Date(s) - 05/18/2022
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Please use this zoom link for the event.


Please join us for a UW Data Science Seminar event on Wednesday, May 18th from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The seminar will feature postdoctoral fellow Ali Chase (Applied Physics Laboratory) sharing her final project from our annual Winter Incubator program earlier this year.

The event will be held in the UW Physics and Astronomy Auditorium (PAA 118)


“User-friendly Tools for Oceanic Plankton Image Analysis (UTOPIA)”

Abstract: Thanks to recent advances in instrumentation, we can now observe phytoplankton – the single-celled autotrophs that form the base of the marine food web – using automated, high-throughput microscopy. Millions of phytoplankton images have been collected from oceans and seas across the globe, using an instrument called the Imaging FlowCytobot (IFCB), which is deployed onboard oceanographic research vessels and captures thousands of individual particle images every hour. Use of novel plankton imagery data to address a wide range of oceanographic and marine ecosystem questions is currently limited by the time required to analyze and categorize images. Processing these images for use in oceanographic research is time consuming, and the quantity of data necessitates the use of automated processes to classify images. Thus, the need for open-source, efficient, and effective classification tools is high. The primary objective of the UTOPIA incubator project is to develop machine learning methods for IFCB image data classification, and to produce an open-source, user-friendly tool that allows for broad application within the oceanographic research community.

Biography: Ali Chase joined the UW Applied Physics Laboratory in the summer of 2020 as a Washington Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. During postdoc studies, Chase is working on algorithm development to detect phytoplankton community composition from ocean color satellite measurements.


The UW Data Science Seminar is an annual lecture series at the University of Washington that hosts scholars working across applied areas of data science, such as the sciences, engineering, humanities and arts along with methodological areas in data science, such as computer science, applied math and statistics. Our presenters come from all domain fields and include occasional external speakers from regional partners, governmental agencies and industry.

The 2021-2022 seminars will be both in-person and virtual, and are free and open to the public.