Environment and Sustainability Institute

30 March, 2011

My friend John Barrett pointed out that the Environmental and Sustainability Institute at Exeter has jobs for mathematicians and statisticians who “combine research expertise in areas such as computational statistics, data modelling, system dynamics, control, optimization and/or computation with vision and innovation so as to transform research across the environment and sustainability agenda”.

I got his email today; the deadline has already passed, but maybe you can slip under the wire:

Professor in Applied Mathematics/Statistics

Ref: R10168

Deadline: 21/03/2011

Location: Environment and Sustainability Institute, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Tremough Campus (Cornwall).

Salary: by negotiation, generous holiday allowances, flexible working, pension scheme, car lease scheme and relocation package.

We are taking a unique opportunity to create a world-leading, interdisciplinary centre investigating the consequences of environmental change and the mitigation and management of its effects. Building on the existing academic strengths of the University of Exeter, the 30 million pound Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) will focus on undertaking significant cutting-edge research in finding solutions to problems of environmental change, and the application of an ecosystem services approach. There will be three major themes: Clean technologies, Natural environment, and Social science. The initiative is funded with a 22.9 million pound investment from the European Regional Development Fund and 6.6 million pounds from the South West of England Regional Development Agency.

We are looking for research leaders in Applied Mathematics and/or Statistics who will combine research expertise in areas such as computational statistics, data modelling, system dynamics, control, optimization and/or computation with vision and innovation so as to transform research across the environment and sustainability agenda. Applicants will have a strong track record of research funding and international quality publications, together with proven ability in teaching and curriculum development.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Dean of the College, Prof Ken Evans to discuss the posts further. Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Peter Ashwin You may also wish to consult our web site for further details of the College.

The full range of necessary skills and experience can be found in the Job Description and Person Specification document.

Your full academic CV should be accompanied by a short letter of application explaining why you are interested in the post.

For further information about the Environment and Sustainability Institute visit our website.

The University of Exeter is an equal opportunity employer which is ‘Positive About Disabled People’. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently under-represented in the workforce.


Summer Program on Climate Software

3 March, 2011

Here’s a great opportunity if you’re a student looking for something to do this summer. The Climate Code Foundation is working on open-source versions of important climate software. If you’re lucky, you could get paid to help!

• Climate Code Foundation, Google Summer of Code.

It seems the window for student applications is March 28-April 8.

They write:

Google have announced their Summer of Code, and we intend to be a mentoring organisation. If you’re a student, this is an opportunity to work on our open source code and earn a bit of money doing so (Google give a stipend of USD 5000 qualifying students, and an honorarium of USD 500 to the mentoring organisation).

We have an ideas page, most of which revolves around our ccc-gistemp project. Ideas range from improving ccc-gistemp in various ways, through novel reconstructions, to clear implementations of other climate codes. If you have ideas of your own, we’d like to hear about those too.

If you are interested in participating as a student, then please get in touch.

We have not been a Summer of Code mentor before, but we bring many years (decades even!) of experience to the table: experience in computer science, software engineering, project management, and so on. We hope to help students make a success of their projects!

In case you’re wondering, ccc-gistemp is a version of GISTEMP written in Python.

Isn’t it annoying how explaining one mysterious word can require two more? In case you’re still wondering: Python is a really groovy modern programming language, in comparison to older ones like FORTRAN—and GISTEMP is an important computer program, mostly written in FORTRAN, which NASA uses to analyze the historical temperature record. GISTEMP is what gives us graphs like this:



So, it’s very important to update this program and search the existing program for bugs—and that’s what the Climate Code Foundation is doing:

The “all Python” milestone was achieved with ccc-gistemp release 0.2.0 on 2010-01-11. Naturally we have found (minor) bugs while doing this, but nothing else. Since 0.2.0 we have made major simplifications, chiefly by removing dependencies, and generally processing data internally (by avoiding writing it to intermediate files, which was only necessary on computers that would be considered extremely memory constrained by today’s standards).

Work continue on further simplification, clarification, generalisation, and extension.

Hone your programming skills while helping save the planet!


Postdoc Positions in Climate Mathematics

13 January, 2011

Young mathematicians interested in climate issues, check this out! There are some postdoc positions available where you can work with people who are doing really cool stuff. Click on their names or photos for more. And apply soon — they’ll start reviewing applications on the 20th of January!

The Mathematics and Climate Research Network is a nation-wide NSF funded initiative. Our goal is to define, develop and solve mathematical problems that arise in climate science. A number of postdoctoral positions will be available starting in Summer or Fall, 2011. The successful applicants will be known as Ed Lorenz Postdoctoral Fellows in the Mathematics of Climate and will have an affiliation with one of the network nodes. The topics of research will range from sea-ice processes to paleoclimate studies and data assimilation in climate models. The network has twelve funded nodes and a number of other collaborating institutions. For more details, see www.mathclimate.org.

The postdoctoral fellows will be based at the nodes indicated below. There will be considerable interaction possible with other network members through weekly web-based seminars and working groups. The network encourages and will support extended visits by postdocs to other nodes.

All interested recent PhDs are encouraged to apply. There are two steps necessary for a complete application: (1) posting materials to mathjobs.org (cover letter, CV, research statement and 3 letters of recommndation), and (2) completing a short questionnaire to be found at: http://jobs.mathclimate.org.

The specific positions with areas of focus, primary locations and postdoctoral mentors as well as institution relevant information are given below. Salaries will be competitive. The postdocs are multi-year and starting times will all be sometime Summer or Fall, 2011. Teaching one course per year will be an option in most positions.

1. Arizona State University (School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences), Data assimilation and large complex models of the atmosphere. Mentors: Eric Kostelich and Alex Mahalov.

2. Bowdoin College (Department of Mathematics), Dynamical systems in climate process models and paleoclimate. Mentors: Mary-Lou Zeeman and Dick McGehee (Minnesota).

3. New York University (Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences), Southern Ocean, sea ice, Antarctic ice sheet, and regional atmospheric modeling. Mentor: David Holland.

4. University of Chicago (Department of Geosciences), Modeling and analysis of climate processes such as water vapor and cloud feedback, atmospheric circulation, land and sea ice including applications to past climate, and modeling of carbon cycle fluctuations on varying time scales. Mentors: Pam Martin, Ray Pierrehumbert, Dorian Abbot and Mary Silber (Northwestern).

5. University of Utah (Department of Mathematics), Analysis of sea ice through modeling, computation, and methods of applied mathematics and physics. Field trips to the Arctic or Antarctic potentially part of postdoctoral work. Mentor: Ken Golden.

6. University of Vermont (Department of Mathematics and Statistics), Development of data assimilation methods and implementation on climate models, both conceptual and global. Mentors: Chris Danforth and Chris Jones (UNC-CH).

7. University of Washington (Department of Applied Mathematics), Analysis of historical climate data using linear and nonlinear time series techniques. Mentors: Ka-Kit Tung and Dave Camp (Calpoly-SLO).

Each of the universities involved is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and welcomes applications from women, underrepresented ethnic, racial and cultural groups, and from people with disabilities. Reviewing of applications will begin on Jan 20, 2011 but applications will continue to be accepted until the positions are filled.