Vishwas Rao, a postdoctoral appointee in Argonne’s Mathematics and Computer Science Division, received an honorable mention award in the Elevating Mathematics Video Competition.
The competition was sponsored by the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics, which leads activities in the mathematical sciences at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The participants submitted short video “elevator speeches” describing how advances in the mathematical sciences are changing our understanding of the world.
Rao works in the broad area of uncertainty quantification and uncertainty propagation for dynamical systems with applications in power grid, weather forecasting, and climate science. In his video presentation, he talks about using math to improve medium- and long-term weather forecasts and also acknowledges that some people may wonder, “What is there to improve? My mobile app already gives me quite an accurate forecast.” And he agrees – but then points out that the apps typically focus on only 5 to 10 days and include a degree of uncertainty, for example, 60% likelihood of precipitation. He says his aim is twofold: to increase that range to 15 to 20 days and to reduce the uncertainty.
“Math can be used to warn potentially affected people about natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding,” Rao says. And he finds that “challenging, interesting, and at the same time potentially beneficial to society.”
To view Rao’s video, see the website #ElevatingMath Video Competition!