She's a Scientist: Jennifer Clarke
If one picture is worth 1,000 words, one picture of a plant is worth 1,000 data points to a Nebraska statistician.
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- [00:00:00.000](upbeat music)
- [00:00:02.420]Jennifer Clarke collects data
- [00:00:04.240]from millions of pictures of plants.
- [00:00:06.980]What I'm doing is trying to understand those pictures
- [00:00:09.760]and try to get information from those pictures
- [00:00:12.250]about how well do we expect those plants to do
- [00:00:15.690]if they grow to maturity.
- [00:00:18.050]Clarke uses x-rays, hyperspectral images,
- [00:00:21.370]and ordinary photographs to track plant growth
- [00:00:24.420]above and below ground.
- [00:00:26.230]So you can look at the plant growth over time
- [00:00:30.320]and see how a plant is developing
- [00:00:33.120]and try to figure out early on
- [00:00:35.770]is the plant in the right environment
- [00:00:38.380]to maximize its health?
- [00:00:40.710]Working with numbers and data
- [00:00:42.460]comes easy to Clarke.
- [00:00:44.120]At an early age,
- [00:00:45.220]she knew that she wanted to make math her career.
- [00:00:48.520]So I was like, well, how could I take math
- [00:00:51.840]and use it to solve important problems?
- [00:00:55.410]And one of the ways to do that was to learn statistics,
- [00:00:59.100]learn how to work with data,
- [00:01:00.760]and how to get information from data.
- [00:01:03.400]One of the nice things about being a statistician,
- [00:01:07.130]I can work with all kinds of different people
- [00:01:10.200]'cause everyone has data.
- [00:01:11.860]When Clarke joined the faculty at Nebraska,
- [00:01:14.150]she added math to agriculture.
- [00:01:16.490]And so I started talking with plant scientists
- [00:01:18.520]and thinking, okay, this new area
- [00:01:21.530]where we're trying to use sensors, and pictures,
- [00:01:25.770]and images to learn about plants is an area
- [00:01:28.840]where there's a need for new data science,
- [00:01:32.200]and new data tools, and a better understanding
- [00:01:34.990]of what exactly are these cameras doing?
- [00:01:37.610]And what information do we need
- [00:01:39.960]to pull out of those pictures
- [00:01:41.970]that would solve interesting problems
- [00:01:44.560]around crops and crop health.
- [00:01:46.650]Clarke hopes her research takes root in efforts
- [00:01:49.720]to end world hunger.
- [00:01:51.420]So we're hoping that what we learn would lead to,
- [00:01:54.230]for example, higher crop yields
- [00:01:57.100]and then better food security for people.
- [00:01:59.840]That's really the end goal of doing this kind of science.
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