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December 5-6, 2016: Training
December 6–8, 2016: Tutorials & Conference

Dancing with intelligent dragon drones

Jennifer Marsman (Microsoft), Ranveer Chandra (Microsoft), Wee Hyong Tok (Microsoft)
2:35pm–3:15pm Thursday, December 8, 2016
IoT and intelligent real-time applications
Location: 308/309 Level: Beginner
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 1 rating)

Prerequisite Knowledge

  • A basic understanding of machine learning

What you'll learn

  • Understand the current drone landscape
  • Learn how to leverage real-time signals from drones to design intelligent applications


Drones are increasingly used for both commercial and consumer applications—from agriculture drones providing farmers with crop and irrigation patterns to consumer drones that follow you around as you engage in action sports to drone racing. Drones are outfitted with a large number of sensors (cameras, accelerometers, gyros, etc.) and can continuously stream these signals in real time for analysis.

Jennifer Marsman, Ranveer Chandra, and Wee Hyong Tok explore the various drone technologies that are currently available and explain how to acquire and analyze real-time signals from drones to design intelligent applications. Jennifer, Ranveer, and Wee demonstrate how to leverage machine-learning models that perform real-time facial detection along with predictions of age, gender, emotion, and object recognition using the signals acquired from the drones. You’ll walk away with a basic understanding of how to develop applications that utilize and visualize these real-time insights.

Photo of Jennifer Marsman

Jennifer Marsman


Jennifer Marsman is the principal software engineer for Microsoft’s AI for Earth Group, where she uses data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to aid with clean water, agriculture, biodiversity, and climate change. She has been featured in Bloomberg for her work using EEG and machine learning to perform lie detection. Previously, Jennifer was a software developer in Microsoft’s Natural Interactive Services Division, where she authored two patents related to search and data mining algorithms. She has also held positions with Ford Motor Company, National Instruments, and Soar Technology. Since 2016, Jennifer has been recognized as one of the top 100 most influential individuals in artificial intelligence and machine learning by Onalytica, reaching the #2 slot in 2018, and in 2009 was chosen as the “techie whose innovation will have the biggest impact” by X-OLOGY for her work with GiveCamps, a weekend-long event where developers code for charity. She has also received many honors from Microsoft, including the Best in Role award for technical evangelism, Central Region Top Contributor Award, Heartland District Top Contributor Award, DPE Community Evangelist Award, CPE Champion Award, MSUS Diversity and Inclusion Award, Gold Club, and Platinum Club. Jennifer is a frequent speaker at software development conferences around the world. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and a master’s degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she specialized in artificial intelligence and computational theory. To learn more, check out her blog.

Photo of Ranveer Chandra

Ranveer Chandra


Ranveer Chandra is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, where he leads an incubation on IoT applications, with a focus on agriculture. Ranveer also leads research projects on white space networking, low-latency wireless, and improving battery life of mobile devices. He has published more than 60 research papers and filed over 100 patents, 65 of which have been granted. His technology has shipped as part of Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Xbox, Visual Studio, and Windows Phone. Ranveer has won several awards, including the MIT Technology Review’s Top Innovators Under 35, best paper awards at ACM CoNext 2008, ACM SIGCOMM 2009, IEEE RTSS, and USENIX ATC, and the Microsoft Graduate Research Fellowship, and was recognized as a Fellow in Communications of the World Technology Network. Ranveer holds an undergraduate degree from IIT Kharagpur, India, and a PhD in computer science from Cornell University.

Photo of Wee Hyong Tok

Wee Hyong Tok


Wee Hyong Tok is a principal data science manager with the AI CTO Office at Microsoft, where he leads the engineering and data science team for the AI for Earth program. Wee Hyong has worn many hats in his career, including developer, program and product manager, data scientist, researcher, and strategist, and his track record of leading successful engineering and data science teams has given him unique superpowers to be a trusted AI advisor to customers. Wee Hyong coauthored several books on artificial intelligence, including Predictive Analytics Using Azure Machine Learning and Doing Data Science with SQL Server. Wee Hyong holds a PhD in computer science from the National University of Singapore.