Two SIA professors awarded computational and data sciences seed grants

Wei Peng (top) and Lara Fowler (bottom)
Wei Peng (top) and Lara Fowler (bottom)

Two Penn State School of International Affairs faculty have received funding for their research projects by the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences seed grants, in conjunction with supplemental funding from the colleges of Arts and Architecture, Earth and Mineral Sciences; Information Sciences and Technology; Education; and Engineering.

Wei Peng, an assistant professor in the School of International Affairs and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was awarded a seed grant for her research project, “Identifying robust near-term renewable energy policies to ensure a healthy and climate-friendly future,” for which she is the principal investigator (PI).

Lara Fowler, a senior lecturer at Penn State Law and affiliate faculty member in the School of International Affairs, was awarded a seed grant for her research project, “Pennsylvania Stream Network Modernization: Leveraging LiDAR data to delineate stream networks and inform the regulatory landscape,” for which she is the co-principal investigator (Co-PI).

Of the 51 proposals received, 32 projects were funded. ICDS awarded more than $650,000 in funding; together with supplemental funds from colleges, the 32 projects received $725,893.00 in support. The projects include 57 researchers from 12 Penn State colleges and 31 academic departments, as well as the Applied Research Laboratory.

This was the first round of seed grants awarded since the institute changed its name in response to its rapid growth and expanding mission. The record number of proposals received points to how prevalent computational and data sciences are at Penn State.

“The possibilities for applying data science and computational science approaches are endless,” said Jenni Evans, director of ICDS and professor of meteorology and atmospheric science. “Projects such as identifying robust renewable energy policies or investigating risks associated with the child welfare system speak naturally to Penn State's leadership in interdisciplinary research and to the diversity of research made possible in this environment.”

Read the full list of awarded projects.