Building big data tools for ecology, forensics and more

Lucas Mentch uses CRC resources to explore the intersection of statistics and machine learning, creating models for a wide range of fields – ecology, criminal forensics, and sports analytics among them. One project worked with bird population data about the migration of tree swallows from the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s eBird project.

“eBird creates an amazing level of detail, so the migration presented many complex forms of local variation that contribute to a larger pattern,” Mentch explains. “The challenge was not only to build a model that produced accurate predictions, but also to develop testing procedures that would allow us to isolate the effects of individual variables.”


Tree swallow in flight (courtesy eBird)

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