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CATS update

CATS e-News                                    Issue 9,  4th July 2011




Welcome to issue 9 of CATS e-news.

We're delighted to congratulate Swenja Surminski on the birth of baby Leo born 20th June. Looks like he will be well and truly doted on by his three older siblings!

And we welcome back Pauline Barrieu whose baby Arthur appears to be settling in well to the Department of Statistics!

Sadly there were also two departures in June: Falk Niehoerster and Max Fehr. Falk will be taking up the post of RPI (Risk Prediction Initiative) Science Program Manager at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science (BIOS) at the end of July, and Max has now begun a new post in the private sector here in London. We wish them both the very best in their new posts, and hope they will nevertheless continue to collaborate with CATS/GRI/CCCEP colleagues here at LSE.

This week sees the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition at which CATS/GRI/CCCEP will have a stand entitled 'Confidence from Uncertainty: Interpreting Climate Predictions'. Thanks to all though who are helping out, and please come and visit us there at some point during the week. Details of all the exhibits and opening times etc. can be found on the RS Exhibition website.

We hope to run the '
Confidence from  Uncertainty' exhibition again as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science which runs from 29th October to 5th November. Details are still to be confirmed but please hold Friday 4th November in your diaries for this event. we plan to hold the exhibit here at LSE for the afternoon coupled with a talk from an invited speaker.

Finally, congratulations to Professor Henry Wynn on being awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus fellowship. The award is for a 2-year project entitled 'Advances in algebraic statistics'.

Conferences, Workshops, presentations etc...  April, May & June

Leonard Smith gave a talk entitled "Insight or Numerical Engineering? The Role of Simulation Modeling in Quantitative Decision Support" at the Epistemology of Modeling and Simulation Conference, University of Pittsburgh, on 3rd April 2011.      

Nicola Ranger and Swenja Surminski took part in the workshop 'Risk Perception and Insurance in the context of Climate Change' on 10th May 2011.

Visiting Professor Arthur Petersen visited CATS/GRI from 16th May to 10th June.

David Stainforth presented a talk at the 2011 Colorado Conference on Earth System Governance, 17th - 20th May. The talk was entitled "Seeking and Extracting Relevant Information: Linking Natural Science, Social Science and Policy".

Leonard Smith, Arthur Petersen, Hailiang Du and Milena Cuellar attended the Predictability + School on Data Assimilation, held at NORDITA, Stockholm, 25-27 May. Leonard Smith gave a talk entitled "Things they didn't tell you last week: DA in Maths, Physics, and Decision Support"; Hailiang Du gave a talk entitled "Nowcasting via Gradient Descent: Moving from Theory towards Reality" and Milena Cuellar gave a talk entitled "Parameter and state estimation nonlinear models".

Leonard Smith gave an invited talk, "What (and who) do ensembles of climate models inform" at Climate Challenges in Climate Modelling 2011 at the University of Uppsala on 26th May.

Alex Jarman presented the poster 'Small-number statistics, common sense and profit: challenges and non-challenges for hurricane forecasting' (Alex Jarman and Leonard Smith) at the LSE Research Day, 26th May.

Jerome Ellepola along with Jan van Schijndel, Nort Thijssen, Govert Baak, Abhijeet Avhale and Johan Grievink presented a paper "Development of a synthesis tool for Gas-to-Liquid complexes" at the ESCAPE 21 Symposium, Halkidiki, 29th May - 1st June.

Ralph Rayner was involved in organising the workshop 'Sweet Sea Observations: How Great Lakes Observations Can Work for You'. The workshop was held at the Edison Boat Club, Detroit, Michigan, 21 June.

David Stainforth was a featured speaker at the 31st International Symposium on Forecasting, Prague 26th - 29th June where he gave two talks and a keynote speaker at the Advances in Marine Ecosystem Modelling Symposium, University of Plymouth, 27-30 June.


Upcoming Conferences & other news

Leonard Smith and Emma Suckling will be teaching and giving talks at the Monsoon School on Mathematical and Statistical Foundations of Data Assimilation at the TIFR Centre for Applicable Mathematics,  Bangalore, India, 4 - 23 July 2011.

Leonard Smith will be giving an invited talk at the 14th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Nancy, 19-26 July.

Ralph Rayner will give a keynote talk to selected graduate students at Imperial College on 28th July as part of the London International Youth Science Forum. The LIYSF is a two week residential event held at Imperial College and this year has the theme Ocean Science: The Science of the Seas.

Milena Cuellar is visiting professor at Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Columbia until August. She is currently teaching Physics to engineering students and undertaking research whilst there.























