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向STEM领域的超级妈妈们致敬03:访谈中科院自动化所董晶博士

Celebrating Moms Who Tech: Dr Dong Jing@ Institute of Automation

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Ladies Who Tech以特别项目系列采访拉开了母亲节这个月份的序幕,对处于STEM前沿的、了不起的女性们进行了一对一的访谈。这些杰出女性不仅是她们孩子心中优秀的榜样,同时在职场中以身作则,在担任高级职位的同时倡导在自己所在的领域中提升女性同伴的地位。
过去一个月,我们关注了这些女性振奋人心的职场经历——她们在男性主导的行业中所面临的挑战、她们怎样对工作与家庭保持投入的坚定意志力、机构如何为有着母亲这一身份的员工提供支持(或反例),以及这些女性是如何推动了STEM领域中关于性别平等的讨论。
Ladies Who Tech kicked off Mother's Day month by launching a series of interviews with incredible women who are at the forefront of STEM - science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Not only are these women excellent role models for their children, but they're also leading by example at the workplace, taking on senior-level positions while advocating for the advancement of fellow women in their field.
In the past month, we looked at the inspiring journeys of these women, the challenges they faced in male-dominant industries, their willpower in maintaining a strong commitment to both their families and work, how institutions are providing support to mothers (or the lack of it), and how these women have pushed the conversation on gender equality in STEM disciplines.

站在科研最前沿的她 A scientist in her own right
本周,我们很荣幸能够邀请到董晶博士来分享她的职场经历。董晶博士现任中国科学院自动化研究所智能感知与计算研究中心副研究员、硕士生导师。
她在该中心的前沿研究工作集中于模式识别、图像处理和计算机视觉在生物识别和安全方面,具体围绕数字内容取证的相关研究开展理论和应用基础研究。数字内容取证是法庭科学中的分支,通常在涉及计算机犯罪的案件中对涉及数字媒体的内容部分进行可信性认证、完整度恢复和溯源调查,当下随着5G和数字媒体时代不断发展,这项技术也越来越受到普通大众的关注。
董博士已在国际权威期刊及学术会议上发表学术论文40余篇,申请发明专利近20项。她曾主持或主要参与了国家自然科学基金、科技部重点研发计划等20余项国家和省部级科研项目,并拥有美国电气电子工程师学会(IEEE)高级会员身份。她现任中国图象图形学学会(CSIG)理事、副秘书长、CISG女工委秘书长,中国人工智能学会(CAAI)理事,北京图象图形学学会(BSIG)理事,IEEE亚太区(Region 10)执委、公益科技活动委员会(Humanitarian Technology Activities Committee) 主席、IEEE女工程师协会北京分会(Women in Engineering Beijing Affinity Group) 副主席、中国教科院STEM教育协同创新中心指导专家。她还曾于2017-2018年度担任IEEE亚太区女工程师委员会(WIE Committee)主席,曾被授予2018年度国际模式识别大会最佳科研论文奖、中国人工智能学会第七届理事会“杰出贡献奖“及2016年度“IBM教职人员奖”。
董博士告诉Ladies Who Tech:“我的科研兴趣领路人是我的良师兼益友谭铁牛院士。在自动化所攻读博士学位期间,导师谭院士给我指定了数字图像取证这个大论文选题。随后我在进行相关文献调研和国内外现状梳理时逐渐对这个领域,尤其是计算机视觉、机器学习等AI相关的研究内容产生了浓厚的兴趣。毕业之后又有机会留在CRIPAC继续开展这方面的科研工作,于是就在这条道上一路潜行了。”
智能感知与计算研究中心(CRIPAC)的科研工作围绕计算机如何从数字图像或视频中获得高级的理解与认知的研究。这些研究试图理解人脑从自然界中接收、提取和处理视觉信息的认知系统背后的理论。目前,CRIPAC的研究领域主要集中在信息感知、智能识别、内容安全、系统集成及其应用等方面。
媒体内容正在进入“无所不能的深度伪造(DeepFake)”时代,届时,人工智能技术将使数字图像和视频数在虚拟生成,自动生成,智能造假的技术门槛不断降低。虚假数据和内容制造者能够随意对特定对象的容貌、面部表情、眨眼模式和语音合成进行编程和操纵,使之足够以假乱真,以愚弄大多数的观众。
在这一背景下,董博士在中心鉴真系统中所参与的工作就显得尤为重要了。她进一步解释道:“以前,人们常常认为‘耳听为虚,眼见为实’,然而在当前网络环境中,眼见也并非事实。现在手机和电脑上各种各样的虚假消息,断章取义或是无中生有的内容已经不断在混淆普通人的视听,刷新大家的三观。网络内容的真实性、完整性以及原始性的鉴别技术将成为大家获取的信息是否可信的一个重要技术保障。”
This week, we had the pleasure of chatting with the amazing Dr Dong Jing, associate professor at the Center for Research on Intelligent Perception and Computing (CRIPAC) of the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences. 
