Guest blog by Natacha Le Grix and Elisabeth Tschumi, Universität Bern, Switzerland

What could possibly bring together experts of the copula theory, hydraulic engineers and climate scientists working on extremes like floods and wildfires? Well, the first DAMOCLES Training School on Statistical Modelling of Compound Events. From 23.9-4.10.2019, a group of 23 PhD students and Post-docs from 16 nationalities gathered for a two-week introduction into statistical methods required to study compound events (spoiler: the video below provides a great illustration of compound events).

The school was hosted by the Lake Como School of Advanced Studies in Villa del Grumello. Framed by century-old trees overlooking the first basin of Lake Como, this idyllic mansion could possibly have made participants forget about the stakes of their mission. Yet, students and organizers were all too concerned about weather and climate compound events, which result from a combination of multiple climate drivers contributing to societal and environmental risks.

You will soon hear about our exciting results

The purpose of the school was to train the next generation of compound events researchers. Each day started with energizing ice-breakers turning a half-asleep classroom into enthusiastic listeners. Experts gave thrilling lectures on multivariate extreme value theory, copulas or importance sampling. Us students then applied our brand-new knowledge in the afternoon. We worked in groups of five to six on four different projects that are still to be continued after the training school. You will soon hear about our exciting results as they will hopefully lead to research papers.

On top of all this hard work, we had plenty of time during coffee breaks and evenings to get to know each other personally. We socialized over the delicious Italian food, went on day trips to the Como surroundings during the week-end and enjoyed welcome and farewell dinners with the supervisors.

We would definitely recommend the next training school

Overall, the first DAMOCLES training school has been a success, extremely well organized and a great opportunity for all the participants. We would definitely recommend the next training school to students eager to learn from and interact with other compound event scientists.

“Once Upon A Time in Como” – winner of the creative competition “draw me a compound event” during the training school. #sciart

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