6.5 Improving Model Accessibility for Undergraduate Students

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 5:00 PM
308 (Washington State Convention Center )
Timothy W. See Jr., University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND; and G. Mullendore and J. Exby

Model access for undergraduate students is generally limited to exposure during a senior level Numerical Methods course. While upper level numerical modeling courses are available, they may lack accessibility to numerical models for hands on investigation. Increasing accessibility to numerical models, in this study specifically the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, will allow professors to utilize models to strengthen understandings of core concepts such as uncertainty. Utilization of Docker software is used to create an accessible WRF model for the Fall 2016 Numerical Methods course at The University of North Dakota. Students learn briefly about Docker and how it creates a more accessible WRF model. Students first access Docker WRF via in class tutorial, then manipulate certain aspects of the model (e.g. initial conditions, parameterizations) for an assignment. Through the use of Docker students complete all necessary steps for model usage, while simultaneously removing the rigorous configuration and compilation processes. Benefits of having model access within the classroom far outweigh the challenges of installation of Docker. Paring of cloud computing with Docker will also be discussed.
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