Papers & other outputs

Papers recently finished:

Beven, KJ., Smith, PJ., and Wood, A. (2011) "On the colour and spin of epistemic error (and what we might do about it)" Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussion, 8, 5355-5386, 2011

Beven, KJ (2011) "I believe in climate change but how precautionary do we need to be in planning for the future?" Hydrological Processes, Vol. 25, Issue 9, pp: 1517-1520, 30 April 2011

Ranger, N. and Garbett-Shiels, S.L. (2011) "How can decision-makers in developing countries incorporate uncertainty about future climate risks into existing planning and policy making processes?" CCCEP/Grantham Policy Paper in collaboration with the World Resources Report

Reeder, T. and Ranger, N. (2011) "How do you adapt in an uncertain world? Lessons from the Thames Estuary 2100 project". World Resources Report, Washington D.C

Westerberg, I., Guerrero, J.-L., Seibert, J., Beven, K. J., and Halldin, S., 2011, "Stage-discharge uncertainty derived with a non-stationary rating curve in the Choluteca River, Honduras" Hydrological Processes, 25, 603-613, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7848.

Alfieri L., Smith P.J., Thielen-del Pozo J., and Beven K.J., 2011, "A staggered approach to flash flood forecasting case study in the Cevennes Region", Advances in Geosciences, 29, 13-20

Beven, K J and Brazier, R E, 2011, "Dealing with Uncertainty in Erosion Models", in RPC Morgan and MA Nearing (Eds) 'Handbook of Erosion Modelling', Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester, 52-79.

Buytaert, W and Beven, K J, 2011, "Models as multiple working hypotheses: Hydrological simulation of tropical alpine wetlands", Hydrological Processes, in press

Beven K J, 2011, "Distributed Models and Uncertainty in Flood Risk Management", in G. Pender and H. Faulkner (Eds.), 'Flood Risk Science and Management', Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester, 291-312.

Beven, K J, Leedal, D T and Alcock, R, 2010, Uncertainty and good practice in hydrological prediction, Vatten, 66:159–163

Papers submitted and/or in revision:

Beven, KJ., Pappenburger, F., Cloke, HL., Wetterhall, F. and Dutra, E. "Hyperesolved ignorance: A comment on Wood et al (2011) Hyperresolution global land surfacing modeling: Meeting a grand challenge for monitoring Earth's terrestrial water" submitted to Water Resources Research.


Leonard Smith and Nicholas Stern "Uncertainty in Science and its Role in Climate Policy" in review for Royal Society Phil Trans A


Smith, LA, Tredger, E., Stainforth, D.A. &  Lopez, A. "On the Relevance of Model Averages for Science Based Policy" submitted to GRL


Baker, D. James & Richards, Gary "On the delivery of weather services and parallels for the development of operational forest carbon monitoring, reporting, and verification systems" submitted to Carbon Management. If you would like a draft copy of the paper, please contact Lyn Grove (


Young, RMB, Binter, R & Niehoerster, F "Limits of i-shadowing in a perfect model rotating annulus" submitted to Physica D


Barrieu, PM & Fehr, MW “Integrated EUA and CER price modeling and application for spread option pricing” submitted to Operations Research


Barrieu, PM & Tobelem,S “A new methodology for asset allocation under model risk” submitted to Quantitative Finance


Barrieu, PM & Sinclair Desgagne, B. “Economic Policy when Models Disagree” submitted to Econometrica                               

Maruri-Aguilar, H., Senz-de-Cabezn, E. and Wynn, H. P.  "the Betti numbers of polynomial hierarchical models for experimental designs" submitted to Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence

Bates, R.A., Maruri-Aguilar, H and Wynn, H.P. "Smooth supersaturated models" submitted to Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference


Smith, LA. & Du, H.L. "Parameter estimation using Ignorance" in revision for Physics Review Letters


Du, HL  & Smith, LA   "Improvement in Full Probability Forecasting at Seasonal Lead-times" in revision for QJRMS


Khare, S & Smith, LA  "Data assimilation: A fully nonlinear approach to ensemble formation using Indistinguishable States"  in revision for Monthly Weather Review

Maruri-Aguilar, H and Wynn, H. P. "D-Optimality of Sobol Sequences for Haar Wavelet Models" under revision for Journal of Statistical Theory and Practice

Giovagnoli, A and Wynn, H. P. "(U,V)-ordering and a duality theorem for risk aversion and Lorentz-type ordering. Under revision for Statistical Papers


























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