Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
31 May–1 June 2016: Training
1 June–3 June 2016: Conference
London, UK

Which whale is it anyway? Face recognition for right whales using deep learning

Robert Bogucki (, Maciej Klimek (
11:15–11:55 Thursday, 2/06/2016
Location: Capital Suite 7

With fewer than 500 North Atlantic right whales left in the world’s oceans, knowing the health and status of each whale is integral to the efforts of researchers working to protect the species from extinction. To interest the data science community, NOAA Fisheries organized a competition hosted on The challenge was to automate the right whale recognition process—currently a painstaking and lengthy manual process—using a dataset of aerial photographs of individual whales. Robert Bogucki and Maciej Klimek outline the winning solution, based on deep learning and convolutional neural networks.

This session is sponsored by

Photo of Robert Bogucki

Robert Bogucki

Robert Bogucki is a chief science officer at, where he currently manages the R&D team and focuses on deep learning. Robert is also a successful Kaggle competitor. He started his professional career as a software engineer at UBS. Robert’s motivation to work in the IT industry is to bring the theoretical ideas and concepts and put them to good use. When tackling real-life problems, he particularly enjoys leveraging algorithms and computational power instead of, or in addition to, domain knowledge.

Photo of Maciej Klimek

Maciej Klimek

Maciej Klimek is a senior data scientist at, where he uses his machine-learning expertise to solve the real-world problems faced by the company’s clients. He has taken part in several Kaggle competitions, recently winning the Right Whale Recognition challenge sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). During his studies at the University of Warsaw, he took part in numerous programming competitions such as Topcoder and ACM.