Dr Dong's cutting-edge research work at the CRIPAC focuses on pattern recognition, image processing and computer vision used in biometrics and information content security theory and applications, particularly in digital content forensics. Practitioners usually conduct credibility certification, integrity restoration and traceability investigations on digital content in computer crime cases. With the rapid advancement of 5G and digital media, this discipline has been gaining widespread attention from the public.
She has also published more than 40 academic papers in international journals and academic conferences and applied for about 20 invention patents and software copyright. She has chaired or participated in more than 30 national and provincial scientific projects, such as the key R & D plan and the National Natural Science Foundation. Honored for her scientific achievements and contributions, Dr Dong is awarded for "The Best Scientific Paper Award" of the 2018 International Conference on Pattern Recognition, "The Excellent Contribution Volunteer Award" of the Chinese Society of Artificial Intelligence, "The Faculty Award' of IBM Research on the year of 2016 and elected as a senior member of the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on the year of 2014. She is the IEEE Region Asia&Pacific (R10) Excom member, IEEE R10 Women in Engineering Committee Chair (2017-2018), IEEE R10 Humanitarian Technology Activities Committee Chair, IEEE WIE Beijing Affinity Group Vice Chair.
Dr Dong told Ladies Who Tech: "I have to thank my adviser, friend, and the director of CRIPAC, Prof Tieniu Tan, for developing and nurturing my interest in my area of research. During my doctoral studies at the Institute of Automation, Prof Tan directed and advised my dissertation on digital image forensics and I became fascinated by AI-related topics such as computer vision and machine learning through completing literature review and related research work. After my graduation, I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity at the Centre to carry on my research in this field.”
Computer vision deals with how computers can gain high-level understanding from digital images or videos and its scientific discipline seeks to understand the theory behind artificial systems that extract information from images. Currently, the research area of CRIPAC mainly focuses on information sensing, intelligent recognition, content security, system integration and its applications.
Dr Dong's work at the Centre is particularly important as the world enters the era of "deep fakes", when AI capabilities will allow false data and content producers to program and manipulate a speaker's appearance, facial expressions, blinking patterns and speech inflections smoothly enough to fool most viewers. At the same time, this is made possible as the technical threshold for intelligent counterfeiting continues to decrease.
"We've always followed the motto, 'seeing is believing'. However, fake news, misinformation and content taken out of context are swirling into the public discourse on an unprecedented scale. This means the authenticity, integrity and originality of digital content have become vital factors to determine the credibility of a certain piece of information. This is why we need digital forensics," Dr Dong explained.

