Meet Team Captricity: Huguens Jean

January 09, 2015 by Huguens Jean

Hello, my name is Huguens (Hue for short). I learned about Captricity while doing a literature review for my doctoral thesis on paper form digitization and classification. Thank God I was not the only foolish individual who thought that resource-limited organizations could use some serious technology. By serious, I do mean some Star Trek Tricorder data scanning, recording and analysis like system. At Captricity, my main areas of focus are computer vision and machine learning. Specifically, I obsess about what makes two objects visually and semantically similar, and I work with a team of magicians (sorry, that’s the most accurate word I could think of) on developing algorithms for classifying and reading paper forms. Goosebumps!!!

Similarly to our CEO, Kuang Chen, it was while working in Tanzania with the US military that I finally realized the problem I wanted to tackle in my doctoral dissertation. Until that time, I struggled with finding what I wanted to do with my life. I had the privilege to work at NASA for a few years with great minds and amazing tools, but the Haitian earthquake of 2010 devastated my world, and my need for working on technology that could be of immediate service to the people of planet Earth deepened. I took a leap and left NASA to join a small startup called Amethyst Technologies, and in addressing their issues with data collection in resource-constrained environments, I ended up in Tanzania.

While in Tanzania, I realized that the pervasiveness of mobile technology had presented a new form of sustenance for the disadvantaged population around the world. In many countries including my own Haiti, people are more likely to have access to mobile phones than clean water. I also realized that these countries now had plenty of communication but very little information. Therefore, as a graduate student, I decided to explore the problem of going from unstructured to structured data using camera-equipped mobile devices with special emphasis on human-computer interaction and paper form recognition.

To me, working at Captricity is more than just a job. It’s personal. I am from the developing world, and I believe that my efforts could add significant value to the great work currently being done at Captricity. It’s like George Bernard Shaw once said, “The being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one is the true joy in life.” Plus working alongside insanely brilliant and cool people makes it even more awesome.

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