Risk to property from thunderstorms is as high as from hurricanes, according to research published by Willis Re and Prof. Michael Tippett. The report, Managing Severe Thunderstorm Risk, was written to increase understanding of the impact of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on tornado and hail frequencies, and to introduce the concept of ENSO-conditioned event rates. Other contributors to the report were Chiara Lepore of LDEO and Adam Sobel.
The seminar in Fayerweather Hall required a new four-letter code in the directory of classes—HSAM—because it combines disciplines that are rarely taught in tandem, history and applied mathematics. On a recent Tuesday, the discussion was about interpreting and analyzing data in polls, surveys and social media. “Think about who’s generating the survey, who’s funding it and what they want,” Chris Wiggins, associate professor of applied mathematics in Columbia Engineering School, told the students. “It’s difficult to do statistical analysis that’s not poisoned by one’s own beliefs.”
“Computation has become basically a part of everyone’s research, it doesn’t matter if you’re doing work in a biology lab or analyzing records for history research, you’re collecting data,” said Chris Marianetti, chair of the faculty committee that oversees Habanero and other shared research computing and an associate professor in the departments of material science, applied physics and applied mathematics. “Today, you need an on-campus resource for the rapid development of data-heavy research.”
Two scientists who untangled the complex forces that drive El Niño, the world’s most powerful weather cycle, have won the 2017 Vetlesen Prize for achievement in earth sciences. The $250,000 award will go to S. George Philander of Princeton University and Mark A. Cane of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who also holds a joint appointment in the APAM Department.