妇女在STEM领域的“蒸发” The "Evaporation" of women out of STEM
作为两个男孩(分别八岁和两岁)的母亲,董博士不仅在工作岗位上展现了克服艰难的的科研精神,在持家育儿方面也充分发挥了不畏险阻迎难而上的奋斗精神。她不仅身兼数职,在科学研究前沿的道路上和与时俱进的新时代女性成长道路上都走出了一条颇具个性的特色之路。她焚膏继晷,为自己热爱的事业奋斗,也为自己热爱的家庭奋斗,也为自身的妇女角色奋斗:能够使世界突破性别失衡与进步——成为人类未来更美好的家园而努力。
女性在一个男性人员主导的科研领域中发展其实并不容易。在董博士所在的科研团队中,近20个科研人员中仅有她一位女性。即使是其整个科研部门,算上负责科研事务综合管理的大多数女性员工,整个团队的女性比例都不足15%。进入智能感知与计算研究中心网站的主页,与部门其他男性同事的照片对比之下,这一比例显得更为突出。
据《环球时报》报道,截至2017年,中国科学院和中国工程院院士中仅有5%为女性。而女性比例在“长江学者”——这一中国授予世界各地学者的最高学术荣誉之一的获得者中,仅占不到4%。
“Leaky pipeline(管道泄漏)”的比喻是指在科学、技术、工程和数学(STEM)领域,各种学科中女性参与者的大量流失。美国心理学会发表的一项研究显示,这些“泄漏”在各职业阶段都存在,从学术上,学士到博士的培养,到在后续学术就业时,选拔、晋升和留任的环节中。
妇女为研究问题、数据的处理方法与分析带来了重要的生活经验和独特的视角,她们产出的研究结论及技术影响到全人类,无论性别。妇女从“STEM管道”外流对整个科学进步产生了可怕的影响,尤其在现今日益全球化和技术驱动的社会。根据联合国教科文组织的数据,世界上只有30%的研究人员是女性。
“在职场的实际数据中,越高职称级别的女性人员占比可能比30%更低。”董博士指出。
在世界级的研讨会上,妇女的代表性仍然不足。据《南华早报》报道,在2019年的计算机视觉和模式识别大会上,3位大会主席和4位项目主席都是男性,而132个区域席位中女性只占有22个席位。同样,在机器学习会议NeurIPS 2019上,85位作者至少提交了10篇论文,但其中只有6位作者是女性。
As a mother of two young boys – aged eight and two – Dr Dong has gone against the odds and forged a path to be at the forefront of scientific research and the advancement of female scientists, working tirelessly for breakthroughs that can make the world a better place for future generations.
However, it has not always been easy in such a male-dominated field. In her team of nearly 20 researchers, Dr Dong is the only woman. Even its entire scientific research department, accounting for the majority of female employees in charge of comprehensive management of scientific research affairs, the proportion of women in the team is less than 15 per cent. On the homepage of the CRIPAC website, Dr Dong’s photo stands out from the rest of her male faculty members.
Only 5 per cent of academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering were women in 2017, according to Global Times. Among the recipients of the "Yangtze River Scholar" title, one of China's highest academic honors given to scholars from across the world, only less than 4 per cent are women.
The "leaky pipeline" metaphor refers to the drastic loss of female workers in a variety of disciplines, most prevalently in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). These "leaks" have been identified at various career stages, including the bachelor's-to-PhD pipeline, and at the academic employment stages of selection, promotion and retention, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association. 
Women bring vital life experiences and unique perspectives to research questions, methodology and interpretation of data, and research conclusions and its resulting technology affect all genders of the human race. The exodus of women out of the STEM pipeline has dire impacts on scientific advancement as a whole — especially in today's increasingly globalized and technology-driven society. According to UNESCO, just 30 per cent of the world's researchers are women.
"In the workplace, the real proportion of female scientists with senior professional titles may be even lower than 30 per cent," Dr Dong pointed out.
At world-class seminars, women continue to be under-represented. At the 2019 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, the three general chairs and four programme chairs were all men, while only 22 of all the 132 area chairs were women, according to South China Morning Post. Similarly, at the NeurIPS 2019, a machine learning conference, 85 authors contributed at least 10 submissions, but only six of whom were women. 

修补这“泄漏的管道” Fixing the "Leaky Pipeline”
科学界女性流失的原因是多方面的,但正如天体物理学家、耶鲁大学物理系前主席Meg Urry所说,这一切都归结为“在通往成功的道路上被低估、感到不舒服且遇到重重阻碍。”
整个领域缺乏女性为主的导师制、领导力、正性强化和对如何最好地招募并留住妇女的理解,导致女孩在很小的时候就成为自我怀疑和对其才能评估不准确的牺牲品。
董博士指出,在中国传统观念下,要成为一名成功的职业女性压力较男性似乎更大,因为大家所期待的女强人不仅需要事业有成,还需要温柔善良、育儿有方、家庭美满。
她说:“女性的社会属性应该是造成这个现状一个很重要的因素。传统观念中女性对家庭的投入要比男性更为被需要。另外怀孕、生育以及养育孩子对女性的偏重性也使得女性在职业发展中受到更多的压制和顾虑。此外,职业领袖者们的男性主导权意识也使得他们更倾向于招募和提升男性而不是女性员工,此外,职业领袖者们的男性主导权意识也使得他们更倾向于招募和提升男性而不是女性员工,请试算一下男员工和女员工陪同男老板出差的成本吧!”
