Two second-year students of the School of Technology Management & Engineering (STME) at SVKM’s NMIMS Hyderabad campus, M. Vaishnavi and Pavithra Sevakula, received the offer to participate in the prestigious ACM India Winter School 2023. They were selected from a pool of over 400 female student participants who were considered for the internship under the theme of “Data Science for Social Good”. The selection was based on a keen perusal of prior work done by the students in the field of data science.
The Winter School, held at the SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, is an exclusive gathering for female participants and aims to inspire aspiring students pursuing data science to explore machine learning modules of the future and use the same to tackle socially relevant problems.
This ten-day internship covered a range of topics, including biases in online systems, fairness in classification, the fundamentals of machine learning, data science for society, clustering and recommendation, and data science in healthcare, among others.
The programme featured talks by renowned experts like Ashish Tendulkar of Google, Animesh Mukherjee of IIT Kharagpur, Abhijnan Chakrabarty of IIT Delhi, Dweeptobotee Brahma of IIT Jodhpur, Saptarshi Ghosh of IIT Kharagpur, Mitesh Khapra of IIT Madras, Srujana Merugu of Amazon, and Tavpritesh Sethi of IIIT Delhi. Thanks to this opportunity, Pavithra and Vaishnavi were able to study under world-renowned professionals and gain knowledge about cutting-edge data science applications.
In addition to enhancing the student's academic knowledge, the Winter School also encouraged teamwork and provided mentorship opportunities. Pavithra and Vaishnavi established a strong peer network. They exchanged experiences and learned from other participants, which would be invaluable for their future data science work.
Both Pavithra and Vaishnavi expressed their deep gratitude to NMIMS Hyderabad for providing them with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The participants praised the rich curriculum, the supportive professors, and the helpful mentors at NMIMS Hyderabad, including Dr. Siddhartha Ghosh, the Campus Director, Prof. Chandrakant Wani (Programme Chair), and Prof. Wasiha Tasneem (Mentor).
"Each day was a stepping stone in an enriching learning experience," Vaishnavi added. "The insights gained have broadened my perspective and opened new horizons in the realm of data science for social good."
Echoing Vaishnavi’s thoughts, Pavithra emphasised how the programme had shaped her future goals. She went on to say, "This experience has not just been about lessons. It has provided me with blueprints for future endeavours to create positive change! I want to continue understanding the power of data science and these ten days have been transformative.”
By providing an ecosystem for its students to participate in pathbreaking programmes like the ACM Winter School, NMIMS Hyderabad is preparing students on how to apply data science in meaningful ways, which might have a good impact on people's lives and the world at large soon.
The selection of two female students indeed marks a big step forward for Indian women in the field of engineering.