How hot is it, really? ASU undergrad applies publication impact scale to weather patterns

July 15, 2019

There are a few things in life upon which we can rely, and one of those things is that Phoenix is hot in the summer. But how hot? It’s a more complicated question than you might think. Certainly we can calculate average temperatures and record the highs and lows, but adding another element may show a more complete picture.

Christopher Ramirez, a biophysics major at Arizona State University, has introduced an interesting new way to measure ongoing weather conditions in specific areas not simply based on how hot it gets, but how often. Phoenix downtown skyline at night from 7th Street and 202. A view of the downtown Phoenix skyline at night. Photo copyright by Arizona Board of Regents Download Full Image

This new model is based on the “h-index," a metric used to represent the impact of a scientist or scholar over the course of their career.

Analyzing the individual’s (or group’s) overall body of work, the h-index counts both the number of publications and also how many times each work has been cited by other researchers. The magic is in where those numbers match. The final score is calculated by determining the highest number of publications which have been cited at least that same number of times.

So, for example, an h-index of 15 would mean that a scientist published 15 papers that have been cited at least 15 times each.

Working with ASU professors Michael Treacy, of the Department of Physics, and Michael O’Keeffe, of the School of Molecular Sciences, Ramirez tackled the challenge of applying this same analysis to city weather patterns to form a heat index, or H-index.

Using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) database, Ramirez discovered that in Phoenix during the year 2018, there were 102 days where the highest temperature was at least 102 degrees, giving it an H-index of 102.

Yuma’s H-index read in at 103, Tucson at 97, and Flagstaff at 79. Death Valley, California, came out on top, so to speak, with an H-index of 109.

One of the most crucial components of producing a relevant and meaningful H-index is a continuous record of day-to-day maximum temperatures. Interestingly enough, in the NOAA database, airports seemed to have the most reliable and complete data, allowing Ramirez to expand his research to international cities, tracing back to 1950.

After exploring the higher end of the thermometer, a similar index can be constructed to measure lowest temperatures for a coldness index — the C-index. Analyzing the number of days in which the lowest temperature reaches below the freezing point of water, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, daily temperatures recorded at the Phoenix airport give a typical C-index of zero, as it very rarely freezes there. However, farther into the suburbs can have a C-index of about 2 – meaning that at least two days in the year had dropped to 30 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

For a closer look at where cities across the world fall on the H and C index, visit the full research article, which appears in EOS Earth & Space Science News.

Dominique Perkins

Events and Communications Coordinator, Department of Physics


Edson College partners with Thunderbird to boost innovation leadership skills for health care executives

July 15, 2019

Building on years of successful executive education for health care professionals, the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation is adding a new global education partner for the Executive Fellowship in Innovation Health Leadership (EFIHL) — Thunderbird School of Global Management.  

“Health care is a global issue, so partnering with Thunderbird and leveraging its footprint is very exciting for us,” said Rick Hall, senior director of health innovation for Edson College. “The fellowship participants will benefit from Thunderbird content, and the recruiting of international participants will mutually benefit the health care executives from every sector.” 2018 EFIHL Fellows visit the Garfield Innovation Center in San Leandro, CA Executive Fellowship in Innovation Health Leadership Fellows from the 2018 cohort visited the Garfield Innovation Center in San Leandro, California, for one of their immersive experiences. Download Full Image

The fellowship recruits health care executives from around the world to take part in a one-year cohort that includes three-day immersive experiences in four cities around the United States. Throughout the year, participants work to build a tool kit empowering them to create innovative environments within their home organizations.

Industry partners for the program include two leading health care leadership membership organizations, the American Organization of Nurse Leaders and the American Association for Physician Leadership. The addition of the Thunderbird School of Global Management enhances the fellowship curriculum by adding courses developed by world-class management faculty and leveraging the global footprint of the school to attract health care leaders from many parts of the world.

“Few industries have higher stakes for getting innovation right,” said Tom Hunsaker, associate dean of innovation for Thunderbird School of Global Management. “This partnership between Edson and Thunderbird places these health care executives at the forefront of leading-edge innovation models and practices — globally.”

Adding to the content modules delivered in cohort immersions, participants will take courses in systems thinking and advanced concepts of innovation from Edson’s Master of Healthcare Innovation as well as disruptive innovation and leadership courses developed from Thunderbird’s Master of Global Management.

An interdisciplinary initiative, the fellowship attracts chief nursing officers, physicians, clinical psychologists and nonclinician business leaders from hospital systems, nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions.

This year the fellows will be traveling to Boston, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., for the immersive experiences. Some of the sites visited in previous fellowship years have included Google Headquarters, Cambridge Innovation Center, IDEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield Innovation Center, MIT’s Media Lab, Garfield Innovation Center and the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Although space is limited, there are still spots available for the fall cohort, which begins in October. 

Amanda Goodman

Media relations officer, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation