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WiDSTORY | February 17, 2020

Twin Sisters, Inspired by WiDS Event in Mumbai, Become WiDS Ambassadors in Jersey City Where They are Currently in Grad School

Tell us about your background.
Dishti and Dyuti were born and raised in Mumbai and both attended the University of Mumbai where Dyuti earned her bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and Dishti earned her bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. While they’ve attended the same schools, they have different interests; Dishti loves cooking and classical Indian dance and Dyuti likes to read a lot. They started learning about programming languages and data science as undergrads and both decided to pursue Master’s degrees in Computer Science at Stevens Institute of Technology in Jersey City, NJ.

How did you get interested in data science?
Dishti: I enjoyed getting my hands on new technologies to see how they can enrich lives and bring data to life. For example, turning meaningless data into recommendations to help a company improve its product, services or experiences. The most important reason I got into data science is because I love to help a business understand its customers or improve the way it uses customer data. I feel amazing when I see the fruits of my labor helping in numerous but different ways.
Dyuti: When I started Computer Engineering at University, one of the choices we had to specialize in was Machine Learning. It really emerged in my final year project where I did a lot of data manipulation, statistics and programming, specifically applying data science in the healthcare field.

What are you currently working on?
Dishti: I am exploring the field of data visualization and telling stories using Tableau. My current project is about human trafficking across the United States, explaining the impact over the years.
Dyuti: I am working on analyzing New Jersey Transit andAmtrak, their performance and causes of their commuter delays in New Jersey. I took this project because I use New Jersey Transit for my commute, found a lot of issues with their lines and decided to work on it.

How did you first discover WiDS?
We first discovered WiDS last year when we heard about the WiDS Mumbai event and we wanted to meet people in the field of data science so decided to go. We met data science professionals who shared immense knowledge and inspired everyone.

Everybody taught us something new that we never had heard of before and we realized our knowledge was so limited in context before the conference. Speakers included Raj Aradhya explaining the importance of the human touch in AI, Tanvi Purohit described exciting data science applications at Mahindra Rise, SAP’s Kamolika Peres spoke about data as the new currency, Cogitari’s Deepa Naik shared her perspective of emotional intelligence in AI, Soma Halder helped us understand vulnerabilities in cybersecurity, Ritu David shared her inspiring journey of becoming a data diplomat, Madhavi Kandalam shared her experience in data cleaning and manipulation and how totackle any AI problem, Dr. Anala Pandit explained her approach to learning before jumping to algorithms, Swetha Tanamala described AI’s growing contribution in the healthcare field. We met WiDS ambassadors who were warm and welcoming throughout the event. It was truly enlightening and an overall great experience.

Have you been involved with WiDS since that first experience? If so, in what way?
We started by connecting with the speakers and members who were at the WiDS event and discussed our interests and projects we were working on, and gradually we connected with new groups with similar interests. We have been following WiDS events and the datathon, and we have been inspired and learning so much from the women featured in the WiDS Podcast series.

How has WiDS made an impact on your life and/or work?
WiDS taught us right from the beginning and still continues to inspire us to learn new things and share the knowledge we are passionate about. Attending that conference and celebrating each woman made us proud and learning about their journey was equally inspiring.

What comes next for you? And what are your hopes for women in the data science in the future?
WiDS has become a part of our lives now — whether it’s attending or organizing events and we expect the community will only grow n-fold in the coming years. Having role models really helps and knowing that we can elevate each other is so important. We believe there will be a healthy participation of women in the data science field in the future. This field benefits from diversity in thinking. Women bring a different perspective to the table and are rising into leadership positions.