An artificial intelligence-based model for analysing gender inequality in STEM programmes and career projection in Kenya

Aim of the project

The aim of this study is to examine female student participation in STEM courses by investigating how gender inequality affects student placement and students' perceptions of AI in STEM programmes and their eventual career placement. 

Project summary 

Despite current regulations on gender education and other interventions to ensure gender equity, equality and inclusion, this remains a major issue in Kenya. STEM education aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours needed to thrive in an inclusive and sustainable society. A recent UNESCO study shows that only 35 % of students enrolled in STEM-related subjects in higher education institutions are female. This study aims to examine female student participation in STEM courses by investigating how gender inequality affects student placement and students' perceptions of AI in STEM programmes and their eventual career placement. In addition, the study will examine the ethical purpose and societal benefits of using AI applications.

Project Sponsor :  Juliet Chebet Moso

Juliet Chebet Moso holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (France), an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Nairobi and a BSc in Computer Science from Egerton University. She is currently a lecturer at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Kenya. Ms Moso has extensive experience in information systems auditing, software development and delivery, business requirements analysis, data analysis, modelling and reporting. She enjoys transforming data models into business solutions and has extensive experience in creating and executing a wide range of technology solutions to achieve goals while managing projects at all stages. She is actively involved in funded projects and research. Her areas of interest include machine learning, data mining, artificial intelligence, security and privacy management, particularly for mobile technology, the internet of things, smart farming, intelligent transport systems, gender equality and inclusion.

The other members of the team 

George Musumba is a Kenyan researcher and educator who has dedicated his career to addressing gender inequality in STEM education. Focusing on the Kenyan context, Musumba recognises the importance of promoting the inclusion of women in STEM programmes to unlock the country's economic potential and contribute to sustainable development. He holds a PhD in Computer Science and is particularly interested in the intersection of STEM education, gender dynamics and artificial intelligence (AI). His research career has revolved around understanding and solving the problems faced by female students in STEM courses, particularly in the area of artificial intelligence. He is a member of the 'Black in AI' community, which is dedicated to increasing the representation of under-represented people in AI research and projects. In addition, his involvement in the Mechanism Design for Social Good project underlines his commitment to harnessing STEM for positive societal impact.

Kinyua Gikunda holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Paris 8 (France), an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Nairobi (Kenya) and a BSc in Computer Science from Kenyatta University (Kenya). His main area of research is artificial intelligence (AI), with a particular interest in problems related to intelligent agents, computer vision, probabilistic modelling, machine learning and data mining, and their interdisciplinary applications in analytics, health, weather and climate, health and agriculture, and the impact of AI on the environment. He enjoys exploring the relationships between numbers and translating data into ideas. With the right data available, ideas become actionable solutions and strategies, and he prides himself on his ability to make data accessible to both decision-makers and frontline operational staff. His research blends theoretical and practical aspects of problems.

Michael Kagiri is a Kenyan researcher and educator with a keen interest in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for educational development (ICT4D in Education). He is particularly interested in how ICT can be used to address gender inequality in STEM education and to bridge the gender digital divide. Academically, Michael is a PhD candidate in information systems, with a focus on ICT for development in education and health. His research interests include the role of technology in improving the quality of education and health in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). He is also interested in the factors that hinder gender equality in STEM education and how ICTs can be used to reduce these barriers.

Ms Hellen Mwangi is a researcher in the fields of the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), a fervent supporter of AI ethics and a champion of the inclusion of women. Her work and unwavering dedication to a fairer and more responsible future will change the technology landscape. Academically, she is currently pursuing her PhD in Computer Science, with a particular interest in IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) and gender mainstreaming. Her young research career has enabled her to understand and address the challenges faced by women in STEM careers. Hellen pursued her Masters in Information Systems at a prestigious university, where she was captivated by the potential of IoT to transform industries and societies, specialising in IoT and AI.

Institution 

Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DeKUT) is a public technology university that provides and promotes quality education, research, innovation, technology development and transfer in line with the aspirations of Kenya's Vision 2030. DeKUT's mandate is to develop the workforce for Kenya's economic, cultural, social, technological and scientific development. It is a science and technology intensive university with over 80 % of its degree programmes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). It offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in engineering, health and applied sciences, business and economics, computing, food science and technology, leather technology and geothermal energy technology. It strives to develop solutions to global challenges in collaboration with partners. The university has a Science and Technology Park (STP) focusing on bio-resources, design, manufacturing and materials, as well as ICT hardware and software. It is also home to a centre for data science and artificial intelligence (DSAI). This centre has undertaken projects in the fields of health, the environment, agriculture, etc. In addition, the university has a Gender, Disability and Equity Affairs Directorate, which aims to promote equity and inclusion by addressing gender and disability issues within the university.

Link to the institution :  https://www.dkut.ac.ke/

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