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AIFARMS Talk : Dr. Baskar Ganapathysubramaniam, "Towards building digital twins of plants: annotation efficiency and mechanistic models"

Event Type
Illinois Computer Science
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Jan 17, 2023   4:00 pm  
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 We look forward to seeing you online on Tuesday, January 17th at 4:00pm. Join online at

AI and machine learning concepts have transformed the way we now extract plant traits – both under laboratory as well as field conditions. Well-trained machine-learning models can significantly simplify and accelerate trait extraction as well as diversify the type of traits that one can extract. Training a ML model typically requires the availability of copious amounts of annotated data. Creating a (large) annotated dataset requires effort, patience, time, and resources. This has become a major bottleneck in deploying ML tools in practice. I will present ways we circumvent the need for large annotated datasets for plant phenotyping. The utility of domain adaption and self-supervised learning approaches is explored for difficult plant phenotyping problems.  Next, I will present some ongoing work on building 3D mechanistic models of plants that integrate data with domain knowledge. These activities represent two themes within the AI Institute for Resilient Agriculture (AIIRA) vision of building goal-oriented digital twins for agriculture at various agronomically relevant scales.

Speaker Bio:
Baskar Ganapathysubramaniam is Anderlik Professor of Engineering at Iowa State University. Baskar received his BTech from IIT Madras, and a PhD from Cornell University. He directs a curiosity driven, computational sustainability group ( with research interests in the areas of scientific computing, applied mathematics, and machine learning with applications in food, energy, and healthcare systems. He is the director of the NSF/USDA funded AI Institute for Resilient Agriculture ( which is a multi-institutional project (Iowa State, Carnegie Mellon, NYU, U Nebraska, U Arizona) focused on use-inspired AI developments for agriculture.
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