Mila > News > Professor Dhanya Sridhar will advocate for more women in AI at NeurIPS 2023

5 Dec 2023

Professor Dhanya Sridhar will advocate for more women in AI at NeurIPS 2023

Dhanya Sridhar, Core Academic Member of Mila, will represent the institute at the Women in Machine Learning Workshop (WiML 2023) on December 11 on the margins of the thirty-seventh Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2023) in New Orleans. 

This eighteenth edition of the yearly event is an opportunity for women and women-identifying persons to attend panel discussions and share their work with senior female researchers from academia or the industry.

The workshop is a great opportunity for everyone to get familiar with the outstanding research being done by women -who are chronically underrepresented in the field–  all around the world, Dhanya Sridhar said.

“It is also an opportunity to network and to have those nice technical conversations in a safe space with other female researchers in machine learning who are going through the same things as you,” the Assistant Professor at Université de Montréal explained.

“I have always enjoyed this particular workshop because it’s a bit smaller than the main conference so it’s a fantastic way to have great one-on-one conversations,” she added.

Giving back to the AI Community

Dhanya Sridhar attended the WiML workshop for many years as a young researcher. It provided her with valuable insights from female leaders in the field and coming back to it as a more senior researcher now is a great opportunity to give back to the machine learning community, she explained.

“It’s very enriching for junior students to be at these events. And us more senior folks attending and serving as mentors and engaging with them is just a small step that we can take in giving back.”

This year, she will host a roundtable and hold a booth with one of her PhD students, Mizu Nishikawa-Toomey, to share insights on what it means for underrepresented groups to join Mila.

“It’s important for people in underrepresented groups to have access to this kind of information… There are many students who may not know how or where to begin. And I very much think that there is a big knowledge gap for women that we should aim to bridge.”

Dhanya Sridhar and Mizu Nishikawa-Toomey will also provide more general guidance to younger researchers interested in pursuing an academic career.

“I hope that even if women who are going to come by our booth or to the roundtable don’t ultimately end up considering Mila, they will still learn something that they can then use to better the opportunities that they have in their later life,” she concluded.