Dr Jaclyn Brown – Mathematician & Digital Agriculture Research

Dr Jaclyn Brown – Mathematician & Digital Agriculture Research


(soft piano music) – In some careers it’s very easy. You study medicine, you be a doctor. You study engineering,
you can be an engineer. But if you study maths, what do you do? I’m Dr. Jaclyn Brown, I’m
a senior research scientist at the CSIRO in agriculture and food. I’ve always loved maths. To me, as a three year old, maths was beautiful, numbers were magic. I couldn’t believe that you could add up the row of tens and the row of ones, and it all just worked. It was just perfect,
everywhere around me was maths. I always thought a
mathematician would just be sitting in an office
with a pencil and paper, doing really big
equations, but it’s nothing like that and that’s
what’s really amazing. The diversity of what I
do, a lot of it’s about understanding people and
getting to know different areas of science and figuring out
how we can work together. I do quite a wide range
of things, day to day. Some days I’m in the office and I’m coding and I love coding and I love doing the maths and that’s really cool. Other days, I’m out talking to farmers or I’m talking to app developers. One of the big, new, exciting areas I’m now involved in is
digital agriculture. There’s so much data out there, so many different types of data. What do we do with it? How do we use it to make decisions? One of the products we’ve been working on is called Yield Prophet Lite and I’m really excited about this one. It helps farmers make decisions about how much fertiliser to put on. So we get all that data together. We get information from remote sensing, we have soil probes, we
have climate forecasts. But the real challenge is to package that up simply, because the farmer doesn’t want to sit at their computer all day going through loads and loads of data and trying to make sense of it. That’s our job. We do the interpretation so they can make decisions quickly
and often those decisions are made just by looking at their phone. I wanted to do something
that made a difference, and my goal has always
been to wake up in the morning and be excited
that it’s a work day. And I can do that now because I make a difference to
peoples lives, and that’s what really motivates
me and gets me excited. Makes me want to be at work. (soft piano music)

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