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NC State Receives $2.5M to Drive Research in Artificial Intelligence and Oceanography

Roy He points at a weather map
Ruoying He directs the Ocean Observing and Modeling Group at NC State.

Ruoying He, Goodnight Innovation Distinguished Professor in the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, is among a group of scientists recently awarded a major National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for a new research institute on artificial intelligence (AI) and environmental prediction.

The new NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography assembles researchers in AI, atmospheric and ocean sciences, and risk communication to develop user-driven trustworthy AI that addresses pressing concerns in weather, climate and coastal hazards prediction. Led by the University of Oklahoma, the institute includes NC State, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Colorado State University, the State University of New York at Albany, the University of Washington and Del Mar College as academic partners, and Google, IBM, NVIDIA and Disaster Tech as industry partners.

NC State will receive $2.5 million in funding to lead this NSF AI institute’s efforts in developing AI and machine learning (ML) innovations and their applications in coastal ocean science. The NC State team led by He will combine oceanography with AI and ML to develop accurate forecasts of ocean currents and eddies, coastal flooding, and water quality hazards, such as harmful algal blooms.

With AI certificate programs aimed at enhancing workforce skills, the institute will also provide the research and training necessary for the future workforce to deliver the advances needed to deal with forecasting and prediction challenges.

“I am excited that NC State will be making significant contributions to this national effort in advancing state-of-the-art AI and machine learning research in ocean sciences,” He said.

With an investment of over $100 million over the next five years, NSF’s Artificial Intelligence Institutes represent the nation’s most significant federal investment in AI research and workforce development to date. The $20 million investment in each of five NSF AI institutes is just the beginning, with more institute announcements anticipated in the coming years. These institutes will serve as nodes in a broader nationwide network that will pursue transformational advances in sectors of societal impact, from extreme weather preparedness to K-12 education.

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