He receives IBM grant to model extreme weather impacts on economy

Jingrui He
Jingrui He, Professor and MSIM Program Director

It is evident that Hurricane Ian's recent devastation in Florida will impact the state economically for years to come. Tragedies such as this have motivated scientists to gain a better understanding of when such events might occur and how to cope with them once they do.

"It is critical to identify anomalous climate patterns, based on which reliable predictions can be made regarding future extreme weather events, in time for counter measures to be taken in other domains such as finance and economy," said Associate Professor Jingrui He.

He was recently awarded $75,000 from IBM for a one-year project that will help her team begin work in modeling unusual climate patterns. Hanghang Tong, associate professor of computer science at Illinois, will serve as co-PI on the project.

"We aim to model the complex relationship between the local economy and weather-related features. In doing so, we propose novel cross-domain contrastive learning to build the connection between the climate domain and the financial domain," He said. "The proposed work aligns well with IBM's technology and product vision for the future of our climate, in terms of advancing artificial intelligence to accelerate the ability of clients, policymakers, and communities to address climate change."

While the IBM seed grant allows He's team to initiate the work, the researchers will seek additional funding to expand upon the project.

He's general research theme is to design, build, and test a suite of automated and semi-automated methods to explore, understand, characterize, and predict real-world data by means of statistical machine learning. She received her PhD in machine learning from Carnegie Mellon University.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Winning exhibit features recipes from across the globe

MSLIS students Yung-hui Chou, Alice Tierney-Fife, and Elizabeth Workman are the winners of this year’s Graduate Student Exhibit Contest, sponsored by the University of Illinois Library. Their exhibit, "Culture and Cuisine in Diaspora: A Hidden Library Collection," displays items from seven campus libraries and highlights research and recreational material centered on traditional recipes from across the globe. The exhibit is on display in the library's Marshall Gallery through the end of April and also available online.

Trainor receives the Karen Wold Level the Learning Field Award

Senior Lecturer Kevin Trainor has been selected by the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) to receive the 2024 Karen Wold Level the Learning Field Award. This award honors exemplary members of faculty and staff for advocating and/or implementing instructional strategies, technologies, and disability-related accommodations that afford students with disabilities equal access to academic resources and curricula. 

Kevin Trainor

Seo coauthors chapter on data science and accessibility

Assistant Professor JooYoung Seo and Mine Dogucu, professor of statistics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California Irvine, have coauthored a chapter in the new book Teaching Accessible Computing. The goal of the book, which is edited by Alannah Oleson, Amy J. Ko and Richard Ladner, is to help educators feel confident in introducing topics related to disability and accessible computing and integrating accessibility into their courses.

JooYoung Seo

iSchool instructors ranked as excellent

Fifty-five iSchool instructors were named in the University's List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for Fall 2023. The rankings are released every semester, and results are based on the Instructor and Course Evaluation System (ICES) questionnaire forms maintained by Measurement and Evaluation in the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. 

iSchool Building

ConnectED: Tech for All podcast launched by Community Data Clinic

The Community Data Clinic (CDC), a mixed methods data studies and interdisciplinary community research lab led by Associate Professor Anita Say Chan, has released the first episode of its new podcast, ConnectED: Tech for All. Community partners on the podcast include the Housing Authority of Champaign County, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, Project Success of Vermilion County, and Cunningham Township Supervisor’s Office.

Community Data Clinic podcast logo