Karina Gibert, honourable mention from the Institute for Catalan Studies (IEC), and Clara Prats, Mathematics and Society Award 2021

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27/4/2021

Director of the Intelligent Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Research Center (IDEAI UPC) and member of Knowledge Engineering and Machine Learning Group (KEMLG), Karina Gibert Oliveras, has been given an honourable mention in the Creu Casas Award of the Institute for Catalan Studies (IEC) – Women to change the world, for her work promoting women’s talent.

Karina Gibert has a degree in computer science and teaches at the Barcelona School of Informatics (FIB). She also promotes and participates in various actions to increase the number of women opting for a career in computer science and technology in general. She is one of the leading scientists in the Aquí STEAM programme of the UPC and participates actively in the university’s activities to close the gender gap. The honourable mention that she was given by the IEC is in recognition of the strong work she has done to close the gender gap in technology and particularly in computer engineering. She carries out this work through gender committees, her participation in the women and equality commission of the Intercollegiate Association of Professional Associations of Catalonia, the Forum Hipàtia and her role as joint ambassador of the Women in Data Science of Stanford in Barcelona. 

The Creu Casas Award was set up by the Institute for Catalan Studies in 2017 to promote the women who cultivate science and give an award to a woman every year in recognition of her work in tasks of dissemination and bringing technology closer to female students in any field (engineering, architecture, computer science, telecommunications, etc.).

In turn, Clara Prats, researcher and coordinator of the Computational Biology and Complex Systems Group (BIOCOM-SC), has been awarded the Mathematics and Society Award 2021. This award is given annually by the Ferran Sunyer i Balaguer Foundation, which is part of the Institute for Catalan Studies.

Clara Prats has a degree in physics and teaches at the Barcelona School of Telecommunications Engineering (ETSETB) of the UPC. She is also highly active in promoting STEAM careers among primary and secondary students. 

The Mathematics and Society Award, which was created in 2008, is designed to stimulate the presence of mathematics in the media. The award recognises researcher Clara Prats for her contribution to increasing the visibility of mathematics as a vital tool to respond to the social challenge of this period of pandemic. The models and statistical techniques that have been used have helped to better understand the behaviour of COVID-19. They have also been used to advise the European Commission based on a daily analysis and short-term predictions of the pandemic, to be able to tackle it.  

The BIOCOM-SC group used a model developed jointly with the Centre for Comparative Medicine and Bioimage (CMCiB) of the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP) to analyse and predict the evolution of the epidemic caused by COVID-19. Initially, the model was only based on new diagnoses. However, gradually it has been adapted and optimised as data management has also improved.

The Institute for Catalan Studies’ awards were established in 1914 and contribute to promoting scientific research, high culture and Catalan. The Ferran Sunyer i Balaguer Foundation is an organisation created in 1983 and integrated into the IEC in 1991, to promote mathematical research and award prizes for projects or grants for studies in this area.

The IEC presented the awards at a ceremony held in person on 23 April in the Casa de Convalescència.

Related news item: Interview with Clara Prats

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