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Patricia Acosta-Vargas

PhD in Computer Science

Universidad de Las Américas

And - Researcher

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Never give up because everything is possible; it only requires perseverance and dedication.

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I have a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Alicante. I am the author of more than 70 articles indexed in WOS and Scopus. I am a Women’s Data Science Ambassador (WiDS) - UDLA. Currently, I am a researcher at the UDLA. I have participated in research related to web accessibility, telemedicine, education, data science, web applications and business intelligence, and innovation.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

I chose technology because I think that by working in multidisciplinary areas such as education, medicine, agriculture, many processes can be optimized, and more people can be reached.

I am from the city of Ambato, from one of the parishes where most people, including my parents, were farmers, so I decided to study technology to apply in various areas such as precision agriculture, telemedicine, and virtual education is trending.

I am very passionate about technology because I can share my knowledge regardless of time and space; I am the Ambassador of Women in Data Science, which has allowed me to generate new references of women in science and technology, empowered women in technology areas, and data science.

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

I faced several obstacles, among them discrimination at the university for being a woman. My bosses only used me to do their jobs, do the paperwork and everything they could not do, and pretended that it was their job and ideas. I decided to study and keep learning more and more every day until I became a researcher in web accessibility and lead several national and international projects. In this way, I try to motivate more women to believe in themselves, that everything is possible with a lot of dedication and constant learning. We should never stop dreaming until everything we want becomes a reality. We should not expect anything from anyone, that we have the same capabilities to achieve everything we want.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

I think that everything is possible no matter the age, age is a number, the more years, the more experience. In my case, I achieved my Ph.D. in computer science at 50 years old, being an excellent researcher, professional, mother, wife, daughter, friend and sister. I can still do many more things; I would love to have my science and technology company generate more jobs for more women.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I love what I do, it is not work; it is pure fun and learning.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Fight to be what you want to be; never give up because everything is possible; it only requires perseverance and dedication.

INSPIRATION

I became the teacher of one of the professors who told me that I would not graduate, that I was only going to college to get a husband. Paradoxically, he was the one who did not finish the course under my tutelage.

Another anecdote: a tutor of my Ph.D. did not think that I could write a Q1 article in an impact journal by myself, and I did it even though he told me that I was accepted because I was a woman and from Latin America, I did not care, I made his words go with the wind.