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8 Inspiring Indian Women In Data Science Making A Mark In A Rapidly Growing Field

There is a huge scope in today's world for women in data science, who can go to this career from varies streams of education.

We live in a data driven world and never have data scientists been more in demand to assist companies and governments to make smart data driven decisions and shore up against risk. The world of data science is growing rapidly especially in the field of artificial intelligence, IT and is creating amazing opportunities for women in data science to use their analytical skills.

We celebrate 8 such inspirational women in data science who are ruling the world of data science and making cutting edge breakthroughs in their fields.

Usha Rengaraju

Usha Rengaraju was ranked one of the top ten women in data science in India in the year 2020 by Analytics India magazine and currently works Exa Protocol a peer-to-peer file distributed file system as chief of research where she is working on research hurdles related to the interface of cybersecurity and AI.

Usha is a data scientist with strong foundations in economics, quantitative finance, business analytics and psychology.

She has more than seven years of industry experience in her field and loves competitive data science and has prepared the curriculum for BITS Pilani’s masters in Data Science program and Upgrad’s PGP program in DS. Usha is also a strong autism advocate, and organised the first ever symposium in the interface of neuroscience and data science.

Usha started out her career as an engineer by education and was in a well paying job in one of the top fintech banks in the investment banking sector but over time she realised she wasn’t very happy with what she was doing. After six months of deliberation she quit her job and started preparing for CFA exams and started doing some side AI investment projects where she began dabbling in data science and then went on to work in an AI consultant company and she never looked back. Data science became her home.

A strong advocate for women in data science, watch her talk about her journey here.

Rwitwika Bhattacharya

Rwitwika Bhattacharya is the founder of Swaniti initiative, a non profit that provides development solutions to decision makers across South Asia. Through her organisation, Rwitwika has facilitated important governmental programs and has been a pioneer in tying up the use of data science to governance.

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Her organisation also provides decision makers data insights to help them tackle ground level problems and help deliver developmental programs to the common man. She has done her Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and her Bachelors in Political Science from Wake Forest University, North Carolina.

A sprightly, passionate young woman, with her educational background and being the daughter of a politician, Rwitwika is a strong advocate for cleaning up corruption in the government as she has worked closely with local as well as the central government. She also remains passionate about improving governance through data science and the use of technology. 

Rwitwika is truly an inspiration to all young women to understand, partake and contribute to improving Indian politics.

Dr. Geetha Manjunath

Dr. Geetha Manjunath is the Founder, CEO, and CTO of NIRAMAI, a tech start-up where she developed a hassle free solution for detecting early-stage breast cancer. She has over 25 years of experience in IT research and has led to many innovative projects in Healthcare and Transportation. She was the head of Data Analytics Research at Xerox Research Centre India (XRCI).

It was the year 2013, when two of Dr. Geetha’s relatives who were in their late thirties and early forties were diagnosed with breast cancer. And this pushed Dr. Geetha to focus her skills and talent on developing early breast cancer detection technology.

It was all a coincidence when Dr. Geetha, realised that thermal imaging could be useful for detecting breast cancer while dealing with imaging technology. She is passionate about using technology to save lives and has developed one of the easiest and accessible privacy aware breast cancer detection tools using AI.

Amarjeet Kaur

Amarjeet Kaur works as a business scientist at Digital Healthcare at JIO and was a research scientist at TechMahindra. She has a PhD in Computer Science and Technology from Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University, Mumbai.

She is known to be detail oriented and her specialties include graph-based text analysis, latent semantic analysis and concept maps among many others. She is also an expert in data collection, analysis, field research and project management.

Before her graduation, Amarjeet was fascinated with robotics and automation and worked across various disciplines, experimenting and exploring.

She has come a long way from her college years and is a senior data scientist with Jio Health developing a platform where one can avail various services like tests, doctor consultations, receiving test reports etc. Amarjeet remains passionate about more women’s participation in the STEM field and building a career in data science and the AI field.

