What led you to pursue a career in data science?
“Early on in my career as a software developer, I got engaged in data analytics and found the experience rewarding. There is an unexpected joy when working with data, the possibility of finding answers to interesting questions and hypotheses which is very fulfilling.
Driven by this interest, I went on to complete my Master’s in data science at Indiana University, Bloomington. Post-graduation, I accepted a full-time job offer at CIBO as a Data Scientist.”
What is your favorite thing about being a data scientist?
“The prospect of seeking and finding the truth. Statistics and data science have long driven scientific research leading to the discovery of new facts about the world. Being a data scientist gives me the privilege to contribute to the scientific advancements by leveraging data science skills and subject knowledge to model real-world systems and processes. These models can then be used to simulate different scenarios and help answer complex questions.”
What is one thing that would surprise people about your work in data science?
“Although data science has come into vogue lately and has received increasing attention, I think there is a less formal acknowledgment of its roots in rational and native human thought processes.”
“The human mind is a great statistical machine. Our mind continuously and incrementally aggregates and summarizes observed inputs, as storable and retrievable knowledge blocks, that makes reasoning, and inferencing so seamless. Data science is analogous to the way our brains work and provides a formalized systematic framework to think about and apply. The Bayesian learning frameworks in Data science reflects these ideas very closely.”
What kinds of things do you think we should be doing to encourage more people to pursue a career in science?
“We should provide opportunities for high school and middle school students to engage with scientific research. This can help them appreciate the process of trial and error and balance all outcomes. Academic institutions and industry can further augment this effort.”
What brought you to CiBO?
“I graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2017 earning a Masters degree in data science. CiBO appealed to me for its groundbreaking work combining science and Technology.”
“Furthermore, I found the idea of applying technology in the agriculture sector enticing as farming is one of the oldest human professions yet most underserved by technology.”
What are your primary responsibilities at CiBO?
“As a Data Scientist in the modeling team at CIBO, over the past two+ years I’ve worked extensively on our core crop models in validating and improving them. This has been done in collaboration with our expert cross-sectional team of crop modelers and scientists. I have worked on using statistical techniques to identify sources of errors and help identify potential model improvements and development. I am also responsible for programming these models into production deployable workflows.”
“More recently, I’ve been working on the Farmland valuation project that is chartered with goals to estimate the values of Farmland across the continental US. We employ state-of-the-art data science methods combined with our core simulation models to estimate farmland values.”
What do you find the most rewarding about your work here?
“The diversity of skills at CiBO amazes me and inspires me to do my best and continuously strive to up the bar. We have experts in a range of diverse domains such as software engineering, crop science, soil science, computer vision, and data science. The learning potential cutting across these different domains is immense and enriching. It is very gratifying to know that we are tackling some of the biggest challenges in human history, and contributing to solve problems in the agriculture domain and help our farmers grow more sustainably and also help improve their livelihood scenarios by increasing profitability and maximizing outcomes.”
“I think CIBO is uniquely placed in terms of skills and capabilities needed to combine science and engineering at a large scale to develop a platform that can address some of the complex problems of our lifetimes.”
About Subhash Bylaiah
Subhash Bylaiah is a Data Scientist at CIBO, a science-driven software startup. He holds a Bachelors of Engineering from the Malnad College of Engineering and a Master of Science in Data Science from Indiana University Bloomington.