I regularly mentor students in science and computer programming, from sixth grade through high school. I have judged science fair competitions for many years, including the state competition and the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), and these have given me a great perspective on student projects. I encourage students to take advantage of publicly available scientific data sets, and teach them computer programming and statistical analysis to evaluate their data. Python is my language of choice, as it is easy to start but is now used professionaly for scientific computing, and there are endless libraries and on-line resources. My favorite book to teach students is Hello World!
I have been a guest speaker at ISEF for many years, and give this talk to high school students there.
Climate Change, Modeling, and Supercomputers
Climate change research relies on high-resolution computer models to understand the complex, interdependent processes that affect the atmosphere, ocean, and land in the coming century. It includes the development of atmosphere, ocean, sea-ice, and land models for high-resolution global simulations. These climate models are run on the world’s fastest supercomputers to predict how the climate will change with different emissions scenarios. How do we build confidence that these models are correct? As a climate model developer, I validate my ocean model in numerous settings, from idealized domains to real-world simulations. Model output is compared to the historical record of satellite and shipboard observations and other ocean models. My talk will give students a tour of the state of climate change research, how an ocean model works, and how models are validated.