Applied Data Science Invited Speakers

The Applied Data Science Invited Talks will provide a venue for leading experts in the world of applied data mining and knowledge discovery. These invited talks will feature highly influential speakers who have directly contributed to successful data mining applications in their respective fields. The talks and discussions will focus on innovative and leading-edge, large-scale industry or government applications of data mining in areas such as finance, health-care, bio-informatics, public policy, infrastructure, telecommunications, social media and computational advertising.

Keynote: Olga Liakhovich

Olga Liakhovich


Preventing Rhino Poaching through Machine Learning

Official figures in Africa indicate that 1,349 rhinos were killed in 2015. This marked the most critical moment of the current rhino poaching crisis that began in 2008. This trend has since reversed to the minimum of 1,124 poached rhinos achieved in 2017. Although this brings hope, this emergency is still a formidable challenge that needs to be tackled from a multi-angle approach including anti-poaching collaboration among countries to enforce effective wildlife crime laws, target campaigns in the illegal horn rhino end-user countries like China and Vietnam, and the adoption of cutting-edge technology by governmental agencies and conservationist NGOs.

In this talk, we will highlight the recent efforts of Peace Parks Foundation (PPF), the advocate for the creation of transfrontier conservation areas in South Africa, and Microsoft to address this crisis. We will explain how, through the joint use of deep learning and Cloud, PPF and Microsoft developed a fast and accurate potential poacher detection solution that allows PPF to allocate the park resources in a smarter and more efficient manner.

This is a joint talk with Gabriel Domínguez Conde.

Olga Liakhovich is Data and Applied Scientist at Microsoft and worked on a variety of Microsoft products including SQL Server Analysis Services, Office 365, Azure Machine Learning. Currently, Olga is in Commercial Software Engineering organization, follows the passion of practical application of ML while enabling Microsoft partners to tackle their dream projects. Olga’s interests are specifically in the “AI for Good” areas and application of digital transformation in various areas of critical importance to our world: global climate issues, sustainable farming, biodiversity and water conservation, just to name a few.

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