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"Data mining mining data" by I-Kang Ding

I will be joining KoBold Metals, a startup working on mineral exploration of battery materials (such as Cobalt) using big data and superior science of ore deposits. (Hence the pun in the title – “Data mining mining data.”) The startup consists of a stellar team of domain experts in mining exploration and data science / machine learning (if I may say so myself), and we have aspirations to make big impacts to climate change by finding new sources of supply-constrained battery materials, thereby accelerating the electrification and decarbonization of transportation.

Climate change is a problem domain that I have cared deeply about since college (from a talk by Yuan Tseh Lee, a Taiwanese Nobel Prize laureate), and have worked on for close to a decade (PhD + two industry jobs) before I joined Capital One. Going back to this problem domain has always been at the back of my mind, but it really kicked into high gears in the latter half of last year, catalyzed in September 2019 by the climate strike. Seeing a ground swell of youth activists, marching in the streets all over the world, really brought tears to my eyes.


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