Women in Sports and Tech Spotlight - Lena Gorelick
What was your journey to Sportlogiq?
I started my career as a software developer in the Israeli Navy, focusing on database-driven HR systems. I then spent 18 years in 5 different universities, obtaining M.Sc. and Ph.D. in computer science in applied math with a focus on computer vision, followed by 10 years of research in computer vision and medical imaging. In between and during that time I also worked/consulted for several startup companies.
Sportlogiq is my first full-time industrial job in computer vision after I left academia.
How did you become interested in Computer Vision?
I got into computer vision by accident. Initially, I was interested in studying computational biology and therefore applied for a bioinformatics (math track) program at the Weizmann Institute of Science. I graduated from this program but grew interested in computer vision following a course, halfway through. Subsequently, both my master’s and doctorate thesis were focused on the field of computer vision. The goal was to study and analyze object shapes (silhouettes) and their representation and apply this knowledge in the tasks of object detection, recognition, and segmentation as well as action recognition.
What do you believe is the potential for Computer Vision in sports?
Computer vision is the ultimate tool for analyzing games and players’ performance in an objective way. We can now train computers to automatically detect and track players during games, analyze their metrics, actions, identify their strengths and weaknesses. It can automatically detect game events and predict local and global autocomes. Computer vision tools are useful for both: professional teams and athletes to improve their skills as well as for the media and audience to get a better understanding of the sport and engagement.
What has your experience as a woman in tech been like?
I was very fortunate to have the privilege and opportunity to study and work in this fascinating field. I was always treated with respect and encouraged to work towards my goals. Unfortunately, it is not always the case for many other women in the world trying to pursue a career in the STEM field.
Nonetheless, in the last 20 years, I see more and more women interested and following similar career paths.
What would you like to achieve personally and professionally at Sportlogiq?
Professionally I would like to see the impact of my work in a real-life setting. Unlike in academia, where each project culminates with a paper, at Sportlogiq I am looking forward to seeing the fruits of my research project in production.
Personally, I would like to see every employee of Sportlogiq getting more fit and healthy by challenging them with daily push-ups and squats.
What advice would you give to young women hoping to follow a similar career path as you?
Keep studying and working hard and keep trusting your abilities. Don’t let anyone stop you from achieving your goals.