Data Science, Hydrological Modelling and More: MODSIM 2023

The DARE team had a busy week at the 25th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM2023) with 11 presentations, two posters and of course, networking with other modelling experts!

The Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc. (MSSANZ), who aims to promote, develop and assist in the study of all areas of modelling and simulation, has held biennial congresses since 1974 that typically attract 600–900 participants.

Three DARE PhD candidates presented their work at the conference – Rajitha Athukorala, Linduni Rodrigo and Maryam Zeinolabedini.

Rajitha presented firstly about his work with DARE partner, NSW Department of Planning and Environment, during his placement: ‘Stat on pixels’ – an automated counting method for microplastics. Later in the week, Rajitha shared his PhD project on modelling streamflow in Australia and overcoming the challenges associated with the many non-perennial rivers.

Linduni shared her work proposing a novel Bayesian variable selection technique for natural resource problems in a high dimensional setting where data is sparse, while Maryam presented on resampling techniques for predicting rare events, such as floods, droughts and harmful algal blooms.

DARE Director Willem, Deputy Director Lucy and Rajitha (along with CI Sahani) delivered a session on the opportunities and challenges of integrating machine learning and physics-based models in hydrology, which featured many DARE members.

Research Engineer, Josh, presented his work (in collaboration with Willem and Robert) on the importance of quantifying uncertainty in streamflow measurements. While Travis prepared a striking poster (and accompanying presentation) on Adaptive MCMC Parallelisation in Stan.

Finally, congratulations to DARE Deputy Director Lucy Marshall and CI Fiona Johnson for being named MSSANZ Fellows for their outstanding contributions to modelling and simulation! The awards were presented at the conference.