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General: Speakers Gayatri Buragohain, Jim Kinter
    Wednesday July 18, 2012 8:00am - 9:40am @ Grand Ballroom 7th Floor

    Speaker - Gayatri Buragohain, Feminist Approach to Technology
    Title - Women, technology and feminism - reflections from India.

    Abstract - The gender disparity in technical fields has been a concern throughout the world in recent times. Collating some inputs from eminent feminist activists and academicians from India who participated in a consultation on "Women and Technology" organized by Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT) last year, I will try to provide a feminist perspective on the need to mend this gender gap which looks beyond women's right to education and fair employment. I will do a comparison between status of women's participation in technical fields in India and the US to explain the similarity and differences between the challenges faced in the two countries. Lastly I would share some insights from the work that is being done in India to address this gender gap, including the work being done by my organization.


    Speaker - Jim Kinter, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA) and George Mason University
    Title - Benefits and Challenges of High Spatial Resolution in Climate Models

    Abstract - In three separate projects, the sensitivity of climate simulations to increasing spatial resolution was explored. This talk will summarize some of the benefits afforded by increasing resolution, as well as the challenges associated with large computations. In 2009-2010, the convergence of the outcomes from the World Modeling Summit and the windfall availability of a dedicated supercomputing resource at the National Institute for Computational Studies (NICS, an XSEDE partner) enabled a large international collaborative project called Athena to be undertaken. The objective of the project was to evaluate the value of dramatically increased spatial resolution in climate models, specifically with regard to changes in simulation fidelity and differences in projected climate change. The Athena team, composed of investigators from COLA, the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, the University of Reading (U.K.), the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and the University Tokyo, in partnership with the computational science support team at NICS, confirmed that several important features of atmospheric circulation and precipitation are significantly better simulated when mesoscales are more accurately represented. The project also exposed a number of tensions that may be viewed as either problems or opportunities. This included insight into the challenges of handling a petabyte of data in a single project, with some prospects for the coming "exaflood".

    In a separate project, a team of researchers from COLA, the University of Miami, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of California at Berkeley, funded under the National Science Foundation PetaApps program and provisioned with supercomputing resources on Kraken, explored the roles of ocean eddies in simulations of climate. The possibility that noise in the climate system has an impact on predictability was specifically explored using a novel technique called "interactive ensemble" modeling. The volume of data generated in the project was very large and continues to be a valuable resource for understanding how ocean eddies can impact various features of climate variability.

    In a third project, researchers from COLA and CSU, funded through the Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes, an NSF Science and Technology Center, applied the novel technique of embedding cloud-resolving models in global climate model gridboxes, sometimes called super-parameterization, to a fully coupled global climate model. While the intent was to better represent very short time-scale processes associated with convective clouds, the representation of tropical variability on time scales of months and seasons to years was significantly improved. The computational challenges posed by accurately representing clouds in global models for climate time-scale simulations are described.

    All three projects, while separately funded and composed of different multi-institutional teams of investigators, highlight the benefits and challenges of bringing high-end computing facilities - with their necessary complement of software, networks, and visualization tools - to bear on transformational computational science problems, as envisioned in the NSF CIF21 initiative.


    Type General

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