience writing automated test frameworks for enterprise software. She started learning R when she joined RStudio in 2016, and has been basking in its glory ever since. Amanda leads the QA and Support teams at RStudio, and spends a significant amount of time analyzing customer data to improve the products and optimize support. She is a co-organizer of R-Ladies Columbus, and an avid musician on the side.