Who’s who in the Zoo – Yassine Benhajali

In this week’s edition of our Who’s who in the Zoo series, meet Yassine Benhajali, who runs Brain Match.

– Helen

 


yassine - Yassine Benhajali

Project: Brain Match

Researcher: Yassine Benhajali

Location: Anthropology Department, Université de Montréal, Canada.

 

What are your main research interests?

How nature and nurture interact to influence brain functioning.

 

Who else is in your project team? What are their roles?

Sebastian Urchs, Aman Badhwar and Pierre Bellec (Project Supervisor).

 

Tell us more about the data used in your project

Brain Match uses images of brain that have been made freely available thanks to the efforts of The Neuro Bureau (http://www.neurobureau.org/) and the ADHD-200 consortium (http://fcon_1000.projects.nitrc.org/indi/adhd200/index.html).

 

How do Zooniverse volunteers contribute to your research? 

In general, manual quality control of brain images is very subjective and time consuming task. Zooniverse volunteers are helping us in two key ways; firstly, they are helping to validate our brain image quality control procedure, and secondly, to produce enough rated images to train computers to perform the quality control automatically.

 

What have been the biggest challenges in setting up your project?

Our biggest challenge was to build simple and comprehensive instructions.

 

What discoveries, and other outputs, has your project led to so far?

To date, with the help of Zooniverse, we have developed the first quality control procedure on brain imaging that could be performed by both novice or expert neuroscience raters. They both agree on most of the ratings. We are hoping to present this work at a conference soon (http://www.neuroinformatics2018.org/abstracts/).

 

Once you’ve finished collecting data, what research questions do you hope to be able to answer?

The next step will be to train machine learning model based on the information from Zooniverse raters, and to test if this model can perform as well as human rater.

 

What’s in store for your project in the future?

More data to rate, and other brain imaging modalities.

 

What are your favourite other citizen research projects and why?

I like all wildlife protection projects.

 

What guidance would you give to other researchers considering creating a citizen research project?

Make your tutorial clear and concise.

 

And finally, when not at work, where are we most likely to find you?

Biking, running and swimming.

 

 

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Notes on Mobile: Launching a Workflow

Hello! It’s probably about time that I introduce myself. I am the (relatively) new mobile developer working on the Zooniverse Android and iOS apps. I joined the team back in February and, as the sole developer on the project, I want to not only improve and enhance our current app, but also focus on making sure our community of project builders and volunteers are excited and engaged with the app.

So, what is the app?

As our user base on the app is significantly smaller than our user base on the website, I am guessing that a fair share of the people reading haven’t even used the app. Both the Android and iOS apps are very specialized version of the website.

More specifically, the app only supports a specific type of workflow: A question workflow with only two answers. Here’s a screen cap from one of the current running projects: CameraCatalogue.

Simulator Screen Shot - iPhone 6 - 2018-05-16 at 14.25.56

As the image shows, the user can swipe left or right based on the answers given below. But don’t take it from me. Give it a try!

How do I get my project on mobile?

Deploying a project to mobile is not so hard. In fact, it’s just a matter of adding a mobile enabled workflow to your project. As mentioned before, the mobile app only shows question workflows, so you are going to want to configure a workflow with just a question task:

mobile builder

Now that you have a question task set up, you may notice the ‘Mobile App’ section at the bottom of the page:

mobileapp.png

As long as all of the criteria in the checklist are met you can enable your project for mobile. And that’s it! If your project is launch approved it will show up in the app. 

Can I test the workflow before it goes live?

Yes! On the most recent release of the app we introduced a preview mode. Here’s how it works.

Prerequisites:

  • Project visibility set to public
  • Project state set to development
  • Project has a workflow that is mobile enabled

You can view this project if you log in to the app with an account that is either an owner or collaborator on the project. If everything was set up correctly, you should see a preview tab in the main menu like so:

Simulator Screen Shot - iPhone 6 - 2018-05-17 at 10.39.32

From there you should be able to view and run your workflow just as it would appear when it is actually live.

Beta for mobile is coming

As of now, only projects that are currently launch approved can add mobile workflows. This is because we have no beta process set up for the app.

But stay tuned! We are working on a beta system for mobile. I’ll be making another blog post once that is live.

Who’s who in the Zoo – Ellie Mackay

In this week’s edition of Who’s who in the Zoo, meet Mission Director of The Plastic Tide, Ellie Mackay.

– Helen 


 

07061701 Ellie 117 - Ellie Worldwide.jpg

 

Project: The Plastic Tide

Researcher: Ellie Mackay, Mission Director & Drone Pilot

Location: London, UK

 

 

What are your main research interests?

Plastic pollution, aerial imagery and image object recognition.

 

Who else is in your project team? What are their roles?

Peter Kohler, Co-Founder.

 

Tell us more about the data used in your project

The photographs come from aerial surveys of over 40 beaches in the UK and worldwide.

 

How do Zooniverse volunteers contribute to your research? 

They help us to train the algorithm to detect plastics automatically – this is a huge task which requires lots of photo tagging, so the volunteers help immensely with getting through all these images.

 

What have been the biggest challenges in setting up your project?

Financial backing/funding! We’ve had to self-fund to get the project off the ground and we’re now looking for sponsors to take the project to Phase 2.

 

What discoveries, and other outputs, has your project led to so far?

Extensive media coverage on multiple national and regional media channels as well as social media. Informed a secondary project on the psychological wellbeing of beach cleaning vs online volunteering.

 

Once you’ve finished collecting data, what research questions do you hope to be able to answer?

Where is the missing 99% of ocean plastic? Which beaches are most polluted and why? Which types of plastics wash up on different types of beaches? What are the most common types of plastic marine litter? How does plastic marine litter vary seasonally/after storms/over time/following innovations?

 

What’s in store for your project in the future?

Securing funding for:

  • Increasing the accuracy of the autonomous detection
  • Gathering more imagery from global contributors. -Accumulating further tagging by volunteers through Zooniverse
  • Creating greater public awareness through documentary, video and audio promotion
  • Generating engagement in citizen science through educational programmes and public engagement programmes
  • Creating an open source global map of plastic pollution.

 

What are your favourite other citizen research projects and why?

Everything on Zooniverse!

 

What guidance would you give to other researchers considering creating a citizen research project?

Definitely use Zooniverse if you can – it makes life a lot easier and gives you access to a whole network of dedicated and brilliant volunteers.

 

And finally, when not at work, where are we most likely to find you?

Travelling, diving, filming or photographing the great outdoors, Speaking at Adventure Uncovered, RGS or similar events, or at schools across the UK Promoting plastic-free living through my website and social media.