Anita Faul

The Doomsday Glacier - How Much Ice is Antarctica Losing

The Thwaites glacier in Antarctica is also known as the doomsday glacier, because it sits like a stopper holding large ice masses internal to Antarctica in place. If more warm water makes its way underneath it, this can lead to more melting which could lead to a substantial rise in sea levels. There are several initiatives to understand the dynamics of ice loss in Antarctica, one of which is the calving of icebergs. This particular project considers the identification of icebergs in satellite images to estimate their volumes, especially in near coastal regions, with the aim to track them in future to estimate ice loss and resulting sea level rises.

Anita Faul came to Cambridge University after studying two years in Germany. She did Part II and Part III Mathematics at Churchill College, Cambridge. Since these are only two years, and three years are necessary for a first degree, she does not hold one. However, this was followed by a PhD on the Faul-Powell Algorithm for Radial Basis Function Interpolation under the supervision of Professor Mike Powell. After this she worked on the Relevance Vector Machine with Mike Tipping at Microsoft Research Cambridge. Ten years in industry followed where she worked on various algorithms on mobile phone networks, image processing and data visualization. Current projects are on machine learning techniques. In teaching she enjoys to bring out the underlying, connecting principles of algorithms which is the emphasis of her books on Numerical Analysis and Machine Learning. She is now working as a Data Scientist at the British Antarctic Survey

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