Georgia Student Develops Plant Disease Diagnosis App

Georgia Student Develops Plant Disease Diagnosis App

Shaza Mehdi, Plant MD App

Shaza Mehdi at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)

Shaza Mehdi is a computer science major in the University of Georgia (UGA) Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. She’s also the developer of PlantMD, a smartphone app (for Android devices) that can diagnose a plant disease with the snap of a photo.

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According to a story posted on the UGA website, Mehdi spent the summer before her senior year of high school researching how to build an app and then learning how to code. She used Google TensorFlow, an opensource platform for machine learning. Machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence, is the process by which computers teach themselves to get better at a given task by figuring out statistical patterns.

After three months of researching, coding, and getting some help from her high school teachers, Mehdi launched the app.

“PlantMD works when you take a picture of a plant,” she says. “It tells you what plant it is and whether it is healthy or diseased, and if it is diseased, what disease it has.”

Since launching the app, Mehdi has met personally with the Google team, and was interviewed by Wired magazine.

Read the full story here.