Davidson Fellows - 2013 Fellow Harrison Li


Harrison Li

$25,000 Scholarship Recipient

Age: 15
Dix Hills, NY
Category: Science
Project Title: “Determining Interannual and Spatial Trends in Convective Frequency over the Northeastern United States Based on Reanalysis of Convective Parameters”______ _______ ________ ____ _______


Harrison’s project entailed creating statistical models that attempt to predict the occurrence of convective thunderstorms in different regions of the Northeastern United States based on certain atmospheric variables. These predictors were then used to determine the annual frequency of thunderstorm days over a 33-year period, which provided a synopsis of long-term trends in convective frequency over the Northeast. The parameter-based approach of the convective models will predict future trends in convective frequency once they are verified and refined more thoroughly.  While current regional, national, and global climate models do not have high enough resolution to detect individual thunderstorms, they do have the ability to predict ambient atmospheric conditions. Thus, this work represents an important step in understanding how the frequency of thunderstorms will change in the future as a consequence of climate change.

Harrison’s project provides a framework for research into the future weather patterns of one of the most densely populated regions in the world, the Northeastern United States.  The specific focus on thunderstorms can also be broadened to include more extreme and damaging meteorological phenomena such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards.   Thunderstorms are important to study due to their frequency and role in many parts of the world of providing a significant portion of annual precipitation, which is important for agricultural interests.

Harrison is a rising senior at Ward Melville High School.  He is leaning towards a college major in applied mathematics.  Harrison is a 2013 Simons Fellow, New York Math League individual perfect scorer and Madelbrot Competition Maple Region winner.  He is the LISEF recipient of the NOAA Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award.  Harrison’s chief extracurricular interest is music; he attends the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division and has performed at Carnegie Hall.

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Click here to view the full listing of the 2013 Davidson Fellows. 
Click here to view Harrison's press release.

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