Tom Bellsky participates in IdeaLab 2013 at ICERM

Q. Tom, what was the focus of the IdeaLab workshop at ICERM?

The IdeaLab 2013 workshop brought together twenty young researchers, mostly postdocs, with half the participants working on issues related to tipping points in the climate and the other half working on issues in cryptology. The goal was to form small groups with related interests and to examine, in depth, new research questions and possible solutions. The end goal was to form a comprehensive research plan, framing it as a grant proposal, and to present this plan to the other participants and also program officers from funding agencies.

Q. What did your group research?

Myself along with three others looked into using various techniques to predict the likelihood of a sudden stop of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) . The goal of our project was to estimate the probability of such a tipping for a hierarchy of models. Specifically for the case of incomplete knowledge about the parameter space, we examined using extreme value theory and techniques from uncertainty quantification to estimate the probability of tipping.

Q. What did you enjoy most about the workshop?

I really enjoyed spending the week investigating topics new to me. In particular, I spent a lot of time learning about extreme value theory, which I will use in future research. It was very beneficial to be in a group that was interested in examining methods in which none of us had any expertise. And, of course, it is always great to meet other researchers in the field and to catch up with other MCRN members (there were several in attendance).

Thank you, Tom. We look forward to hearing more from you and fellow MCRN members!



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