What brought you to CIBO?
“I find the application of computer vision to satellite imagery and remote sensing at CIBO exciting. In particular, using computer vision and machine learning techniques to understand crop fields is extremely interesting. Additionally, CIBO was looking to use wide range of different approaches to solving these kinds of problems, from Bayesian statistical models to deep learning, which lined up perfectly with my Ph.D. and academic research experience.”
What inspired you to pursue a career in data?
“My academic training is in traditional computer vision. When I first started my work in this field 15 years ago, it was a relatively new area with a huge number of problems yet to be solved. Although we have made incredible progress since then, there are still many challenging computer vision problems that need solutions that can be applied in the real world. In particular, computer vision applied to remote sensing is very new and we have only scratched the surface of what can be accomplished.”
What is your favorite thing about being a computer scientist?
“The best part of being a computer scientist in computer vision is working on incredibly challenging problems that have the potential to impact the future in a very real way. In particular, working at CIBO has given me the opportunity to tackle these problems in a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary environment, which makes this type of work even more enjoyable.”
What is one thing that would surprise people about your part of computer science?
“The fact that computer vision, as a scientific problem, is incredibly difficult. I think it is hard to grasp this because human vision is extremely “easy” for us; we make sense of the world through what we see without seemingly any effort. However, the underlying processes controlling vision are extremely complex and took millions of years of evolution to get right. “Solving” computer vision would mean essentially replicating this ability in computers — a very challenging task!”
What are your primary responsibilities at CIBO?
“My main role is to design and develop algorithms for understanding remotely sensed imagery, e.g., what can we say about a crop field given some satellite images of it. Part of my responsibility is also to understand the impact of solving each problem on business outcomes for CIBO, as well as on the work of other scientists here, with the ultimate goal of moving the remote sensing work in a direction that is beneficial to the company.”
What do you find the most rewarding about your work here?
“The problems we solve at CIBO are extremely challenging and exciting, with lots of potential societal impact. Also, the people here are extremely talented and so much fun to work with.”
For further articles by Ernesto Brau, visit his Google Scholar Page: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=e8qul0UAAAAJ&hl=en
About Ernesto Brau
Ernesto Brau is the Lead Computer Vision Scientist at CIBO, a science-driven software startup. Prior to CIBO, he worked on computer vision for AiBee Inc., Intel Corporation, and Hewlett-Packard Laboratories. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the Universidad de Sonora in Mexico, along with an MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Arizona.