Celebrating International Women’s Day

Every March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) to celebrate the achievements of women. IWD was created to celebrate women, raise awareness about discrimination, and work towards bridging the gender gap.

This year, the theme of IWD is Investing in Women to Accelerate Progress. The United Nations have highlighted five key areas needing action which include equality as a human rights issue, ending poverty, implementing gender-responsive financing, moving to a green society, and supporting feminist changemakers. You can read more about Investing in Women here.

At DeepSense we are celebrating and supporting women and girls, particularly those working and studying in STEM. We are excited to introduce two of our interns, Amous Qiu, and Milagros Vasquez Fernandez and hear what IWD means to them. Amous is a Senior Machine Learning Engineer on Smart Atlantic Buoy, and Milagros is a Computer Vision Intern with Blue Lion Labs.

 Meet Amous (Ziyu) Qiu! 

Hello, I’m Amous (Ziyu) Qiu, a PhD student in Computer Science at Dalhousie University. I enjoy using machine learning methods to solve problems and create new interesting stuff. During my co-op terms in my computer science undergraduate degree, I worked for Ubisoft Halifax for one term as a game developer, then I worked for immediaC for one year as a web developer. My research project for school focuses on using NLP and AI methods for anomaly detection in cybersecurity. 

I am currently working on the Smart Atlantic Buoy project, a joint project that supports operational efficiency, situational awareness and safety in the marine environment by collecting and sharing data between buoys across Atlantic Canada. My role in the project is to help develop a model to predict data that would come from a given buoy using the other buoys data. Ultimately, this model will allow us to predict data if a buoy is offline. 

International woman’s day is like a reminder to me. It reminds me of all the great women who have put a lot of effort into the peace, equality, development we have right now. 

When I first got into computer science, being the only girl in the classroom was always not fun. But as time passed, I started to see more and more great women studying and working in computer science. But I still got asked a lot about how do you feel about being a woman in computer science? My answer is always how do you feel about being a man in computer science? 

There is nothing wrong for boys to play Barbie and girls to play toy cars. Don’t let stereotypes ruin your dreams. If you are passionate about it, fight for it no matter what they say.

 Meet Milagros Vasquez Fernandez! 

Hello, I’m Milagros! I am a seasoned system engineer with a decade in banking, now pursuing a Master’s in Business Analytics at Saint Mary’s University. Beyond academics, I relish exploring Halifax’s vibrant community, immersing myself in its green spaces, waterfront strolls, invigorating runs, and connecting with friends in the MBAN program. In a decade of banking, I’ve propelled tech projects, elevating data quality and integrity. Expertise in crafting decision-support dashboards defines my career. Leading a dynamic 7-person team last year, I launched cutting-edge tech projects.

I work with Blue Lion Labs, employing AI to mitigate environmental and biological threats. The prevalent issue of harmful organisms, notably algae, inflicting damages and losses across aquaculture, public health, real estate, and tourism, prompted an innovative solution. Blue Lion Labs uses machine learning to autonomously identify phytoplankton in real-time. My role involves analyzing images, accurately labeling different organisms. This proactive approach aids in preventing or issuing timely warnings upon detecting harmful organisms, contributing to a more resilient and sustainable ecosystem.

Since childhood, I’ve been fascinated by technology and its potential to enhance human lives. This passion led me to pursue a degree in Systems Engineering. Along the way, I’ve encountered inspiring women who have motivated me to believe in the power of making a difference. I firmly believe that significant impacts can spark a chain of positive changes, with each one amplifying the overall effect. Now, as an international student embarking on a Master of Business Analytics at SMU, I see my life unfolding with new learning experiences. I’ve been fortunate to meet more women in the tech industry, reinforcing my belief that women’s presence in technology will continue to grow.

I wholeheartedly encourage women to pursue careers in technology, as we have the ability to transform lives and create better opportunities for all.

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