Research Visit: Barney Dobson

From May through to August 2017, WISE CDT student Barney Dobson undertook a research visit with Professor Patrick Reed’s Decision Analytics for Complex Systems research group at Cornell University, New York, USA. This visit has led to the paper (currently under preparation) titled “How should model structural uncertainty in modelling water resources management problems shape evaluations of their operations?” co-authored with Professor Reed. Please read below for further information from Barney about his recent visit:

In the lead up to the visit I attended the Reed Group meetings every week to undergo training with the tools that this research group uses day-in, day-out, which can be viewed here. This meant that when I arrived at Cornell Univesrity I was able to start work straight away and therefore make the most of my time out there. This visit has been hugely beneficial to me, particularly working alongside Post-Doc’s and PhD students who have a more computational (rather than conceptual) knowledge base about water systems than what I am used to at Bristol. The two most valuable skills I have developed from working with this group are techniques in creating defensible computational experiments and also in parallel code development. I was also given the opportunity to contribute to the group’s research blog, which they have now begun to incorporate into their training. To view my blog, click here.

The one thing I enjoyed more than becoming a fiend-ass parallel coder was how wonderful all the people were. Pat’s group were all very friendly and welcoming, and I was included in all their social activities from the very start. As far as social activities go, I would say that upstate New York (and Ithaca – the town in which Cornell resides) is excellent for its landscape and scenery, but also, and more importantly, its beer brewing. We may not be aware of this in the UK (because of strange American export laws), but the variety and quality of craft beers in the USA is incredible.

I would thoroughly recommend the Reed Group for a WISE CDT research visit. If you are interested in decision making or water resources, please contact me <> and I can put you in touch with Pat. A warning though, if you are a completionist when it comes to tasting all the different beers, there may not be time for the beautiful New England countryside.

To view a collection of Barney’s photo’s from his research visit, please click here.