In the fall of 2017, the Applied Mathematics Department welcomed Zofia Stanley to the PhD program, and 4 years later, Dr. Stanley is now starting a position as a research scientist with CIRES (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences) / NOAA PSL (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Physical Sciences Laboratory).
Dr. Stanley’s thesis research focused on data assimilation, a branch of mathematics that develops methods for combining real world data with dynamical models. A common application of data assimilation is numerical weather prediction. Weather forecasting uses initial conditions in the atmosphere, and a computer models the atmosphere’s evolution in time, generating a forecast we all use. Zofia points out that obtaining these initial conditions are important and non-trivial:
“Thermometers and other measurement devices are not perfect ... [Data assimilation] uses estimates of uncertainty in both the model and the observations to create initial conditions which are representative of the current atmosphere and lead to sensible weather forecasts.”
At CIRES/NOAA PSL, Dr. Stanley is aiming to continue “to contribute to the important field of data assimilation … At CIRES I will work on problems in data assimilation for climate models with two or more interacting components, like atmosphere-ocean models.”
The Department congratulates Dr. Stanley on both graduating from the Department, and on starting a very impressive position!