Data Science at Monsanto with Tim Williamson

tim-williamson

“Nothing’s cool unless you call it ‘as a service.’ ”

Monsanto is a company that is known for its chemical and biological engineering. It is less well known for its data science and software engineering teams. Tim Williamson is a data scientist at Monsanto, and on today’s show he talked about how he and a small group of engineers at Monsanto dramatically shifted the culture around data science-driven genetic engineering.

In this episode, Tim explains how useful graph databases are for modeling the genetic lineages, and talks about how Monsanto manages simulations and experiments on their genomics software pipeline. Tim also talks about how just a few engineers can create a cultural shift within a large company like Monsanto using the leverage allowed by software.

Questions

  • Why is data science important to Monsanto?
  • How will data science be used in the future to improve food production?
  • What are a genomics pipeline and a breeding cycle?
  • Can you use simulations to improve genetic predictions?
  • Why are graph databases useful for Monsanto?
  • What is ancestry-as-a-service?
  • Are there any agri-tech companies or products that are really exciting to you?
  • Is it realistic or desirable to move to a meat-free nutrition model?

Links

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