Stanford Data Science / Infoseminar
Winter 2015

From bytes to bites: How data science might help feed the world

David Lobell, Stanford, EESS


There is a lot of hype now about using big data in agriculture. This talk will present some background on the big current questions in the topics of agriculture and food security, briefly outline a vision for how data science can contribute to improving both agriculture and food security, detail some current work in our center towards this vision, and highlight some of the remaining technical obstacles.


David Lobell is an Associate Professor at Stanford University in Earth System Science, Senior Fellow at the Woods and Freeman Spogli Institutes, and Deputy Director of Stanford’s Center on Food Security and the Environment. His research focuses on identifying opportunities to raise crop yields in major agricultural regions, and uses a combination of big datasets, statistics, and model simulations. He received the James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union in 2010, was named a Macarthur Fellow in 2013, and recently spent 6 months in Australia as a distinguished McMaster Fellow at CSIRO. He received a PhD in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford in 2005, and a Sc.B. in Applied Mathematics from Brown University in 2000.