Environment is the laboratory for cutting-edge computer scienceYao Liang, Ph.D. | Professor | Department of Computer & Information Science The intrigue of Yao Liang’s work rests in how it expertly blends two entirely different facets of science – computer technology and the environment.
A School of Science faculty member since 2007, Liang is working on a multi-disciplinary project designed to improve forecasting of devastating floods and drought.
According to Liang, the current system cannot, for example, make a good use of satellite data and data from other sources, except for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) radar precipitation data, rain gauge data, etc. To overcome such hurdles, Liang and his research partners have created an innovative, hydro-information system for improving the National Weather Service River Forecast System (NWSRFS). This new system effectively uses satellite and other data to improve the forecasting capabilities. The new system also includes user-friendly tools and a data-management subsystem to improve its usefulness.
“We are using computer and technology systems to help environmental scientists better manage the huge amounts of data available to them, and the system is currently under a rigorous testing and validation at one of the National Weather Service (NWS) river forecast centers,” Liang explains. “If this new system is as successful as we expect, we have the opportunity to extend it to NWS forecast centers across the country.”