A Microsoft executive and the creator of FarmBeats will discuss digital farming on April 20

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The mastermind behind FarmBeats – an agricultural research project developed by Microsoft using solar-powered white space-based internet connectivity to record soil temperature and moisture levels and track them with cloud-based computer models – will be heading to Auburn University in April.

The College of Agriculture ET York Distinguished Speaker Series will host Ranveer Chandra, CTO of Agribusiness at Microsoft, at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 20 at the Auburn University Hotel and Dixon Conference Center. The conference will take place in the auditorium and is free and open to the public. Those wishing to attend are requested to confirm their attendance at https://auburn.campuslabs.com/ENGAGE/EVENT/7936535.

Chandra leads research and innovation across different Microsoft verticals, including retail, floor space index or FSI, and energy. His research has been integrated into several Microsoft products, including XBOX, Azure, Windows, and Visual Studio.

He started the farm beats project in 2015, which was delivered as a Microsoft product in 2019. Bill Gates showcased Chandra’s FarmBeats work on DoorsNotesand Chandra was invited to present to the Secretary of Agriculture.

Chandra has published over 90 research papers and holds over 100 patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and has won several awards, including Best Paper at Computing Conferences and MIT Technology Review’s Top Innovators Under 35 Award in 2010. Chandra holds a an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and a PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University.

“We are grateful that Dr. Chandra is visiting Auburn University to share her research and expertise with our faculty, staff, and students,” said Amy Wright, Associate Dean for Education and Chair of the Academic Committee. ET York’s Distinguished Speaker Series. The conference will showcase Dr. Chandra’s exciting work on the future of technological innovations in agriculture and how affordable digital techniques can enable farmers to succeed in local and global agricultural enterprises.

The ET York Distinguished Speaker Series features internationally renowned speakers who address issues related to agriculture, food, the environment and natural resources. It was established at Auburn College of Agriculture in 1981 with a gift from ET and VAdm Cardwell York; both are from Alabam and graduated from Auburn University.

York was director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service from 1959 to 1962; he then headed the USDA Federal Extension Service in Washington, D.C. Later served as provost and vice president for agriculture at the University of Florida, then chancellor of the State University System of Florida until his retirement in 1980.

(Written by Kristen Bowman)

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