2020 in review

Table of Contents

What happened in 2020?

Vancouver Datajam 2020 was a virtual one-day, hackathon-like event where participants developed their coding skills and met other members of the community. Participating groups included RLadies, PyLadies, SFU Scientific Programming, Women in Machine Learning/Data Science, Women Techmakers.

For the 2020 Datajam, we helped drive change towards sustainable oceans through technology. Datajam participants worked to bring awareness to the plastics crisis with projects that aim to understand, visualize, and make predictions about plastic waste data. This free social coding event brought together Vancouver’s young programmers, scientists and citizens with the common goal of hacking for a plastic waste free future.

The event consisted of a day long hack where hackers exercised what they'd learned in teams, and then a networking event that included a panel. Our aim was to foster a beginner-friendly environment and to increase the visibility of femme-identified individuals, WoC and gender minorities in the fields of data science and technology.

The 2020 event, and all our events, are open to everyone, especially those coming from marginalized backgrounds and gender minorities.

2020 project links

The event schedule of 2020
unconference 4 September
Virtual Unconference Evening
5:30 PM - 8 PM

People got to know their fellow attendees and talk about the big issues

A moderated discussion where people could conribute, listen, and learn in a relaxed atmosphere

workshops 11 September
Online Workshops
5:30 PM - 9 PM

Learn or refreshing skills

A refresher on R and Python, as well as using them to analyse data

datajam 12 September
Opening Ceremony
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Open remarks and Keynotes

People could eat breakfast while listening to the event organisers and keynote speakers kick off the day

datajam 12 September
Datajam @ Your house!
9:30 AM - 6:30 PM

The main event!

Work on a prepared project with or as an xperienced mentor, led by a specially selected team lead

datajam 12 September
Git Training
10 AM - 11 AM

Beginner Git Overview

A Git overview designed for beginners to give them the skills they needed to contribute to their hack

event 12 September
Career Panel & Q&A
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Hearing from an experienced femme panel of Data Scientists

People could listen & ask questions at a panel of female experts in the fields of data science and sustainability.

event 12 September
Awards Ceremony & Close
8:30 PM - 8:45 PM

Celebrate Project Winners and Wrap up the Event

A celebration of everyone's participation in the first annual Vancouver Datajam, and some winners were chosen

our 2020 keynote speakers

speaker name
Nancy Heckman


Nancy Heckman is a professor in the Statistics Department of the University of British Columbia and currently serves as the Associate Scientific Director of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute (CANSSI). The field of statistics has changed a lot over Nancy’s career and she is thrilled to play a role in those changes. At UBC, she served as department head from 2008-2018, during the beginning of the data science boom. In her role at CANSSI, she works hard to implement CANSSI’s vision to advance the development, application, and communication of statistical and inferential data science research and training. In addition to holding these leadership roles, Nancy has collaborated with scientists on various research projects, answering their scientific questions using techniques in Functional Data Analysis.
speaker name
Anna Posacka


Anna is a Research Manager of the Plastics Lab at Ocean Wise – a global conservation organization that inspires millions of people to take action to improve the health of our oceans. She oversees studies on ocean plastic pollution that lie at the intersection of material science, oceanography, civil engineering, sustainability, aquatic ecology, and public policy in collaboration with industry, government and citizen scientists. The mission of the Plastics Lab is to guide solutions and best practices to the pervasive and growing problem of plastic waste in our environment. She holds a PhD in Oceanography from the University of British Columbia and MSc in Applied Marine Science from Plymouth University, UK.

our 2020 panelists

speaker name
Amanda Giang


Amanda Giang is an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UBC. Her research addresses challenges at the interface of environmental modelling and policy through an interdisciplinary lens, with a focus on air pollution and toxic chemicals.
speaker name
Lara Thompson


Lara is lead data scientist on the Explain Data team at Tableau; before that she led a team doing machine learning on home energy time series data. Switching from math/physics was worth it: building models of the real world is so much more meaningful!
speaker name
Marjan Moodi


Marjan got her Master in Artificial Intelligence focusing on computer vision and deep learning applications in Iran. She immigrated to Canada two years ago and started her career as a computer vision engineer working on smart recycling applications. In her current role as computer vision engineer at Ecoation Innovative Solutions, she designs and trains models to detect and track various objects in a greenhouse environment.
speaker name
Megan McCorquodale


After a degree in Mathmatics and Statistics from Acadia University, Megan persued a Masters in Statistics from SFU. After leaving her first job as an Analyst at Deloitte, Megan worked at Mobify and Absolute Software before joining Mozilla in 2018 as a Senior Data Scientist.

2020 Workshop Recordings

The 2020 event is already over;
join us for the current one!