Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Google Presents River Stories Live

Last week I was at Google in Cambridge, where we had an event celebrating the recently published River Stories book and the new Google Trekker image library of the river. I participated in a panel discussion with other River Stories authors where we shared some of our thoughts about the river.





Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dr. Indrani Ghosh named in Top 10 Young Professionals by ENR

ENR editors select young professionals who have “advanced into leadership roles at design and construction firms, and are making an impact in [New England].” Congratulations to my former PhD student Indrani Ghosh, Team Leader of the Sustainability Group at Kleinfelder, who was named as one of the Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) Top 10 Young Professionals. Indrani has established herself as a leader in reframing the engineering design process to include climate change impacts. Congratulations Indrani!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Agent-Based Modeling Class

Please consider taking my ABM class in the Spring 2016 Semester

What is ABM? Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a growing technology that is finding application in many areas from environmental chemistry to microbial ecology to transportation engineering to social sciences and business. It is a "systems" or "bottom-up" approach for understanding how complex systems behave. Individual low-level elements of the system (e.g. bacteria, cars) are simulated and the system-level behavior (e.g. population density, traffic congestion) emerges as a result of the cumulative action and interaction of these low-level entities. This is different from the traditional "top-down" approach where system-level state variables are modified directly using differential equations.

Course overview. The course is geared towards a multi-disciplinary audience, and open to students from engineering, environmental science, biology and chemistry, sociology, business and others. Topics include introduction and motivation of ABM, basic principles, comparison to other methods (e.g. cellular automata, individual-based modeling), available software, computational strategies (e.g. up-scaling, agent accounting), model development, model calibration and testing, and model application.  A number of case studies from the literature in various disciplines will be reviewed and discussed. A major part of the course will be a hands-on term project. Students are encouraged to explore the use of ABM for their own research interests for the term project. The project will be implemented using the NetLogo ABM framework. NetLogo models can be served as Java Applets on the Internet and the students will be required to submit their final papers as web pages, which will be published on the course web page. The text will be "Agent-based and Individual-based Modeling: A Practical Introduction" by Grimm and Railsback (2011).

Friday, October 9, 2015

My Charles on the computer

I am excited to share with you that the Charles River Conservancy's “River Stories III” book is now out. The book is a collection of memoirs, poems, reflections, and artwork about the Charles River by local writers and artists. It celebrates the Charles River Parklands, and the experiences and memories of those who cherish them. I contributed a chapter “My Computerized Charles River“, where I share some of my personal feelings about the river and our work to help make it swimmable. It was a real pleasure to work on this piece, because it was so different from the other type of writing I typically do (i.e. technical journal articles). Here is a link to the book.


Friday, October 2, 2015

ASM Conference

In the Spring of 2016 we are organizing an ASM conference focusing on individual-based modeling and observations in microbiology. See the link below. This should be an exciting meeting and we hope to see you there. Application deadline is November 10.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

IWA DIPCON Conference Report

I am in Berlin for the IWA Conference on Diffuse Pollution and Eutrophication. Yesterday I gave a  presentation on our Anabaena-nitrogen interaction model. At this conference I am learning a lot about water quality problems around the world. Most notably: Cyanobacteria are a growing problem everywhere. Today I had a chance to visit the Stechlin LakeLab, which is a very nice facility with a really impressive set of large-scale mesocosms (see picture). And of course they now also have Anabaena...

Friday, September 4, 2015

UT Knoxville Seminar Visit

Earlier this week I was in Knoxville visiting the Department of Microbiology at the U. of Tennessee. I gave a seminar talking about our research on bet hedging in yeast, neutral evolution of ocean bacteria and cyanobacteria-nitrogen interaction. I also had the opportunity to meet a lot of their faculty and students and learned a lot. And we had a Lake Taihu project meeting with Steve Wilhelm and students. A busy time...