ICS@PSU: Institute for CyberScience

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Published on October 10, 2016

Geography student wins ICS poster competition

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Institute for CyberScience (ICS) held a poster competition for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers during the Research Penn State 2016 poster exhibition on Thursday, October 6. Elena Sava, a Ph.D. student in Geography, won for her poster, “Integration of contributed data with HEC-RAS hydrodynamic model for flood inundation and damage assessment: 2015 Dallas Texas Case Study.”

Sava’s research involves improving responses to natural disasters by merging multiple forms of geospatial data. Remote-sensing instruments, such as satellites and airplanes, are able to send images of disaster areas to responders, but their ability to provide detailed data about a specific place at a specific moment is limited by factors such as the time it takes a satellite to orbit the earth or the opacity of the atmosphere.

By fusing remote-sensing data with open-source geospatial data, such as images from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or pictures of the disaster area posted on social media, responders are able to obtain a more detailed understanding of the situation. Sava’s poster detailed a data fusion test case that merged various sources of data about floods occurring in Dallas, Texas in May 2015.

“Research Penn State was a great opportunity to learn about the diversity of interdisciplinary work happening across all of Penn State’s research institutes,” said Sava. “I am honored to have won this award, and to have interacted with so many faculty and students during the poster session.”

Sava will receive a $150 travel grant from ICS to be used for professional development.

The poster exhibition featured 219 posters from graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty affiliated with ICS, the Materials Research Institute, the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, the Institutes of Energy and the Environment, and the Social Science Research Institute. Seventeen ICS-affiliated posters were judged in the competition.

“I’m pleased by the quality of cyber-enabled research that was on display at the poster exhibition,” said Jenni Evans, interim director of ICS. “Elena’s project is just one of many exciting endeavors that harness Big Data and Big Simulation methodologies to create new knowledge in service of society.”

The Institute for CyberScience is an interdisciplinary research institute under the Office of the Vice President for Research, and is dedicated to supporting cyber-enabled research across science disciplines. ICS builds an active community of researchers using computational methods in a wide range of fields through co-hiring, provides seed funding for ambitious computational research projects, and offers access to high-performance computing resources through its Advanced Cyber Infrastructure. With the support of ICS, Penn State researchers harness the power of Big Data, Big Simulation, and Big Compute to solve the world’s problems. For more information, please visit https://ics.psu.edu or email ics@psu.edu.

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