IMSC 2019: The final day

With a half day of talks the IMSC 2019 ended today in Toulouse. It was again a quite warm day and not far away the record for the recorded french temperature was broken today. So it was fitting that the final day started with event attribution talks and covered among others heat waves and their attribution to climate change. The next session was the final parallel session and I stayed in the event attribution session. It addressed more events and discussed the limits of these techniques.

After lunch the conference officially ended at it was time to look back at the past days here in southern France. The conference was well organised and fulfilled the expectations. Good food, good location, interesting scientific content. The main topics were extremes and detection and attribution. It blocked quite a big chunk of the conference and pushed the other topics for my taste a bit too far into a corner. Biggest issue in the verification and forecast evaluation was the handling of uncertain observations. Apart from that the conference covered good statistical practice, some talks about data and many good discussions about statistical topics. So it was fun to join this conference again, even with the very hot weather. So let’s see where the enxt conference will be, in three or something years.

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IMSC 2019: Halftime and the heat wave is coming

The third day is over at the IMSC 2019 in Toulouse and it was a day full of presentations. The first session was on the interaction of humans with climate and Space-time statistics. Main topics where the construction of indices to communicate severeness of climate related hazards to the experts and public and the transition of weather regimes. It was followed by talks about Detection and Attribution, another main topic at this conference. A interesting topic was the influence of the view of a scientist on the statistical results, which highlighted the subjectivity of statistics.

After lunch, which happened to be inside for the first time this week, due to the weather outside (I assume more thanks to the windy conditions, rather than the hot temperatures), the conference went again into parallel sessions. I switched between the space-time statistics sessions and long-term D&A, which covered among others the complex uncertainty structures of regression models and the classification of weather regimes.

Tomorrow will be a challenging day. So we expect something around 40 degrees and there will be a poster session and I will give my own talk. So it will certainly be exciting. Oh and not to forget, some outside activity is planned in the evening, in this heat certainly a special experience.

IMSC 2019: First poster session

The second day at IMSC 2019 in Toulouse and we started the day with three plenary talks on big data and extreme value analysis. Interesting topics around the reconstruction of observational data and how to properly do event attribution. After these talk an well filled poster session took place. Interesting posters on the topics of the last two days allowed many discussions on and beside the poster themes.

Capitol by night

Late ending of the dinner leads to nice views of the city

After lunch the next topic was changes of extremes. Again three topics showed how complex the estimation of extremes are in a changing world. Afterwards we split again in the minor rooms for the parallel session, where I attended the space-time statistics one. At this the topic was laid on emulators and the determination of significance.

With the end and a little break the final happening of the day was the conference dinner. Good french food and drinks allowed many interesting discussions. With this a long day ended and from tomorrow on we all expect the start of the heat wave.

IMSC 2019: Here we go Toulouse!

It is my second time at the International Meeting on Statistical Climatology (IMSC) after I have been on the previous conference in Canmore, Canada. This time it is hosted by Meteo France in Toulouse in Southern France. The main topic of the week will not necessary be the statistics, but mainly the weather, with the little heat wave which is announced for later this week.

But until we come to that we start with statistics. After collecting the badges, the conference kicked of with a look at Homogenisation and Machine Learning. Especially the latter will be most likely a big topic of this conference. Due to its increased visibility in its application in data science also the climate community gives Machine Learning a go and apply it to some applications.

After the plenary session on those topics it switched to three parallel sessions, which will be also the pattern for the rest of the week. I chose the changes in extremes session and went on to some homogenisation talks in the latter part. For the final session I visited the big data session, which showed several statistical approaches to look at larger datasets in different forms. The day ended with the obligatory ice breaker.

We will see how the topics will evolve over the week. Today I was surprised to hear topological approaches in several talks. In connection with Machine Learning some obviously see it as a big thing. And yes, since we are in France, I am looking forward for great food. Today was already a good start, finger food in many different versions was on offer during the session breaks.

EGU 2018: Let’s start

And here we go! Another EGU has started today, all in all my fifth. It is always nice to spend some days in Vienna at the start of spring, so also this year the Austrian capital is offering us some sun for the start. Again I took the night train to Vienna, this time with a massive delay (5 hours).

After the reception last night the conference really started today with the first sessions. I started with an interesting time series analysis session. The talks switched a bit through the topics, some quite mathematical, some very detailed in their methodology. Next stop was the big data and machine learning  session, which was really busy. Much too many scientists wanted to get in, which is understandable how these topics are hyped currently.

After lunch it was time for the sea level sessions with great talks. As this is still a topic of much interest for me I always enjoy an interesting session on that topic. The last presentation session of the day was for me the one on dynamical extremes, before the day was closed with the poster session.

The conference centre

So all in all a quite statistical day at the start, the  next day will certainly look a bit different. My contributions will come up on Wednesday with a poster and on Thursday with a talk, also both times quite statistical topics, but more on that closer to the mid of the week.

A look back: PhD for 5 years

Time runs fast, that is true for everyone. From time to time, at the end of the year or at birthdays you take a look back, what the last year has brought to you. The good things, the bad and of cause what you want to achieve in the future. Five years ago today, I have finished my PhD, so it is a good time to do the same.

So what has happened since? I have worked into two completely new topics, palaeo-sea-level reconstruction and long-term, especially seasonal, climate prediction. In that time I have published three first author papers and four minor author ones, have lived more than two years abroad and have been to numerous conferences in Northern America and Europe. I have been active in teaching, have done co-supervision of students and learned many more skills. In short, I have worked as a scientist and am in my second post-doc phase.

That is a long list, but as always, under the pressure scientists are today, you always want more. Hopping between topics has proven a challenge for me, costed time to adapt and changing institutions always requires care not to completely starting from scratch. The first station, sea-level research, has proven as a surprise for me, as I really enjoyed working in the interdisciplinary environment. As a meteorologist, looking at topics based in oceanography is sometimes quite strange. Ideas are different even when the methodology, the math and physics, is in many perspectives the same. I focused on simple models and data assimilation and am quite happy with the results. The second station, seasonal climate prediction, has been more challenging as expected. Going from simple to complex models and working on real meteorology was new for me and it needed time to adapt. But finally it seems things come to fruition and I am positive for the future.

During the past five years I have specialised even more into the field I started in during my PhD: the development and application of new statistical methodology. I have done it now in many different fields and am due to cover the three main fields in publications of statistical data analysis in geosciences: data analysis and data assimilation are done, verification is hopefully done in the upcoming year. And with this we come to the future. What are the aims for the next years?

The main aim is of course to create more publications, get even better in teaching and get better in doing science and research. Currently there are four first author papers in the final phase before submission, so I hope this will become a successful year in this area. The biggest steps I had done in teaching in the last year, so I am working on steadying it. New challenges will be of couse to apply for funding and working even more in supervision of students. All this hopefully lead to the next steps and of cause some new collaborations.

So all in all, I am quite happy with the last five years, I have learned a lot and hopefully I will be able to learn even more in the next years. Science is still a lot of fun for me and I am still on track that it stays this way. So bring on the next five years and see where we end up.

 

A look at lecturing: Do we talk about the history of science?

History is important: it explains us how we got to the place were we are and interferes more with our future than many would admit. This is true in life, but also in science. In lecturing we usually teach concepts and methodologies, many developed in the last five centuries and they are all developed with a background. This background tells us a lot about why these methodologies gained its importance they nowadays have and only when we understand them we understand why they are so highlighted compared to other methodologies, which we do not necessarily teach nowadays. Nevertheless, usually we keep the mentioning of this background quite brief and when at all, some words about it can be found in books. But is it the right way?

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