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11th Women in Machine Learning Workshop (WiML 2016)

Machine learning is one of the fastest growing areas of computer science research. Search engines, text mining, social media analytics, face recognition, DNA sequence analysis, speech and handwriting recognition, healthcare analytics are just some of the applications in which machine learning is routinely used.

In spite of the wide reach of machine learning and the variety of theory and applications it covers, the percentage of female researchers is lower than in many other areas of computer science. Most women working in machine learning rarely get the chance to interact with other female researchers, making it easy to feel isolated and hard to find role models.

The annual Women in Machine Learning Workshop is the flagship event of Women in Machine Learning. This technical workshop gives female faculty, research scientists, and graduate students in the machine learning community an opportunity to meet, network and exchange ideas, participate in career-focused panel discussions with senior women in industry and academia and learn from each other. Underrepresented minorities and undergraduates interested in machine learning research are encouraged to attend. We welcome all genders; however, any formal presentations, i.e. talks and posters, are given by women. We strive to create an atmosphere in which participants feel comfortable to engage in technical and career-related conversations.

Now in its 11th year, the 2016 workshop is co-located with NIPS in Barcelona, Spain on December 5, 2016. A History of WiML poster was created to celebrate the 10th workshop, held in 2015 in Montreal, Canada 2015.

Besides this un-workshop and annual workshop which is co-located with NeurIPS, Women in Machine Learning also organizes events such as breakfast at ICML and AAAI conferences and local meetup events, maintains a public directory of women active in ML, profiles the research of women in ML, and maintains a list of resources for women working in ML.

Invited Speakers
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The workshop takes place in Centre de Convencions Internacional Barcelona, located at Plaça de Willy Brandt, 11-14, 08019 Barcelona, Spain.

Sunday, Dec 4

12.00 – 14.00

Registration desk open. Entrance Hall (enter from Entrance C)


14.00 – 19.00

Workshop on Effective Communication by Katherine Gorman of Talking Machines and Amazon (Optional). Invitation-only, RSVP required

16.00 – 18.00

Amazon Panel & Networking (Optional). Invitation-only, RSVP required


17.00 – 19.00

Facebook Lean-In Circles (Optional). Invitation-only, RSVP required


19.15 – 22.00

WiML Dinner (Optional). Separate registration required. Dedicated to Amazon


22.00 – 23.30

OpenAI Happy Hour (Optional). Invitation-only, RSVP required

Monday, Dec 5

All events are held in Rooms 111 and 112, level P1, CCIB except for the poster session, which takes place in Area 5+6+7+8, level P0.

07.00 – 08.00

Registration and Breakfast. Dedicated to Microsoft and OpenAI. Registration desk at Entrance Hall (enter from Entrance C); Breakfast in Rooms 111 and 112, level P1

08.00 – 08.05

Opening Remarks

08.05 – 08.40

Invited Talk: Maya Gupta, Google Research. Designing Algorithms for Practical Machine Learning. [Abstract] [Video]

08.40 – 08.55

Contributed Talk: Maithra Raghu, Cornell Univ / Google Brain. On the Expressive Power of Deep Neural Networks. [Abstract] [Video]

08.55 – 09.10

Contributed Talk: Sara Magliacane, VU Univ Amsterdam. Ancestral Causal Inference. [Abstract] [Video] [Slides]

09.10 – 09.15


09.15 – 10.15

Research Roundtables (Coffee served until 9.40am). Dedicated to Apple and Facebook


10.15 – 10.50

Invited Talk: Suchi Saria, John Hopkins Univ. Towards a Reasoning Engine for Individualizing Healthcare. [Abstract] [Video]


10.50 – 11.05

Contributed Talk: Madalina Fiterau, Stanford Univ. Learning Representations from Time Series Data through Contextualized LSTMs. [Abstract] [Video]


11.05 – 11.10



11.10 – 11.25

Contributed Talk: Konstantina Christakopoulou, Univ Minnesota. Towards Conversational Recommender Systems. [Abstract] [Video] [Slides]


11.25 – 12.00

Invited Talk: Anima Anandkumar, Amazon / UC Irvine. Large-Scale Machine Learning through Spectral Methods: Theory & Practice. [Abstract] [Video] [Slides]


12.00 – 13.00

Career & Advice Roundtables


13.00 – 13.30

Lunch and Poster Setup. Dedicated to DeepMind and Google


13.30 – 15.30

Poster Session (Coffee served until 2pm). Open to WiML and NIPS attendees. Dedicated to our Silver Sponsors: Capital One, D.E. Shaw, Intel, Twitter. Area 5+6+7+8, level P0; Round 1: 1.40pm – 2.30pm; Round 2:


2.30pm – 3.20pm; Poster Removal: 3.20pm – 3.30pm

15.30 – 15.45

Raffle and WiML UpdatesTamara Broderick, MIT and Sinead Williamson, UT Austin. [Video]


15.45 – 16.00

Contributed Talk: Amy Zhang, Facebook. Using Convolutional Neural Networks to Estimate Population Density from High Resolution Satellite Images. [Abstract] [Video]


16.00 – 16.35

Invited Talk: Jennifer Chayes, Microsoft Research. Graphons and Machine Learning: Estimation of Sparse Massive Networks. [Abstract] [Video]


16.35 – 16.40

Closing Remarks


NIPS Main Conference (NIPS registration required)


NIPS Opening Remarks. Area 1 + 2, level P0

Call for Participation

The 11th WiML Workshop is co-located with NIPS in Barcelona, Spain on Monday, December 05, 2016.

The workshop is a full-day event with invited speakers, oral presentations, and posters. The event brings together faculty, graduate students, and research scientists for an opportunity to connect and exchange ideas.

There will also be a panel discussion and a mentoring session to discuss current research trends and career choices in machine learning. Underrepresented minorities and undergraduates interested in pursuing machine learning research are encouraged to participate. While all presenters will be female, all genders are invited to attend. This is a technical workshop with exciting technical talks.

Important Dates

  • August 29, 2016 11:59pm PST – Abstract submission deadline

  • September 26, 2016 – Notification of abstract acceptance

  • October 5, 2016 11:59pm PST- Travel grant/oral presentation application deadline

  • October 15, 2016 – End of abstract editing period

  • October 24, 2016 – Notification of travel grant/oral presentation acceptance

  • November 1, 2016 (or before, if we run out of space) – Registration deadline

  • December 4, 2016 – Pre-workshop dinner and events

  • December 5, 2016 – Workshop


Submission Instructions

We strongly encourage female students, post-docs and researchers in all areas of machine learning to submit an abstract (500 words or less) describing new, previously, or concurrently published research. We welcome abstract submissions in theory, methodology, as well as applications. Authors of accepted abstracts will be asked to present their work in a poster session. A few authors will be selected to give 15 minutes oral presentations.

  • Submission page:

  • Evaluation criteria: Submissions will be peer reviewed. Abstracts will be evaluated on scientific merit and relevance to the community. To facilitate the peer review process, we encourage authors to sign up as reviewers when submitting abstracts.

Examples of accepted abstracts from previous years. Note that despite the option to upload a paper in the submission system, this is not required. Due to the volume of submissions anticipated, we are unable to review any submitted materials besides the requested abstract.

Travel Scholarships

Registration is free. Partial scholarships will be provided to female students and postdoctoral attendees with accepted abstracts to offset travel costs.