WiMIR Workshop 2018: Success!

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We’re pleased to tell you that the WiMIR 1st Annual Workshop was a resounding success!

Why organize a WiMIR Workshop? We saw this as a way to build upon the MIR community’s already strong support for diversity and inclusion in the field. The Workshop format was a fitting complement to the remote pairings of the mentoring program and brief introductions gained during the main ISMIR conference. We proposed three aims for the WiMIR 1st Annual Workshop:

  • Further amplify the scientific efforts of women in the field.
  • Encourage the discussion of proposed or unfinished work.
  • Create additional space for networking.

Thanks to support from Spotify, we were able to offer the WiMIR Workshop as a free event, and open it up to ALL members of the community!  The Workshop took place as a satellite event of ISMIR2018, at Télécom ParisTech. We had 65 pre-registrations, and closer to 80 people attending.  We had poster presentations from 18 women in the field, with topics ranging from Indian Classical music to musical gestures.  We had 11 project groups, ranging from karaoke-at-scale, music for mood modulation, and the relationship between cardiac rhythms & music.  We had a staggering number of croissants and pain au chocolats, too – thanks, Paris.

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The day started with the aforementioned pastries and coffee, and then people joined up with their project groups, introduced themselves, and got a big-picture overview from their Project Guides.  This led into a poster session, focusing on early-stage research ideas.

Posters turned into lunch, which was informally structured around topics like “Dealing with Sexism” and “Surviving Grad School”.  The lunch provided attendees with an opportunity to connect with new people and learn about topics that members in the field (especially those who are not women) don’t often discuss.  

After lunch, the project groups started a deeper dive into their topic areas, with an eye to present at 4 pm.  The presentations were great – we had everything from machine-learned piano melodies to microsurveys about music and emotion to a whole lot of post-it notes about cover songs.

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It was, in general, a lot of fun, and we achieved the aims of the event.  We’re looking forward to next year – it seems like most folks are as well:

It was a fruitful session and our group will certainly continue the work that we started yesterday.” – Elaine Chew, Professor of Digital Media, Queen Mary University

“The most inspiringly diverse event in the field of MIR!” – Oriol Nieto, Senior Scientist, Pandora

“It was exciting to see new diverse groups of people across different backgrounds, disciplines and institutions form new research collaborations!” – Rachel Bittner, Research Scientist, Spotify.

“The first WiMIR Workshop was an amazing way to meet a diverse set of people working in MIR who want to make the world better.  I loved our workshop chats as well as breaking the ice on tougher discussion points during lunch, such as overcoming sexism.  It was staggering to see what each group accomplished in such a short period of time at the first WiMIR Workshop, and I made many great new friendships as well.  Bravo!” – Tom Butcher, Principal Engineering & Science Manager, Microsoft

 

“I am already looking forward to next year’s!” – Kyungyun Lee, MS student, KAIST

“Very organized, inspiring and motivating event! Excellent way to meet the most welcoming people of the MIR community.” – Bruna Wundervald, PhD Candidate, Maynooth University

“I loved the format! Emerged at the end of the day full of ideas and new motivation.” – Polina Proutskova, Postdoc, Centre for Digital Media, Queen Mary University

And, of course, the tweets:Screen Shot 2018-10-24 at 12.04.49.png

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Big thanks to everyone who helped out: The ISMIR2018 volunteers & General Chairs, the ISMIR Board, WIMIR leadership, Télécom ParisTech, and Emile Marx from Spotify Paris.  

We’ll see you next year in Delft!

The WiMIR Workshop Organizers,

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