Lan Lin, Associate Professor of Computer Science, is currently collaborating with multiple professionals from a range of disciplines and professions. Their work focuses on an intricate puzzle that assists environmental scientists in assessing and predicting hydrological events. Her knowledge in software engineering has earned her multiple National Science Foundation (NSF) awards along with numerous journal and conference publications. These achievements, her work with CyberWater, and many other impactful research projects, have earned her Ball State University’s title of Outstanding Research Awardee for 2023. Despite her impressive CV and over a decade of funded research projects, Lin has not forgotten who helped her get to where she is now in her career.  

Lin credits a few very important professors who helped her achieve what she has today. When she started her PhD program at the University of Tennessee, she discovered her interest in computer science, and the ways it can be utilized to create high quality software. Her postdoctoral advisor, Dr. Jesse H. Poore, was one of the first recipients of a doctorate in information and computer sciences from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1970. His expertise in his field and passion for research inspired her to pursue advanced degrees in the field as well. They remained friends and colleagues until his passing in 2012.


Lan Lin and mentor, Dr. Jesse Poore

Lin also credits computer science professor, Dr. Michael Vose, and professor of math, Dr. Carl Wagner, as inspirations and mentors in her journey into software development and research. She credits these three professors for her achievements, as well as her teaching style and desire to include students in her research. She is committed to giving students the opportunity to experience real-world application production and share the fulfillment of assisting others in solving problems.  

Funded by the National Science Foundation, CyberWater (CW) was a massive research collaboration between multiple scientists, analysists, and environmental experts throughout the United States. The goal was to create an “open and sustainable framework for diverse data and model integration with provenance and access to HPC (high-performance computing)”. Utilizing multiple collaborators has allowed this software to have a wide range of data to work from, as well as the capability to have new data continuously added and utilized in real time. The work done on this two-year project laid the framework for a new NSF-funded project which began this year called CyberWater2.  

CyberWater2 will build on the framework created by CyberWater and aims to develop a new sustainable framework on top of the CW system to create even more innovative and unique cyberinfrastructure capabilities. Not only will CyberWater2 (CW2) be available for broad use once it is finished, but it can also be used as a teaching tool at universities, enhancing STEM education capabilities. The program will help educators and scientists make models, run scenarios, and predict potential environmental damage in hydrologic science.  

When talking about Dr. Lin’s impressive achievements in her field and the care and understanding she has as a professor, she credits all her successes to her peers at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Lin has truly taken to heart the lessons she learned from her advisors and continually strives to improve the processes of software development and their exciting capabilities and world-changing applications.