Introduce yourself!


Hey all! My name is Paul Thieme, and I am a new master’s student at Purdue University in the department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. I’m working with the OATS group here at Purdue with Jeff (above). My focus is on digital agriculture - specifically methods data collection, processing, and display.

My undergraduate degree is in agricultural machine systems from Purdue. I’ve been working with mechanical systems since I was a kid, since I grew up on a farm in central Indiana. About half way through my undergraduate degree I realized that the way of the future is electronics for agricultural equipment, so I took an internship at John Deere and another at Precision Planting, both focusing on digital agriculture, data collection, and how we can use that data to improve our farming practices.

As far as skills that I bring to GOAT - I’m an avid machinist, an experienced welder, and an expert tinkerer. The foundation of my skill set is largely mechanical at this point, so if you have any fabrication / mechanical / physical questions I would be more than happy to assist. That being said, I am familiar with several programming languages like C++, MATLAB, Python, etc. My senior design project was an autonomous vehicle that used machine vision to detect and terminate weeds in a row-crop field using a sprayer attachment, for the agBot Challenge. I was responsible for the electrical systems on the robot and the programming of the control system so I know my way around a soldering iron and a terminal, too.

Openness in ag is imperative in my view for the purpose of agricultural education. I was an FFA (the organization previously known as the Future Farmers of America) member in high school and I learned that most people are very uninformed about not only where their food comes from, but how our agricultural industry works. I believe that it’s important that we develop systems that allow people to see what’s going on in agriculture. Sure, these new developments in technology are going to be incredibly useful to farmers and other agriculturalists, but they will also help show - visually - how we farm and the different things that farmers need to know in order to ensure a productive farm.

Also open source projects are awesome. I’m an amateur radio operator (ham radio) and we use other people’s open source projects all the time. We adapt them to suit our purposes and in that way we create new and better ways of doing things. In the same way, I think we can spur on all kinds of innovations in agriculture by keeping our work open.

Excited for GOAT and to get more involved in open ag!


I am a Ph.D. student and Fulbright scholar in the Computer Science department at Purdue University. My areas of research include information security, distributed systems, graph databases, and edge computing. I am also part of the Purdue OATS group (Open Ag. Technology and Systems).

My skills include practical cryptography and distributed systems (e.g., secure multiparty computation, attribute-based encryption, homomorphic encryption, distributed graph analysis). Also, I have designed and developed multiple software apps ranging from network analysis (e.g., using Python, C, C++) to graph data stores utilizing Java, JavaScript, ElasticSearch, and Scala. I have also built a complex graph analytics framework using Scala, Apache Spark GraphX, and Cassandra. Also, I have expertise in Operating Systems, Computer Networks, Parallel Computing, and Distributed Databases.

Since open source projects promote collaborative development, those help to build communities and richer and sustainable software. For instance, I collaborate to develop a distributed graph database (TruenoDB) that serves as a tool to analyze biological and social networks. With OATS we create new exciting open source frameworks published through GitHub repositories.

I am excited to be part of the Open AG initiative. I aim to contribute privacy-preserving computation and analytics for a diverse set of use cases including Smart Farming, Edge Computing, and IoT.



Hello everybody,

I’m Aaron Ault, I work with Dennis Buckmaster and Jim Krogmeier at Purdue where we head up the Open Ag Technology and Systems (OATS) Center. Dennis keeps reminding us all to introduce ourselves here, even going so far as to threaten to withhold further donuts until more of us post here! Kidding aside, I’m passionate about open source in ag, and am very excited to see GOAT thrive as the open source community. I’m an evangelist in the industry for the idea that open source is the only answer to how ag can get out of the “Data is the future” rut it’s been stuck in for 30 years.

I’m an active farmer, with 3000 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat, and 3000 head of beef cattle. And 4 kids (I suppose parenting is like kid-farming ;). I’m also a computer engineer: I enjoy hardware, software, cloud, analytics, machine learning … pretty much anything involving bits and bytes.

We’re eager to see this GOAT community thrive, and hopefully provide some code and tools ourselves that others will find useful: ISOBlue for open-source machine telematics, the Open Ag Data Alliance/Trellis API framework, the Open Ag Toolkit (apps), and various libraries for simplifying app development on top of OADA.

We’re hosting a workshop at ASABE this year on open source app development for Ag using a modern javascript framework: if anyone is interested please sign up! We’re CPD#1 on the main workshop listing:


My name is Wilbert Talen I am a Dairy farmer in P.E.I. Canada. I’m a fan of tinkering and tech and I am an early adopter of tech on my farm. I joined this forum because I am a fan of open source software especially as it relates to agriculture. I am currently using AgOpenGPS created by Brian Tischler I am posting here because I thought some of you might be interested in this project and able to contribute. I am also interested in ROS agriculture and how these things might apply to my work.


Hi I’m Alex Layton from Purdue University, an Electrical and Computer Engineering PhD student currently working on a couple of projects for the Open Ag Technology and Systems (OATS) group.

I grew up in Indianapolis and do not come from any sort of agricultural background. My undergraduate degree is in Computer Engineering. My background is mostly signal processing and programming type things.


Hi all, my name is Andrew. I own a compost business on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Recently built a thermometer with a Particle Electron to help monitor my farmer friend’s coolers over winter. It alerted him via text when the temperature was out of range. I’m happy to share about this project and would like to be included in emails about the GOAT 2019. Thanks!


Wow, two coolest links I’ve seen all week! Thanks Wilbert! I’m sad that the open ag GPS and ROS ag folks didn’t come to GOAT (cause we didn’t know they existed)… next year!!!


Yes! Do you have info on that? If you share, post it in the FLOT channel and you’ll get some geeking out over there -->