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International Womens’ Day: 6 Women in Data Science Leaders

The field of Data Science is in the spotlight today. It combines deep knowledge and cutting edge technology from multiple disciplines to solve the most difficult problems facing the world today.

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2022, we asked the talented women at Duality what they love about their careers and which big problems they hope to solve with data collaboration.

Rina Shainski, Co-founder and Chairwoman

I have a real passion for technology-driven innovation and for the creative process of starting new ventures – ventures that build products and services that make a difference. In other words, the art of using technology to create positive change. This has been a consistent thread of my career – innovation and creation. Prior to founding Duality, I practiced it for 16 years as a general partner at a leading VC fund, investing and nurturing new ventures. At Duality this passion for innovation and creation is being fulfilled stronger than ever. Once Duality was created, by our wonderful founding team, we focused on the challenge of productizing advanced privacy-enhancing technologies that address the need of organizations to collaborate on sensitive data. Personally, I find it fascinating to come full circle: from my master’s degree in cryptograph through a career of building innovative products, investing and nurturing startups and all the way to founding and building Duality. At Duality, I have the amazing opportunity, together with our great team, to transform the vision into reality by introducing innovative services based on advanced cryptographic capabilities to the market.

The end goal is to solve the biggest problem: the exasperating conflicts between public good and individual data privacy. Recently, these conflicts were behind the difficulties of sharing individual infection and vaccination data in order to predict the spread of COVID. These conflicts are also behind the difficulties of inter-banks collaborations for fighting financial crime. Similar conflicts need to be addressed to enable organizations to collaborate on sensitive data in many public and private sectors. It will be most satisfying to see Duality play a leadership role in solving these problems.

Marcella Arthur, Vice President of Global Marketing

If someone asked me 20 years ago what I love about my career, the answer would have been the money. That was my reality back then. Before email. When fax machines were a cool new way to communicate. I needed to pay for school, to pay rent and put food on the table. Ask me today and the answer is completely different. Mentorship is why I love my job today. Two decades into my career I have established the best practices, creative thinking and influential community that enables day-to-day marketing to be done right. However, the mentoring part of the role continues to surprise me, invigorate me, and astound me. I see new marketeers, those who have earned their stripes alongside me, and some who have heard about our marketing magic along the way and think to myself almost daily, how lucky am I to have made this journey. Today, I work in an organization that has over 33% women – I value their contribution, tenacity, and drive. Two of our founders are the most formidable women I have had the pleasure to work with, and are world renowned in their respective fields. This is extremely exciting as it enables me to become the mentee and continue to grow as a woman in tech.

The big problems I hope to solve are extremely meaningful in my role at Duality. After my last role, I was fortunate enough to be approached by Duality to lead their marketing efforts. Technology, while it continues to shift and advance, in some ways started to become a bit static to market. You build the plan to support the company goals, understand the competitive landscape and hone in on the competitive landscape while trying to uncover what is unique to you. At Duality this came easily. Our technology. Our people. Our mission is so much bigger than just big tech. We lead with a platform that enables you to solve big world problems. To leverage data science to help advance the greater good. We arm enterprises with the tools that enable them to learn from their data, partner with others, all to drive action that will positively impact all of us.

Rina Serlin, Vice President of People

The first ingredient in building a team of world class data scientists and cryptographers is the challenge of the work itself. The best minds want to work on the biggest problems and most advanced technologies. Next, you need to make sure everyone has the maximum opportunities to grow and expand their knowledge. Our team includes groundbreaking pioneers with decades of accomplishments, exceptionally talented young university graduates, and everything in between. The team structure is completely flat and everyone contributes and communicates openly. Our recruitment process involves really getting to know each and every new team member and together finding opportunities for growth and collaboration. Finally, a world class team, by definition, must be global. Succeeding in a global team requires good communication and interpersonal skills, so we look for people that have this full set of scientific and technical expertise along with the soft skills they will need to thrive in a global team. The diversity of our team is crucial because it leads to better innovation and decision making, but we all need to do more to make sure everyone has the opportunity to be a part of shaping the future of data science. One of Duality’s many missions is to work with young women who are pursuing a career in data science and encourages everyone excited about applying their knowledge in data science, cryptography and engineering to join the team.

Ruthi Franco, Director of Product Management

I just love what I do. As a product leader, I get to constantly learn new things and get new perspectives on technologies, customers, markets, trends, etc. I also love to work with many diverse types of professionals; from sales and business to engineering and data science, top-down thinkers and bottom-up analyzers. Learning new things and innovation are constantly present in my career.

I get the most satisfaction from making customers happy, and from achieving that through team work. Along the way, there are many problems to solve. What is the relevant customer pain? What product or capability would best fit her needs? Do we have the right technology to solve the problem? How can we engage the right team of experts to solve this problem? How would the company benefit from investing in this? What will we learn from this? In the end, this translates into building better products and growing our business. What’s fascinating about this work is the art of making it all happen.

Saraswathy RV, Research Scientist, Cryptography Engineering

What I most love about working as a research scientist on the cryptography engineering team is that I get to work on problems that interest me with a team of smart people who share the same passions and expertise. The opportunity to work on topics such as homomorphic encryption, which was purely conceptual for decades, and turn this into practical tools with real world implications is very exciting and satisfying. As the issue of privacy and privacy regulations have grown, there are so many real life use cases for privacy computation. My work involves the intersection of both of my passions; mathematics and technology. I began by studying mathematics in university. Immediately after graduation I started working in the Information Technology industry, where I gained skills and appreciation for practical technology solutions. This desire to pursue both mathematics and technology led me to choose cryptography for my PhD. My research was in post-quantum cryptography, mainly focusing on key exchange protocols in the context of key reuse. I researched new theoretical attacks and defense against these attacks. So I researched the security problems of the future and how to solve them today. As a part of the Duality Labs project I get to do the same thing, research future privacy and security problems and solutions of 5G networks that will be widely deployed in the future.

Saroja Erabelli, Software Developer

I have been fascinated by cryptography since I was a kid, when I would make codes with my 11-year-old friends and try to crack them by hand. I started learning about the magic of number theory and how to code a few years later, and finally, in college, is where I first heard about homomorphic encryption from Vinod and Shafi. I was really excited about the potential of homomorphic encryption to perform computations on data while it is encrypted, and I was especially drawn in by the algebra and algorithms behind it. Being able to work on turning this potential into a reality as my career is a dream come true.

I love how there are an infinite number of concepts to learn that are so applicable to our product, including:

  • Lattices and algebra
  • Machine learning and data science algorithms
  • Algorithmic performance optimizations
  • Hardware performance optimizations
  • Cryptographic proofs

I love having the opportunity to learn about so many different technical areas and see them directly impact customers, and having so many experts to learn from at Duality has made it very easy for me to grow all these skills. I love that I get to work on a product that I really believe in with such a talented team.

Would you like to bring your expertise and passion to work on the biggest challenges in cryptography and data science? – see open positions at Duality now.

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