Welcome & Introduction (10AM PDT | 1PM EDT | 6PM BST)
Anita Faul - British Antarctic Survey
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
Lauren Kuntz - Gaiascope
The Opportunity for Combined AI & Physics-Based Models in Grid Applications
As our electric grid shifts towards a greater reliance on renewable energy sources, which provide greater variability and less inertia, the need for new adaptive and rapid control methods grows. There is massive opportunity for AI to help with this shift, but the grid poses new challenges: from guarantees of reliability and safety, to a system which is ever non-stationary. At Gaiascope, we’re trying to overcome these challenges by creating ways to embed the physical knowledge we already have of electricity and system dynamics into AI and ML models.
Lauren Kuntz is Co-Founder and CEO of Gaiascope, Inc, a company working to harness the power of AI for electric grid applications and accelerate our energy transition. Previously, she was a NOAA Climate and Global Change Fellow at the University of Washington using ML techniques to understand rainfall characteristics. She received her PhD in earth and planetary science from Harvard University and SB in physics and mechanical engineering from MIT.
Topher White - Rainforest Connection
Topher White is Founder and CEO of Rainforest Connection. Topher has experience building systems for large and small startups as well as international science projects, including four years working on nuclear fusion at ITER, in France. He has received multiple accolades for his work, including being named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, a Draper-Richards-Kaplan (DRK) Fellow and an “Engineering Hero” by the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Topher’s background is primarily in Physics, software development and Communication, having received a degree in Physics at Kenyon College and going on to work for years at SLAC Natl Accelerator Lab (High Energy Physics) and the ITER Organization (Nuclear Fusion) in France. Along the way, he also served as CTO for two startups in San Francisco, where he obtained industry-level experience in software development — the foundation of the Rainforest Connection platform.
Q&A with the Speakers
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