Rapid Awardee Lightning Talks
19 Jan 2024

RAPID Awardees Lightning Talks


Seminar Description

The Hawai’i Data Science Institute is hosting lighting talks on RAPID grants awarded to projects related to understanding, recovery and prevention of wildfires in Hawai’i.

These projects supported by the National Science Foundation include a multi-hazard monitoring and detection system, computer modeling to assist wildfire response, and wildland and urban fire modeling using high performance computing models. This event is an opportunity to learn more about the work that is going on to help Lahaina.



Speakers and Talks

David Eder
Title: Tuning and Assessing Lahaina Wildfire Models with AI Enhanced Data

David Eder is a Senior Computational Scientist in the Information Technology Services Department and Affiliate Graduate Faculty in the Physics and Astronomy Department at the University of Hawaii. He is a recognized leader in HPC applications contributing to 16 IEEE-SC tutorials. He was a pioneer in x-ray and short-pulse lasers and received the prestigious Alexander von Humbolt Award for a one-year research sabbatical at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany. More recently he explored the use of OpenMP to allow legacy Fortran codes to run on systems with GPUs. He led an effort to evaluate performance of hypersonic codes on emerging architectures. He is currently evaluating new computational approaches for groundwater flow, impacts of rain on hypersonic vehicles, and modeling droplet targets heated by x-ray free electron lasers. He has over 100 publications and 4000 citations. He received a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Princeton University.


Alice Koniges
Title: Rapid computational modeling of wildfires and management with emphasis on human activity

Dr. Alice Koniges, graduate faculty in Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Hawai’i, serves as computer scientist and research principal investigator for the Hawai’i Data Science Institute, a system-wide effort to support data science education, collaborative research and partnerships with industry. Koniges leads efforts in scientific computing with an emphasis on complex physics and mathematical models using differential equations, HPC performance modeling, and ML/DL/AI applications. She is associate editor of the International Journal of High Performance Computing Applications, and has published well over 100 refereed papers in both applications and parallel computing/programming languages, and has two books, “Industrial Strength Parallel Computing” and “OpenMP Common Core.” Her PhD is from Princeton University in Mathematical Astrophysics, and she also has an MSE in Mechanical Engineering.


Monique Chyba
Title: RAPID: Applying Trauma Informed STEM Education to Support Processing, Recovery and Healing on Maui

Dr. Monique Chyba is a professor in the department of Mathematics at the University of Hawai’i. Her expertise is in optimal control, with an emphasize on the so-called singular extremal as well as in data modeling. Her work is applied to a variety of problem including control of unmanned vehicles, space exploration, biological systems and epidemiology. She has also develop many outreach initiatives in Hawaii over the last 15 years.


Chris Shuler
Title: RAPID: Identifying Drinking Water Contamination and Social Vulnerability Impacts from Urban Fires,

Christopher Shuler is currently an affiliate researcher at the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. He holds a PhD in Geology and Geophysics specializing in hydrology from University of Hawaii at Mānoa, a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Oregon as well as a post-baccalaureate certification in Environmental Education from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Christopher’s current research is focused on ground and surface water resources in Hawaii and the American Samoa. His interests include numerical groundwater modeling, geo-chemical and isotopic aqueous chemistry, environmental water quality, and water sustainability studies. Christopher is an avid naturalist, outdoors person, and enjoys working in the field in both terrestrial and oceanic environments.


Xialong Geng
Title: RAPID: Understanding the Immediate and Long-Term Impacts of Maui Wildfires on Chemical and Microbiological Quality of Nearshore Beach and Coastal Waters

Xiaolong (Leo) Geng, Assistant Professor affiliated with the Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) & Department of Earth Sciences, University of Hawaii at Mānoa. 


Sean Swift and Joelle Mattos
Title: Coral Reef Stress Response To An Urban Fire

Joelle Mattos
I am a graduate student in the field of chemical oceanography, working under the guidance of Andrea Kealoha. My research centers on investigating the effects of ocean acidification and deoxygenation on the ocean ecosystem in Hawaii, with a specific focus on the impact of the Lahaina wildfire. I aim to understand how this wildfire influences coastal ocean biogeochemistry, examining potential stressors like eutrophication, coastal acidification, and hypoxia. My research further delves into how these factors affect coral reef ecosystem metabolism. Ultimately, I aspire to leverage my knowledge and expertise to contribute to the conservation and protection of Hawai’i’s native marine ecosystems.

Sean Swift
I am a third year PhD student in the Marine Biology program and a member of the Nelson lab in the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE). Prior to joining the Nelson lab, I worked on fungi and other terrestrial microorganisms, first as a master’s student and later as a lab manager. For my PhD, my focus has shifted to marine and aquatic systems, where I remain fascinated by the ecology and chemical processes of microbes. My dissertation focuses on how terrestrial inputs alter both microbial communities and dissolved organic matter in all types of water, ranging from rivers, to groundwater, to coral reefs. Working in the realm of microbiomes and metabolomes, I am a bio- and chemoinformatic software enthusiast and frequent user of R, Linux, and the UH-HPC







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