Ph.D Student Eric Loken Wins 1st Place at AMS

Ph.D Student Eric Loken Wins 1st Place at AMS

School of Meteorology Ph.D. Student Eric Loken won first place in the student oral presentation category at the 2019 American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting as part of the 18th Conference on Artificial and Computational Intelligence and its Applications to the Environmental Sciences. His presentation was titled Postprocessing HREFv2 Heavy Rainfall Forecasts Using Machine Learning.

Loken is no stranger to presenting. He has given many oral presentations at conferences and workshops, and he gave a poster presentation at last years AMS conference. However, this is Loken’s first oral presentation at AMS.

Loken told us about the evolution of his research topic and his preparation for the 2019 AMS conference:

This particular research topic actually evolved from a class project for Dr. Amy McGovern’s Machine Learning course. I took the course in the Fall of 2017 and quickly became interested in how machine learning techniques could be used to post-process output from NWP models and ensembles. For one of our course projects, my lab partner, Monte Flora, and I decided to explore using machine learning to post-process output from the newly-operational High-Resolution Ensemble Forecast System, Version 2 (HREFv2). After leaving the course, I expanded upon the analysis Monte and I did in Dr. McGovern’s course, and this analysis became the basis for my 2019 AMS talk. In some sense, I have been preparing to present since taking Dr. McGovern’s course back in the Fall of 2017.

AMS offers students a unique experience to collaborate with meteorologists from all over the country and the world. Loken said:

One thing I love about AMS is that it brings together scientists from many different backgrounds and affiliations. It is awesome exchanging knowledge and ideas with such a diverse and intelligent crowd.

Outside of the research and collaboration, traveling to AMS has a few other perks! Students are able to see new parts of the country and take the opportunity to explore. Loken told us:

I loved Phoenix! After the conference ended, a friend and I rented a car and drove to the Grand Canyon, which was amazing. Along the way, we stopped in Sedona and Flagstaff, which were also well worth visiting.

Additionally, Loken is thankful for those who helped him along on his journey:

This award means a lot to me. I want to thank my advisor, Dr. Adam Clark of the NSSL, and Dr. Amy McGovern for their support and assistance, which helped make this achievement possible. I also want to acknowledge Monte Flora (a fellow 2019 AMS award winner!) for his contributions to the early framework of this project. Finally, I want to thank the AMS annual meeting organizers for putting on a great event. I learned so much!

Congratulations to Eric on this amazing accomplishment!