wid meet ups
21st February – Expedia Group

21st February – Expedia Group
Women in Data UK is excited to announce its first ever Meet-up, in association with our valued partner Expedia Group. Join us in London for an evening of data + travel related talks and networking. Food and drink will be provided at this free-to-attend evening event. We have limited spaces available; this is on a first come first served basis. Please use the booking tool to secure your place.

Speakers and Topics
Victoria Lopez ‘Building and Evaluating Hotel Recommendations at Scale’
Ammar Jawad ‘Building Product with Machine Learning in Mind
Aida Mashkouri Najafi ‘Using Deep Learning in Computer Vision’

Location and times
The Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London EC1V 4EX
Nearest tube: Angel (Northern line)

Registration: 6.00 p.m.
Session times: 6.30 – 7.30 p.m.
Networking: 7.30 – 8.30 p.m.



Name: Victoria Lopez

Bio:  Victoria is a Data Scientist at Expedia Partner Solutions. She mainly works in the application of machine learning to generate relevant hotel recommendations. Victoria has a PhD in machine learning, a post-doc in parallel processing and has previously worked in retail.

Title: Building and Evaluating Hotel Recommendations at Scale


Recommender systems are one of the most successful and widespread application of machine learning technologies in business, fueled by the amount of consumer data generated nowadays. While a lot of recommender systems rely on frequent previous purchases, in the travel domain customers tend to book accommodations with larger timelines and in diverse geographical regions.

In this talk, I will present the process that we used to develop and implement a reliable recommender system for hotels without relying on specific customer information. I will introduce the components of the approach, the methodology that we used and some of the challenges that we found due to the scale of data and its associated geographical sparsity.


Name: Ammar Jawad

Bio:  Ammar is a Product Manager and a Data Scientist hybrid. He is self-taught in machine learning, statistics and coding with more than 50 online courses completed to date. As a Syrian refugee, he is passionate about helping others through the use of technology and is currently working on building an ML model to help the Tanzanian government deliver clean water to its citizens. He manages the ML capabilities at Hotels.com and is engaged in training teams in ML across Expedia Group.

Title: Building Product with Machine Learning in Mind

Overview: The talk will cover how to build products with machine learning in mind, and how we approach it at Hotels.com.


Name: Aida Mashkouri Najafi

Bio:  Aida Mashkouri is a Senior Data Scientist at Expedia. Her main focus in the last few years is on application of Deep Learning Models in Computer Vision. In her team they use Machine Learning and Data Science techniques to improve the content of their website leading to enhance customers experiences and ease out their journey in booking a holidays. She has a MSc in Technical Mathematics and Statistics and prior joining Expedia in 2016 she has worked in start-ups and also as a data science consultant.

Title: Using Deep Learning in Computer Vision

Overview: Aida will take you through on how it is to work in Expedia as a Data Scientist, it’s R&D culture and the type of challenges they are trying to tackle. She will talk about the applications of deep learning techniques in computer vision and how it help their customers having a better experience in booking holidays.