AOES Graduate Student Plays Role in International Workshop

Last week Zaiyu Wang, a PhD student in the department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences (AOES), attended the Targeted Training Activity (TTA) on Monsoon Prediction in Triete, Italy. The TTA, part of the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), was organized in part by AOES professor Jagadish Shukla and co-sponsored by the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA).

A Team Oriented Structure

To Zaiyu the workshop is important “in the sense that it brings together weather forecasters and researchers as well as students, mainly from developing countries such as India and Pakistan. It allows leading scientists to discuss, offer help, and inform participants [about the] recent progress of climate model simulations in terms of monsoon prediction.”

TTA-Group-Picture

(Zaiyu Wang, with TTA organizers, second from the right.)

This 54 participant workshop has a team-oriented structure with the aim to “develop groups of scientists who can work together on a specific goal within a developing-country institution” as stated in the workshop description. But Zaiyu sees it from the view of the organizers; he said, they “wish that in this way, when participants go back to their institution, they could spread ideas they have learned in ICTP to those who had not been there, and year by year the effect could accumulate like planting seeds.”

Morning lectures provided intensive training, from basic and big picture information to the latest developments and details of methodology. In Zaiyu’s opinion, the breadth and depth of knowledge gained at this workshop could take months to learn on one’s own.

Personal and Professional Benefits

Zaiyu assisted participants during computer lab sessions in analyzing climate model data, explained methodology for the training analysis and provided sample scripts as well as graphs for each participant. He also attended TTA seminar sessions, informed participants of the latest developments of monsoon prediction both in theory and in modeling.

“I was able to interact with each participant, which is an invaluable experience for a research assistant PhD student like me; even for a teaching assistant PhD student there may not be [the] amount of interaction and communication [that] I had with participants in ICTP.”

Of the 10 scheduled workshop days, Zaiyu says 4 or 5 of them were spent programming with dozens of other participants in the computer lab until 1:00 AM, making for over 10 hours per day.

While studying climate dynamics, Zaiyu’s work focuses on air-ocean coupling in climate model simulations.

Read the TTA report for details about the workshop.

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jagadish Shukla