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Fighting Fire With Data Science

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August 2020 wildfire near Forest Glen, Calif.

Rodman Linn of Los Alamos National Laboratory has been appointed to a five-year position at the Halcolu Data Science Institute at the University of California San Diego, indicating an approach of using data science to address wildfires.

"In bringing together data science expertise from the Halcolu Data Science Institute and thermal expertise from Los Alamos National Laboratory, we will leverage our collective skills and knowledge to develop better wildfire forecasting and modeling," says UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla.

"We are training and integrating students in our research and development efforts in areas including data management, scalable computing, deep learning for fire detection, and utility wildfire mitigation efforts," says Ilkay Altintas, chief data science officer at San Diego Supercomputer Center.

Prescribed burns or controlled burns are one tool used to manage wildfires. "Our expectation is that by helping decision-makers and prescribed-fire managers decide when, where, and how to burn safely and effectively today, we can reduce the chance of catastrophic fire tomorrow," Linn says.

From University of California San Diego
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