A Scientific Computing Ph.D. candidate in Computational Science and Fire Dynamics won second place in the Florida State University Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) annual competition. Daryn Sagel presented research entitled, Modern Methods of Analyzing Fire Spread, which discusses methods used to analyze and predict the spread of wildfires. 3MT™ is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland, Australia, that develops academic, research and presentation skills and supports the development of students' capacities to effectively explain their research (which can be quite complex) in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience. Doctoral students have three minutes to present their dissertation topic and its significance in a compelling, clear and concise manner.
“Daryn combines computer vision techniques with atmospheric and fire science to characterize high-resolution fire and plume dynamics. Many models often simplify fire spread with a few numbers such as the burn time and the rate of spread,” said Bryan Quaife, Sagel’s professor. “Daryn demonstrated that this is an over-simplification, even for small controlled burns. Rather than using a few mean values, Daryn performed a statistical analysis of the burn time and rate of spread. She demonstrated that the downwind rate of spread can be well-approximated with an exponential distribution, implying that fire models can be interpreted as a Poisson process. Daryn is extending her methodology to investigate near-field plume dynamics which is supported by the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program.”
This is the ninth year of the competition at Florida State, and there were eight finalists. Sagel, who won $750, tied for second place with Nidha Walia, a student in Biological Science.