|Spring 2007 UMASS
Operations Research / Management Science Seminar Series
Date: Friday, April 27, 2007
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Isenberg School of Management, Room 112
|Speaker: Professor David
Director of NSF CASA Engineering Research Center
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
|Biography: David J. McLaughlin is Professor
of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of
Massachusetts and director of the Center for Collaborative Adaptive
Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA). One of 22 current Engineering
Research Centers created by the National Science Foundation (NSF), CASA
teams undergraduate and graduate students, K-12 teachers, and academic,
industrial, and government engineers and scientists from several
disciplines in a grand quest
to revolutionize our ability to detect, track, forecast, warn, and
respond to hazardous weather events. He received his BS and PhD
degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1984 and
1989, respectively, and spent the period from 1989 through 1999 on the
engineering faculty at Northeastern University. He has held research
fellowships at the US Naval Research Laboratory and the USAF Rome
Laboratory, and joined the UMass faculty in January of 2000. His
research and teaching interests include radar design, systems
engineering, and policy-mediated sensor networks.
Interdisciplinarity while Chasing Tornadoes: an Overview of the CASA
Engineering Research Center
|Abstract: The scenario is this: A category
four tornado suddenly touches down outside Norman, Oklahoma, in a
region of the country known as Tornado Alley. Almost simultaneously, a
close-knit array of tiny state-of-the-art radars zeroes in on the
lethal twister. The radar beams precisely triangulate on the location
of the vortex and chase it with pinpoint accuracy down Berry Street.
Personnel at the National Weather Service in Norman use a
specially-designed console to trace the exact route as the tornado
rumbles down this major shopping thoroughfare, chewing up buildings and
hurling vehicles out of its path. Armed with precise positioning, the
Weather Service issues an emergency alert that saves lives and reroutes
ground and air traffic away from the progress of the storm.
Meanwhile, another tornado touches down across town and appears to be heading for a hospital. Should the network continue tracking the first storm? Should it switch to pinpoint tracking of the second storm? Or should the system resources be configured for best effort tracking of both storms simultaneously?
These questions reflect the mix of technology and policy challenges being undertaken within the NSF Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA). The CASA team is creating the new technology of user-driven radar networks that are capable of comprehensively mapping regions of the atmosphere that are beyond the reach of today’s radars. The driving vision of the center is that dramatic improvements in sensing, detecting, predicting, warning, and responding to hazardous weather events can be achieved by building a system that targeting its resources onto key regions where and when the end-user need is greatest. Achieving this vision requires the sustained collaboration of engineers, decision scientists, computer scientists, meteorologists, and sociologists, working in conjunction with the ultimate end-users, to create a new approach to weather hazard response.
Part technical, part human interest, this talk addresses the challenges, the pleasures, and the opportunities inherent in a cross-disciplinary systems-level research environment that address an important national need and provides an exciting and fertile learning environment for tomorrow’s science and engineering students.
|This series is organized by the
UMASS Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter. Support for this series is
provided by the Isenberg School of Management, the Department of
Finance and Operations Management, INFORMS, and the John F. Smith
For questions, please contact the INFORMS Student Chapter Speaker Series Coordinator, Ms. Trisha Woolley, firstname.lastname@example.org