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SMAST’s first Ph.D. candidate defends

September 9, 2008
CONTACT: Frank Smith, 508.910.6347
f1smith@umassd.edu

Ayan Chaudhuri (at center in photo) reached a personal milestone last week when he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, “Response of the Gulf Stream, Gulf Stream Warm-Core Rings and Related Shelf Water Entrainment to the North Atlantic Oscillation.” But he also set institutional marks as the first SMAST student—and the first from any UMass campus—to defend his dissertation for a Ph.D. from the system-wide School of Marine Sciences. After his public presentation and closed session, Ayan’s research was signed off on by Dean Robert Gamache (far right) of the UMass School of Marine Sciences; by his co-advisors, Profs. Avijit Gangopadhyay (left rear) and James Bisagni (far left), both of UMass Dartmouth Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences; and committee member Prof. Stephen Frasier (right rear), Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, UMass Amherst.

Ayan hails from New Delhi, India. He completed his undergraduate studies at Bangalore University in his home country before coming to UMass Dartmouth to pursue a master’s degree in Computer and Information Science. His goal at the time, Ayan says, was “to get a master’s and then move onto a technology job. However, Oceanography “happened” to me in the course of my Computer Science master's program. My thesis involved using computer graphics and image processing to automatically detect ocean features like warm-core rings from high resolution satellite images. In order to write my thesis I was advised to take a course in Physical Oceanography. The physical oceanography course is where my interest in Oceanography developed and led me to pursue a Ph.D. at SMAST.”

Ayan’s research involves “studying the long term impacts of Gulf Stream warm-core rings which I call the ocean’s equivalent of hurricanes. Similarly to hurricanes, these warm-core rings can disrupt the biological communities over which they pass, in this case, the marine communities residing on the continental shelf.”

From left, Prof. Avijit Gangopadhyay, Ayan's advisor; SMAST Dean Frank Muller-Karger; Ayan Chaudhuri; Prof. Wendell Brown, Chair, Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences.


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