News - 2019 - 2019

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, Sep 30, 2019
On September 19, 2019 the Department of Geosciences (GEO) at Princeton University launched a new website ( that is mobile-ready and provides new accessible features.
Friday, Sep 27, 2019
by Harrison Blackman ’17, Princeton Alumni Weekly
“Among those organizations engaged in the making of all geologists at Princeton is the celebrated Lunch Club,” geology graduate student Harold Bannerman *1927 wrote in a 1926 issue of the department newsletter, The Smilodon.
Friday, Sep 27, 2019
Following last week’s extreme rainfall and flooding, an international team of scientists carried out a rapid analysis to determine whether the probability of the storm had changed as a result of climate change, using the same methods they used for Hurricane Harvey two years ago.
Friday, Sep 27, 2019
The Department of Geosciences and Princeton University congratulates Dr. Akshay Karankumar Mehra on successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis: "Reconstructions of Ediacaran Putative Biomineralizers Via a Novel Serial Grinding and Imaging Technique" on Wednesday, September 25, 2019.
Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019
Professor of Geosciences and the Princeton Environmental Institute Gabriel Vecchi appears on Jake Tappers' CNN "Earth Matters Series" to discusses the intensity of Hurricane Dorian as it moves up the East Coast.