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Lecture #2

Title: Being a Women in STEM and Creating Opportunities

Chathurika Wickramasinghe Brahmana
Senior Associate- Data Science,
Capital One Finances, Richmond, VA. USA


STEM is one of the great fields to major in and pursues professionally. These fields share common goals in problem-solving, critical thinking, and innovation which are far-most important globally towards advancements in engineering, medicine, people's safety, sustainable solutions, and saving the environment. Statistically, half of the U.S. workforce represents women. However, women are still vastly underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce. Even though the percentage of women in STEM increases over time, percentage-wise, women still represent less than 30% in the STEM field. As a woman in the STEM field, we should discuss how we can contribute more in STEM fields by identifying existing barriers for women and creating opportunities for future generations.

Brief Bio:

Chathurika S. Wickramasinghe (Alias: Chathurika S. Wickramasinghe Brahmana Mudiyanselage) was born in Kandy, Sri Lanka. She received her B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka in 2016. She joined the Doctor of Philosophy program at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia, USA, in 2017. She received her doctorate in Computer Science in 2022. She has over six years of research and development experience, collaborating with universities, the U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories (US DOE), and Industry partners. Her research interests are Interpretable Machine Learning, Neural Networks, Unsupervised Machine Learning, Cyber Security, and Human-Machine Interactions. Her Ph.D. thesis was ‘Improving and interpreting unsupervised neural networks, where she focused on improving the learning capability of two neural network architectures (Self-Organising Neural Network, ResNets) and presented model-specific interpretation methodologies for them. Currently, she is working as a Senior Associate (Data Science) at Capital One Finances. Further, she continues to involve in research activities with her former research team at VCU and works as Guest Associate Editor in the Theoretical Computer Science -Frontiers journal.

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