faculty spotlight

Ching-Yao Lai, Assistant Professor of Geosciences and Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS)

Research Summary:  Lai studies fundamental questions in fluid dynamics, climate science, and geophysics by integrating physical and machine-learned models with both experimental and observational data. Her research addresses challenges facing the world, such as advancing our scientific knowledge of ice dynamics under climate change.  Lai uses mathematical models, experiments, simulations, and machine learning tools to study the complex interactions between fluids and elasticity and their interfacial dynamics, such as multiphase flows, flows in deformable structures, and cracks. In particular, her recent work combines deep-learning and physics-based models to predict the disintegration of ice shelves in a warming climate.

Group: Lai Research Group


Yao Lai, Assistant Professor of Geosciences
Assistant Professor Ching-Yao Lai

Biography: Ching-Yao Lai is an Assistant Professor jointly appointed in Geoscience (GEO) and Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS). She is also an Associated Faculty of the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI) and Affiliated Faculty of the Program in Statistics and Machine Learning (SML) at Princeton University. Yao did her undergraduate study (2013) in Physics at National Taiwan University, Ph.D. (2018) in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at Princeton University, and postdoctoral research in earth science at Lamont Earth Observatory at Columbia University. She grew up in Taiwan.

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More recent articles

Monday, May 17, 2021
by The Department of Geosciences
These awards and honors were presented at The Department of Geosciences Class Day on Friday, May 14, 2021.
Monday, May 17, 2021
by The Department of Geosciences
Congratulations to the Class of 2021 and to the 2020-2021 Ph.D. Recipients.
Thursday, May 13, 2021
by The Department of Geosciences
The Department of Geosciences and Princeton University congratulates Dr. Alliya Amir Akhtar on successfully defending her Ph.D. thesis "Ca Cycling in Seawater: Insights From Isotopic Studies of Elasmobranch Teeth and Shallow-Water Carbonates" on April 29, 2021
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
by Morgan Kelly, High Meadows Environmental Institute
Extreme heat is among the most concerning and potentially deadly effects of climate change, especially for the rapidly growing and urbanizing populations living in the tropics. Yet, climate models tend to be unclear when projecting how high temperatures will climb on a regional scale, and often overlook the point at which heat is a risk to human...
Thursday, Apr 8, 2021
by The Department of Geosciences

BBC "Science in Action" Roland Pease interviews graduate student Katie Maloney (University of Toronto) about her discovery of multicellular macrofossils of algae that lived in the shallows of an ocean about 950 million years ago. Her and field team, including graduate student Jack Murphy (Princeton), found the macrofossils in the Wernecke...