STAMPS@CMU presents:

Causal Inference and discovery with perspectives in Earth sciences

by Jakob Runge (Institute of Data Science, German Aerospace Center)

Online webinar April 22, 2022 at 1:30-2:30 PM ET.
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Abstract
The heart of the scientific enterprise is a rational effort to understand the causes behind the phenomena we observe. In disciplines dealing with complex dynamical systems, such as the Earth system, replicated real experiments are rarely feasible. However, a rapidly increasing amount of observational and simulated data opens up the use of novel data-driven causal inference methods beyond the commonly adopted correlation techniques. Causal inference provides the theory and methods to learn and utilize qualitative knowledge about causal relations that is often available in Earth sciences. In this talk I will present an overview of this exciting and widely applicable framework and illustrate it with some examples from Earth sciences. I will also present recent work on statistically optimal estimators of causal effects.

Bio

Jakob Runge heads the Causal Inference group at the German Aerospace Center’s Institute of Data Science in Jena since 2017 and is guest professor of computer science at TU Berlin since 2021. His group combines innovative data science methods from different fields (graphical models, causal inference, nonlinear dynamics, deep learning) and closely works with experts in the climate sciences and beyond. Jakob studied physics at Humboldt University Berlin and finished his PhD project at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in 2014. For his studies he was funded by the German National Foundation (Studienstiftung) and his thesis was awarded the Carl-Ramsauer prize by the Berlin Physical Society.
In 2014 he won a $200.000 Fellowship Award in Studying Complex Systems by the James S. McDonnell Foundation and joined the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, from 2016 to 2017. In 2020 he won an ERC Starting Grant with his interdisciplinary project CausalEarth. On https://github.com/jakobrunge/tigramite.git he provides Tigramite, a time series analysis python module for causal inference. For more details, see: www.climateinformaticslab.com