Dr. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay

Dr. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay is a computer scientist with an expertise in artificial intelligence. She received a Padma Shri from the Indian government for her pioneering work in science and engineering and was the first woman director of Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata and also completed her PhD from the institute from the Machine Intelligence Unit in 1999. Her specialities include machine learning, bioinformatics, data mining and soft and evolutionary computation.

Watching Dr. Bandyopadhyay’s interviews and observing her humility and simple demeanour you’d never guess she is one of the brightest among women in data science in India. Dr. Bandyopadhyay self admittedly was never very ambitious but gave her studies and work her best and it has led to an illustrious career as a computer scientist full of recognition and awards.  

She is also a big believer in pushing young girls to dream big beyond marriage and contributing to the world in a bigger way through science. Her hard work and commitment to her work is truly an inspiration to all young women everywhere. She inspires us all to learn how to balance our careers and all the while remaining true to our principles.

Apart from being an amazing data scientist, Dr. Bandyopadhyay has also authored/co-authored over 300 research articles in various journals of international value in her long illustrious career. She is also a member of the Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council of the Prime Minister of India (PM-STIAC) just some of her achievements in her stellar career in data science.

Sudha Devi

Sudha Devi is a senior data scientist at Deloitte and is known for her excellent technical skills, and diligence. Her specialties include data science, Scikit-Learn, R, NLP, DL, Python, Hadoop, TensorFlow, ML, Hive, Spark, H20 among many others.

As a dynamic, young confident data scientist, Sudha believes in being unstoppable in your work but also being patient to avoid burnout. Her biggest advice to data science aspirants is to work in their field but also find adjacent fields of interest to help them have more experience and transition through different job roles.

Another valuable piece of advice by Sudha to youngsters is to not get intimidated by their goals and to divide them into small achievable goals. She encourages all youngsters to keep upgrading their skills and not get overwhelmed and be fearless about it; for Sudha working patiently step by step is the way to achieving all your dreams.

Sudha has done her PGP in Big Data analytics and optimisation from International School of Engineering, Hyderabad and Bachelor of Technology, from Guru Nanak Engineering College. She was a speaker at WiDS 2020 Stanford University Initiative and at the AWS Summit Online India 2021.

Sarita Digumarti

Sarita Digumarti is the co-founder and COO of Jigsaw Academy to provide quality education in analytics to data science students. She has over 15 years of experience in the analytics sector and holds an MBA in Finance from T.A.Pai Management Institute, Karnataka, and a Masters in Arts degree in quantitative economics, from Tufts University.

Sarita is known to bring her academic experience and practical thinking to provide application oriented training and a vibrant learning environment. She is articulate and has a quicksilver mind, that can leverage data to make better products  and services for her customers.

At Jigsaw Academy, Sarita and her team help people build skills to tackle big data problems, and use data and technology better.

To Sarita the world of data is an exciting field, to her the world is a big data problem for every decision our brains makes is informed by data.  Global problems like poverty, hunger, declining quality of life etc can only be solved by using a combination of data and technology.

Mathangi Sri

Mathangi Sri is the chief data officer at Yubi, a company that provides corporate debt solutions. Mathangi completed her MBA in finance and marketing from the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli in 2004.

In high school Mathangi had a flair for mathematics, and that played a huge role in her career today as a data scientist. Data science requires a lot of analysis and experimentation, and algorithms and according to her one needs to be both a great statistician and programmer to excel in this field

Mathangi started her career seventeen years ago in GE and HSBC, where she built dashboards and reporting among other things. She was passionate about creating data-driven impact for customers.

Being calm and highly articulate, Mathangi believes in keeping things simple in the world of data science, and that not everything requires a complex solution. To Mathangi, now is a great time for women to step into the world of data science and she advises young girls to keep their eyes open for data and ears perked to understand business problems and provide correct solutions.

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