• azadehdindarian

WAIA and Fraunhofer Institute IDMT Collaboration

About four months ago in May 2020, a group of women across diverse industries, backgrounds and geographies decided to embark on a data science learning journey as the pioneer cohort with the Women in AI Academy (WAIA). The Academy was founded by Naz Cilo-van Norel, Azadeh Dindarian and Katherina Teuber with the vision to bring more women into the fields of Data Science, AI and Machine Learning.

Fast forward two months into late July, we had the opportunity to take on our first industry internship project with Mrs. Peggy Sylopp, the founder of Hear How You Like To Hear project from the Fraunhofer Institute IDMT Oldenburg. This is an - BMBF-funded project on open source hearing research with the objective to support people with better personalized acoustic hearing devices. Based on the environment the users are in they adjust the sound they would like to hear by controlling a multi-band dynamic range compressor for sound amplification -. This device benefits both the everyday person and those with hearing challenges.

The goals in Phase 1 of the project centered on data cleaning, analysis and visualization provided by users who have tested the prototype. It gave the project team the learning opportunity to apply our python programming skills (such as pandas, numpy, seaborn, matplotlib, etc.) acquired during the course on an actual industry project. At the onset, the project request looked a lot simpler than we had thought, given the data set was relatively small with about 70 test users. It was only as we began to dig deeper into the data that we realized that ‘still water runs deep’. Adding to the challenge was that none of us had experience in the world of technical acoustics and we were all fresh off the Data Science boat.

Nonetheless, we had a wonderful team of talented women with diverse yet complementing skillsets armed with grit and several years of industry and academia experience to see the project through. The team comprised of: Katherina Teuber and Nabanita Roy, two very well-accomplished data scientists who mentored us on the project; Asli Volkan-Diewald, who supported us as our client account manager leveraging her prior client management experience in pharmaceutical companies; Anne Ströhlein, who leveraged her tech skills in Web development and IT support experience in academia to guide the team as our tech lead; Meral Ozalp whose analytic skillset stemming from her PhD experience in agricultural economics helped us resolved a number of data file issues that we previously thought was unsolvable, which made a huge difference to enrich our usable data set; Oya Uysal Kog whose PhD experience in primary mathematics education helped us understand data interpolation and visualization solutions; Elizabeth Chee leading the project as the project manager leveraging my prior solution sales and global product launch management experiences.

We are delighted to announce that we have managed to achieve the agreed project objectives and results ahead of our schedule. As a result, we have a very satisfied client who have requested for a few more deliverables which we plan to conclude by 15th October 2020, marking the full completion of our learning internship with this project. We want to thank everyone mentioned here for your contribution, involvement and support into making this learning experience a fruitful one.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about the programs that WAIA has to offer, or in partnering with us in offering industry internships to our course participants, please refer to or send an email to for more information.

Written by Elizabeth Chee and endorsed by Peggy Sylopp.

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