Early detection is critical to managing bushfires before they cause widespread devastation.

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exci pty ltd

ACN 633 824 852 Kon-Tiki Business Centre, T1.404, 55 Plaza Parade Maroochydore, QLD 4558

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info@exci.ai

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Australia: 1300 903 940 international: +61 497 803 276

Senior Data Scientist, Fireball.International – Dr Ruth Luscombe

Fireball.International (now exci)
Dr Ruth Luscombe Grandshake STEM
Dr Ruth Luscombe
  

Behind the scenes people like Dr Ruth Luscombe are deploying artificial intelligence to battle Australia’s wild bushfires. Along with her team of software engineers and data scientists, Ruth codes models and a platform for early wildfire detection and assessment.

“We connect to ground sensors and satellite data, do some analysis in real time to see if any smoke or fire is starting, then we provide digital maps and electronic notifications for subscribers to let them know about the fires,” she says.

“The early detection of fires is really important because it means that the firefighters can get to the fire faster and safer.”

Her advice is to choose subjects you find interesting and areas with good employment and future prospects. 

“At university I started with engineering because I thought it would get me lots of job opportunities – but I changed degrees to IT because I liked it more,” she says. 

Ruth completed a bachelor of IT, majoring in maths and computing. Later she studied for a PhD in mathematics. The term “data science” wasn’t around when she was studying but her skills were relevant for this new career.

At university she learnt programming languages like C, C++, Java and Lisp, before later using Delphi, Mathematica, Visual Basic, C# and most recently Python.

“All of these tools and ideas will change. So you just have to keep learning as you go,” she says. 

by Grandshake