Biological Shape-Space: Applying Machine Learning to the Fossil Pollen Record

Sunday, 15 February 2015: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room LL21B (San Jose Convention Center)
Surangi W. Punyasena,University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
At the Ideas Lab, Surangi Punyasena - an early-career paleocologist with limited background in computer science or image analysis - teams up with computer scientists and applied mathematicians from four different universities. Together they find a new way to approach fossil pollen identifications in the geological record, potentially speeding up climate change studies. The new machine-learning algorithms may also have use in other shape classification challenges, well beyond paleontology.