@usc.edu Feng Zhu

Ph.D. student in Earth Sciences > Paleoclimate Data Analysis & Modeling


Zumberge Hall of Science 275, Los Angeles, CA 90089



Hello, world!

My name is Feng Zhu. I like math, science, programming, chess, music, photography, and soccer.

I graduated from UW-Madison with an MS in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences in Spring 2016. Now I am a Ph.D. student in Earth Sciences at USC, doing research on paleoclimatology.

Research Interests

So many interesting topics.

Atmospheric Modeling

When I was in China, I developed a simplified 2-D Cloud Resolving Model from scratch. Modeling atmospheric dynamics is much fun!

Numerical Methods

The development of cutting-edge numerical methods makes it possible to address analytically unresolvable problems.

Dynamical Systems

"Can a butterfly in Brazil really cause a tornado in Texas?"

Wavelet & Spectral Analysis

Investigating data in the frequency domain gives lots of insights that cannot be seen in the time domain.

Data Assimilation

Making sense of data.

Machine Learning

Given that I like math and Chess, machine learning and AI stuff are automatically interesting to me.


Lazy isn't in my vocabulary.
Sep 2016 – Present

University of Southern California

Ph.D. in Earth Sciences

Los Angeles, CA, USA

Trying to do really good science with my advisor Prof. Julien Emile-Geay.

Sep 2014 – Jun 2016

University of Wisconsin-Madison

M.S. in Atmosheric & Oceanic Sciences

Madison, WI, USA

I am glad that I did some serious mathematical studies in a very strong math department during my second year at Madison.

Sep 2012 – Jun 2014

Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences

M.S. in Meteorology

Beijing, China

Did lots of work in a relatively short time. Thanks to my advisor Dr. Guoqiang Xu and my friends who supported and helped me, I made it!

Sep 2008 – Jun 2012

Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology

B.S. in Atmospheric Science

Nanjing, China

The place where dream starts.

Research Experience

Lots of different topics.
Sep 2016 – Present

PAGES2k Phase 2 Project

Fellowship funded by USC Dornsife College

Los Angeles, CA, USA

Developing analysis and visualization Python packages for the climate records over the common era, including correlation analysis, spectral analysis, etc.

Sep 2014 – Jun 2016

Satellite Data Assimilation for Tropical Storms

Research Assistant funded by Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies

Madison, WI, USA

Evaluated potential satellite data sets with observation system simulation experiments (OSSEs). Developed a tropical cyclone relocation system to evaluate the impact of relocation on satellite data assimilation.

Sep 2013 – Jun 2014

Parameterization of Cloud Fraction over East Asian Monsoon Region

Research Assistant funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)

Beijing, China

Developed a new 2D Cloud Resolving Model (CRM). Embedded the 2D CRM into the mesoscale model GRAPES. Realized the first case of super-parameterization in China. Evaluated the impact of super-parameterization on cloud fraction simulation over East Asian Monsoon Region.

Sep 2012 – Jun 2013

The Development and Evaluation of Variation Scheme for Assimilating GPS Data

Research Assistant funded by NSFC

Beijing, China

Evaluated the impact of 3D-VAR assimilation of GPSPW data in the region of Tibetan Plateau on precipitation prediction in the area of Middle and Lower Reaches of Yangtze River.

Teaching Experience

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
Spring 2017

GEOL 150: Climate Change

Teaching Assistant funded by USC Dornsife College

Los Angeles, CA, USA

Teaching lab sections for the course. Duties include mini-lectures, hands-on experiments demo, lab quiz design and grading, course discussion and exam grading, etc.


Tring to do more.


Feng Zhu, Guoqiang Xu, Xiaohui Zheng, and Yuhong Wang, 2015: Superparameterization in GRAPES: The Construction of SP-GRAPES and Associated Preliminary Results. Journal of Meteorological Research, 29(2), 272-292, doi: 10.1007/s13351-015-4074-2.


Feng Zhu, Guoqiang Xu, Li Li, Xiaohui Zheng, and Shengjun Zhang, 2014: An Assessment of the Impact on Precipitation Prediction in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River Made by Assimilating GPSPW Data in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Chinese Journal of Atmospheric Sciences (in Chinese), 38(1), 171-189, doi: 10.3878/j.issn.1006-9895.2013.13117.

Conference/Workshop Presentation

Show time.

2015 - Joint Center of Satellite Data Assimilation Summer Colloquium

Why Is It Theoretically Possible That An Improved Initial Condition Can Degrade the Forecast in Fraternal-twin OSSEs?

Numerical Modeling Experience

Modeling is much fun!

Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF)


Weather Research and Forecasting model Data Assimilation system (WRFDA)


Community Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation system (GSI)


Global/Regional Assimilation PrEdiction System (GRAPES)

Programming Skills

I am a semi-programmer!

























Happy times!

2016 - Dornsife/Graduate School Ph.D. Fellowship

Awarded by USC

2014 - Scholarship for Excellent Learning

Awarded by Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences

2010 - Fourth Men Individual in Chinese National College Students Chess Tournament

Awarded by Chinese Chess Association