Carolyn Huston

Postdoctoral Felow, CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia

Currently I am employed as a postdoctoral fellow with CSIRO in Melbourne, Australia. My work is with a computational modeling group that models a variety of disaster scenarios involving water. This includes tsunamis, storm surges, and flooding due to precipitation. The overall goal of my project is to develop techniques to quantify the risks posed by such events in order to support better urban planning, disaster management strategies, understanding of insurance risks, etc.

Before we can understand these risks, I have to help solve problems such as how to fill in gaps in the topography maps required by the model; how to assign parameter values (and their uncertainties) for physical constants within a model; what data we should collect and store from our model; etc. Every day brings new challenges and ideas as I work with a team of scientists including physicists, software engineers, civil engineers, and applied mathematicians.

Being a student at SFU provided an excellent foundation for my current career and research. Coursework provided me with a good general grounding in statistics. I have an excellent network of other statisticians made up of faculty members I worked with and the other students I met while studying at SFU.  Attendance at the departmental seminar series and conferences has given me a broad awareness of multiple research areas, some of which I am now investigating for my own projects. Finally, the emphasis on applied research has made it much easier for me to interact with scientists from other disciplines in ways that are mutually beneficial.  I will always be grateful for the things I learned and opportunities that were provided to me while a student in the Statistics and Actuarial Sciences Department at SFU.