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12th Women in Machine Learning Workshop (WiML 2017)

The 12th WiML Workshop is co-located with NIPS in Long Beach, California on Monday, December 4th and Thursday, December 7th, 2017.

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 12th year, the 2017 workshop is co-located with NIPS in Long Beach, California. 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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Co-located with NIPS in Long Beach, California.

This workshop takes place in Long Beach Convention Center.


12:00 – 14:00

Registration Desk Opens

19:00 – 22:30

Pre Workshop Dinner (Optional). Separate Registration Required


All events are held in Room 104, except for the poster session, which takes place in the Pacific Ballroom


9:00 – 12:00

Registration Desk Opens

11:00 – 11:15

Opening Remarks – Jenn Wortman Vaughan Microsoft Research. Co-Founder of WiML.


11:15 – 11:50

Invited Talk – Tamara Broderick MIT. Bayesian machine learning: Quantifying uncertainty and robustness at scale

11:50 – 12:10

Contributed Talk: Aishwarya Unnikrishnan, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi. Towards Communication-Centric Multi-Agent Deep Reinforcement Learning for Guarding a Territory Game. 

12:10 – 12:30

Contributed Talk: Peyton Greenside, Stanford University. Graph convolutional networks can encode three-dimensional genome architecture in deep learning models for genomics. 


12:30 – 14:00 

Lunch + Poster Session 


14:00 – 14:35

Invited Talk – Hanna Wallach  Microsoft Research. Machine Learning for Social Science


14:35 – 14:50

Coffee Break


14:50 – 15:50

Research and Career Advice Roundtables

15:55 – 16:15

Contributed Talk: Palak Agarwal, WorldQuant. Fairness Aware Recommendations. 


16:15 – 16:35

Contributed Talk: Victoria Krakovna, DeepMind. Reinforcement Learning with a Corrupted Reward Channel. 

16:35 – 16:45

Closing Remarks



All events are held in Room 104, except for the poster session, which takes place in the Pacific Ballroom


10:00 – 14:00

Registration Desk Opens

12:00 – 12:45


12:45 – 13:05

Opening Remarks – Raia Hadsell, DeepMind

13:05 – 13:40

Invited Talk – Joelle Pineau Head Facebook AI Research (Montreal Lab)/ Mc Gill. Improving health-care: challenges and opportunities for reinforcement learning

13:40 – 13:55

Contributed Talk: Zhenyi Tang, University of Illinois. Harnessing Adversarial Attacks on Deep Reinforcement Learning for Improving Robustness.

13:55 – 14:10

Contributed Talk: Hoda Heidari, ETH Zurich. A General Framework for Evaluating Callout Mechanisms in Repeated Auctions. 

14:10 – 14:20

Coffee Break

14:20 – 15:20

Research and Career Advice Roundtable

15:20 – 15:55

Invited Talk – Nina Mishra Amazon. Time-Critical Machine Learning

15:55 – 16:15

Contributed Talk: Sarah Bouchat, Nothwestern University. Engaging Experts: A Dirichlet Process Approach to Divergent Elicited Priors in Social Science. 

16:15 – 16:35

Contributed Talk: Nesreen K Ahmed, Intel Labs. Representation Learning in Large Attributed Graphs. 


16:35 – 16:40

Closing Remarks 

16:40 – 18:05

Poster Session (Coffee and Snacks Served)

Call for Participation

The 12th WiML Workshop is co-located with NIPS in Long Beach, California on Monday, December 4th and Thursday, December 7th, 2017.

The workshop is a two-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 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 identify primarily as female, all genders are invited to attend. This is a technical workshop with exciting technical talks.

Important Dates

  • September 12th, 2017 11:59 pm PST – Extended Abstract submission deadline

  • September 8th, 2017 11:59 pm PST – Abstract submission deadline

  • October 16th, 2017 – Notification of abstract acceptance

  • November 1st, 2017 – Travel grant application deadline

  • November 14th, 2017 – Registration Deadline

  • December 4th, 2017 – Workshop Day 1

  • December 7th, 2017 – Workshop Day 2

Submission Instructions

We strongly encourage primarily female-identifying students, post-docs and researchers in all areas of machine learning to submit an abstract describing new, previously, or concurrently published research. We welcome abstract submissions, in theory, methodology, as well as applications. Abstracts may describe completed research or work-in-progress. While the presenting author need not be the first author of the work, we encourage authors to highlight the contribution of female authors — particularly the presenting author — in the abstract.

Authors of accepted abstracts will be asked to present their work in a poster session. A few authors will be selected to give 15 minute oral presentations.  Submissions will be peer-reviewed in a double-blind setting.  Authors are encouraged to sign up to review for WiML, with a sign-up option available upon submission.  Student and post-doc authors who review for WiML will be eligible for travel awards.

Submission page:

Style guidelines:

  • Abstracts must not include identifying information

  • Abstracts must be no more than 1 page (including any references, tables, and figures) submitted as a PDF. Main body text must be 11 points in size.  

  • Do not include any supplementary files with your submission.

Content guidelines:

  • Your abstract should stand alone, without linking to a longer paper or supplement.

  • You should convey motivation and give some technical details of the approach used.

  • While we appreciate that space is limited, some experimental results are likely to improve reviewers’ opinions of your paper.

Acceptance criteria:

All accepted papers must be presented by a primarily female-identifying author. Abstracts will be reviewed by at least two reviewers plus an area chair, who will use the following criteria:

  • Is this paper appropriate for WiML? I.e. Does it describe original research in Machine Learning or related fields?

  • Does the abstract describe work that is novel and/or an interesting application?

  • Does the abstract adequately convey the material that will be presented?

Examples of accepted abstracts from previous years. Due to the volume of submissions anticipated, we are unable to review any submitted materials besides the requested abstract.

Travel Scholarships

Registration is free. Travel Awards are available for presenting authors only.  To qualify, the author must be a student or post-doc, their abstract must be accepted, and they must volunteer to serve as a reviewer for WiML.  The amount of the travel award varies by the author’s geographical location and the total amount of funding WiML receives from our sponsors. In the past awards ranging from $300-$900 have been granted.  



  • Negar Rostamzadeh (Element AI)

  • Ehi Nosakhare (MIT)

  • Danielle Belgrave (Imperial College London)

  • Genna Gliner (Princeton University)

  • Maja Rudolph (Columbia University)