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, Mar 28, 2022
Elizabeth Kolbert's first lecture will look at the ways humans are changing the world on a geological scale. Elizabeth Kolbert is an award-winning journalist and author, best known for her groundbreaking work on climate change and the environment. (This lecture series is a co-sponsorship with: UCHV, GEO, P-SPIA, HMEI, POL, and C-PREE)
Wednesday, Mar 16, 2022
by The Office of Communications
A study co-led by climate scientist Laure Resplandy, an assistant professor of geosciences and the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI) at Princeton University, details how carbon is stored and transported through the intricacy of inland and coastal waterways.
Wednesday, Feb 9, 2022
It was just another day in the field for Emily Geyman ’19, who spent two years in Arctic Norway conducting independent research, taking arctic geology courses and working alongside scientists at the Norwegian Polar Institute. Related Paper:
Friday, Jan 28, 2022
"Whose stories do you tell when you teach science and engineering? Newton? Galileo? Maybe Marie Curie?" That question was posed to eight members of Princeton’s science and engineering faculty as part of their work in a Community of Practice workshop focused on adding diverse voices to course materials. The professors and lecturers gathered photos...
Monday, Jan 3, 2022
by Harrison Blackman ’17, Princeton Alumni Weekly
A Princeton Portrait: Harry H. Hess *32 (1906–1969) - “We spend treasures daily on fantastical sky rockets aimed feebly toward space,” wrote John Steinbeck in a 1961 issue of LIFE magazine. “Meanwhile we know practically nothing of far the greater part of our home planet covered by the sea.”