虽然董博士在回忆时谈道,她的整个职业生涯中没有明显的性别偏见轶事,但她仍然非常清楚自己是研究团队中唯一的女性成员,因此有时不可避免在一些场合会感到压力。
她说:“如果研究团队的负责人总是男性,那么在发展和扩大团队人员时,不可避免地会有一定程度的性别偏见。”
但是,她特别感谢CRIPAC的同事和自动化所在她职业生涯发展期间给予女性成员的正向支持。事实上,作为一名专业技术人员,女性科学家这一职业相比其他大多数职业更具灵活性。 
“虽然职业发展确实有压力,但我挺过来了。我个人性格中韧性的成分比较足,欢迎挑战,也愿意做多种尝试。现在,我能够在我的研究工作和看着我的孩子成长之间取得平衡,” 她说,“研究所内外都有很多位优秀的女科学家,事业生活平衡得很好,她们都是我的榜样,看到她们就能够产生坚持下去的力量。”  她还特别提到:“研究所早些年就都为女性员工提供了母婴室,就算在孕期和哺乳期通勤工作也不觉得辛苦,生育补助也很充足。“
不幸的是,并不是所有的女科学家都那么幸运。《大西洋月刊》(The Atlantic)2015年的一份报告发现,美国大学的性骚扰问题依然存在,接受调查的女性科学教授中,三分之一的人表示自己曾被牵扯进性骚扰事件。
处在本科和研究生阶段的准妈妈们也成为了孕期骚扰的受害者,她们面临着资金短缺的威胁,不断承受着退出项目或分娩后几周不到就要重返岗位冲刺项目截止日期的压力。 
据《自然》杂志报道,随着中国技术能力的迅速发展,中国研发产业的员工从2009年的320万人增加到2016年的580万人,这凸显了对更多女性科学家的需求。目前,女性仅占这领域劳动力的四分之一左右。 
为了确保我们拥有下一次科学突破所需的最大的人才库,在政策和观念上进行实质性改革是大势所起。Urray说,改革的关键在于说服教育工作者、研究人员和管理者,扩大女性科学家的人数,创造更宜居的文化并不会降低整体水平。
这只是最基本的一部分——第二步是提升和留住这些女性科学家,特别是当她们在职业生涯中面临怀孕和育儿等关键决定时。学术界需要摆脱论文发表的压力,允许并接受女性研究人员的学术履历因此产生的论文发表的间隔真空期(且保证她们不会因此受到负面影响)。此外,带薪育儿假也应成为一种规范。
董博士说:“支持职场母亲的政策和资源与支持孕妇的政策和资源一样重要。职场母亲在高效时间管理、心理疏导、子女养育、工作家庭角色转换、营养锻炼方面的需求也很旺盛,这些都需要配套的支持。”
2011年,中国国家自然科学基金会将女性科研人员的年龄限制从35岁延长到40岁,而男性科研人员的年龄限制则保持在35岁,这使得女性科研人员的奖励数量大幅增加。其他机构也在为女性科学家建立专业和科研项目培训方案。
“(学界)已做出了一定努力,但还需要提高支持的力度,做更多的工作来支持中国的女性科学家,”董博士说道。
确实,系统性的变化需要时间。最近的一项研究甚至发现,考虑到目前的进展速度,缩小物理学中的性别差距需要数百年的时间。但这更是我们加快步伐、扩大努力规模、增加妇女在科学上的参与度的原因。如果我们想要那些能推动国家竞争力的人才,我们就需要现在行动起来。
The reasons for the attrition of women in science are multifaceted, but as the formidable astrophysicist and former Chair of the Yale Physics Department Meg Urry said, it all comes down to "slow drumbeat of being underappreciated, feeling uncomfortable and encountering roadblocks along the path to success.”
