A new manuscript came across my desk this morning which pleasantly surprised me. The author was Samuel Shen, my Master’s thesis research supervisor with whom I continue to have a mentoring relationship, and the subject was detecting climate change signals using statistical methods.
This topic in particular brought me back to a moment in 1999 when I was floating around the university in my home town, trying to decide what to do next in my life. I noticed a posting in the math department for a colloquium talk on this topic to be given by a visiting researcher. The topic interested me, even though I had no background in climate studies, so I went and checked it out. Samuel Shen, whom I had not known before, was the host professor for the talk, and I was sufficiently impressed by what I experienced in that moment in time. A few days later, I found myself in his office requesting to study a Master’s degree under him. This led to two and a half years of study, and upon graduation, the opportunity to work in China. The rest, they say, is history.