Host community workshops and seminars

NCAR plays an important role in helping scientific communities focus on the grand challenge problems of the Earth System. Targeted workshops with flexible formats that adapt to the audience and topics are particularly useful in highlighting areas where more research is needed. These events expose data scientists and computational scientists to the unique problems of climate and Earth System science. They also make NCAR scientists aware of new advances in computer hardware, computational science, and data science that can advance NCAR’s scientific mission and improve its facilities.

The table below shows the six community workshops CISL presented in FY2017. These events attracted 246 attendees.

Table 1: A summary of 2017 CISL-hosted workshop attendance and purpose

Title Number of Attendees Purpose
Theme of the Year 27 Assessing and advancing the state of the art in multiscale geoscience numerics
Annual Graduate Workshop on Environmental Data Analytics 30 Develop the next generation of environmental statisticians
Triple Crown 50 Statistics seminar by leading figures in the field
STATMOS Climatepalooza 32 Advancing climate statistics
Climate Informatics 65 Promoting the development of machine learning and other informatics approaches in climate science
MultiCore 42 Enhancing the international community’s understanding of optimization techniques for many-core GPU and CPU processors for applications in the atmospheric and related science
Total attendees (FY 2017) 246  


Theme of the Year: Workshop on Multiscale Geoscience Numerics: This year the Theme of the Year (ToY) workshop was held at the NCAR Mesa Lab and brought together 27 early-career researchers developing numerical methods for possible applications in the geosciences, with emphasis on multiscale phenomena. This included numerical algorithms for a variety of Earth systems such as the atmosphere, oceans, solid Earth, and ice dynamics. The workshop created a venue where applied and computational mathematicians discussed novel techniques that will advance the predictive capability of different geosystems. The talks included hot topics such as high-order methods, time-integration schemes, fast elliptic solvers, techniques for handling irregular and changing geometries, mesh-free methods, and adaptive refinement schemes among others. The development of computational methods that lend themselves easily to parallelization on heterogeneous architectures was also a particular focus.

Triple Crown: Statistics Seminar: CISL’s Triple Crown series presents three invited talks from three leading figures in statistics in one afternoon. This past year, the Triple Crown Seminar included the following talks:

  • “Mixture of Regression Models for Large Spatial Data Sets” by Amanda Hering, Department of Statistical Science, Baylor University.

  • “Statistical Methods for Studying West Antarctic Ice Sheet” by Murali Haran, Department of Statistics, Penn State University.

  • “Space and Time Voyages in Dynamic Systems Space” by James Ramsey, Department of Psychology, McGill University.

A total of 50 people attended the seminar.

STATMOS Climate Palooza: STATMOS and SAMSI hosted a Workshop on Climate Statistics, at NCAR, in Boulder, Colorado. The main purpose of this meeting was to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations in climate statistics. The workshop attracted a total of 32 participants – of whom about half were statisticians – with a diverse group of specific interests and career stages represented. The STATMOS Annual Meeting was held the day before the workshop began.

Fourth Annual Graduate Workshop on Environmental Data Analytics: The Annual Graduate Workshop on Environmental Data Analytics was also held at NCAR. The workshop’s goal is to help prepare the next generation of researchers and practitioners to work within – and contribute to – the data-rich era. The workshop brought together 30 graduate students and senior scientists in statistics and ecology. The students were guided through hands-on computing and modeling tutorials. This workshop also offered the students an opportunity to share research findings and explore open questions within and at the interface of environmental, ecological, climatic, and statistical sciences.

Climate Informatics Workshop: Climate informatics broadly refers to any research combining climate science with approaches from statistics, machine learning, and data mining. The Climate Informatics Workshop series brings together researchers from all of these areas to stimulate discussion of new ideas, foster new collaborations, grow the climate informatics community, and thus accelerate discovery across disciplinary boundaries. The seventh annual workshop in Climate Informatics attracted 65 attendees, with the first day devoted to a one-day Machine Learning Hackathon. This event also included an extensive poster session of presentations by researchers and students attending the workshop.

NCAR Multi-core 7 Workshop: A group of 42 computational experts familiar with creating and optimizing weather and climate applications, along with representatives from industry, gathered at the NCAR Mesa Lab to attend the seventh Heterogeneous Multi-core Workshop. They shared and discussed the latest findings in programming for emerging disruptive computing technologies. This workshop is part of CISL’s ongoing processor technology tracking activity. By persisting year to year, the workshop helps build a sense of community, create continuity, and foster a clearer understanding of the progress being made in both applications and architectures. The NCAR workshop provided a forum for experts to share experiences and have open discussions that lead to an improved collective understanding of how these new technologies can be most useful to atmospheric science.


The cost of hosting these workshops and seminars was supported by NCAR Core and discretionary funds. The Fourth Annual Graduate Workshop on Environmental Data Analytics was supported by NCAR Core funding plus an NSF CAREER Award 1253225 (Andrew Finley of Michigan State University).