The field as a whole suffers from a lack of female mentorship, leadership, positive reinforcement and understanding of how to best recruit and retain women, leading to girls falling victim to self-doubt and inaccurate assessments of their talents at an early age.
In China, pressures to be conventionally feminine seem even more intense, because everyone expects a strong woman to not only have a successful career, but also a good mother and wife to a happy family, Dr Dong pointed out.
"The social attributes and expectations of women play a very important factor in this status quo," she said. "Traditionally, women are expected to take the lead in family responsibilities. At the same time, the emphasis on women's 'duties' in pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing also makes them more suppressed in their career development. This could lead to men in leadership roles to be less inclined to recruit and promote female employees.”
While Dr Dong didn't recall any explicit anecdotes of gender bias throughout her career, she is still very aware of the fact that she's the only woman on her research team and would feel pressured at times.
"There is inevitably a certain extent of gender bias when developing and expanding team members if the head of the research team is always a man," she said.
She also made a point to thank her colleagues and the institution for their support during her pregnancy. In fact, being an academic provides a female scientist with more flexibility than most other professions.
"Although it did put a strain on my career development, I got through it. I'm a rather adaptive person and I welcome challenges. Right now, I am able to strike a balance between my research work and watching my children grow. There are many excellent female scientists both inside and outside the institute who are doing it all – and these women are my role models," she said, adding that her research centre did provide nursing rooms for (the few of) the female employees early on, as well as childbirth subsidies.
Unfortunately, not all female scientists are that lucky. A 2015 report by The Atlantic found that sexual harassment at US universities persists, with one in three women science professors surveyed reported being a target of sexual harassment.
Expectant undergraduates and graduate students have also been a victim of pregnancy harassment, receiving threats of pulling funding, constant pressure to withdraw from their programs or return to work and meet deadlines mere weeks after birth.
Workers in China's R&D sector swelled from 3.2 million in 2009 to 5.8 million in 2016 as the country rapidly expands its technological capabilities, highlighting a demand for more female scientists, according to science journal Nature. Currently, women make up only about one-quarter of this workforce.
To make sure we have the largest talent pool for the next scientific breakthrough, a substantial reform in policy and perception is in order. And the key to reform, Urray said, is persuading educators, researchers and administrators that broadening the pool of female scientists and making the culture more livable for them doesn't lower standards.
That's just the fundamental part – the second step is to advance and retain these female scientists, especially when they face pivotal decisions such as pregnancy and childcare during their careers. Academia needs to move away from the pressure to publish and allow female researchers publications gaps without punishment. Paid parental leave should also be a norm.
"Policies and resources to back working mothers are as essential as those that support expectant mothers," Dr Dong said. "They have strong needs and require institutional support in terms of managing their time efficiently, adapting to changes in their role, as well as physical and mental well-being.”
The National Natural Science Foundation of China extended age limits for female grant applicants in 2011 from 35 to 40, while that for men remained at 35, leading to a boost of number awarded to female researchers. Other institutions have been establishing professional and scientific research project training programs for female scientists.
"Efforts have been made, but more must be done to support female scientists in China," Dr Dong said.
It's true that these systemic changes take time. One recent study even found that closing the gender gap in physics will take hundreds of years, given the current rate of progress. But that's all the more reason to accelerate the pace and widen the scale of our efforts in increasing the participation of women in science. If we want the talent that drives the competitiveness of nations, we need to act now.

Ladies Who Tech相信教育是赋权女性的引擎,也是女性未来独立的基础。我们希望,通过研讨会、年度大会与各种活动将妇女纳入STEM话题中,企业与组织将受到鼓舞进而制定更多包括妇女与母亲在内的变革政策。让我们在这个充满着爱的日子里,以及生活中的每一天,向了不起的母亲们表示敬意,为她们的力量、勇气和耐心喝彩!
At Ladies Who Tech, we believe education is an engine to women's empowerment and the foundation for a future of independence. We hope that through connecting women in STEM through workshops, conventions and events, companies and organizations will leave inspired to enact changes that are more inclusive of women and mothers. Once again, a big salute to our incredible mothers for their strength, courage and patience in this special month, and every day!

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