“Scorpions as Seismologists” at the MSU Spartan Girls Math and Science Day (March 2nd, 2019)

We spent the entire Saturday afternoon leading the activities of “Scorpions as seismologists” with CMSE and EES graduate students at the MSU Spartan Girls Math and Science Day. It is such a rewarding experience working with middleschoolers. Special thanks to Gabriel for helping around and making the best scorpion balloon sculpture ever!

MSU CMSE and EES graduate students and faculty leading activities at the MSU Spartan Girls Math and Science Day. Left to right: Kaitlynn Burkhard (EES), Ziyi Xi (CMSE), Min Chen (CMSE & EES), and Fan Wang (EES)

New paper on the cause of intermediate‐depth and deep intraslab earthquakes

Our paper on “genesis of intermediate‐depth and deep intraslab earthquakes” just got published on Geophysical Research Letters! Thanks to the contribution of all my co-authors, Vlad, Fenglin, Shawn, and Eric! Here is the link to the accepted paper.

The calculated pressure‐temperature conditions of the lower plane of the double seismic zone are correlated with the conditions at which a series of hydrous minerals break down into water and solids. This correlation suggests that water released from breakdown of hydrous minerals likely raises pore‐fluid pressure and triggers intermediate‐depth and deep earthquakes.

Recruiting undergrads for summer 2019 research experience at MSU

Dr. Min Chen will be the mentor of this proposed project of “Big Data that Shakes the Earth” through MSU iCER ACRES program. We welcome applications from undergrads who are specifically interested in solving real-world problems in earth and environmental sciences through data analytics and computational modeling. Please see the details regarding the application below.

MSU iCER ACRES program is inviting undergraduate students across U.S. to apply for this 10-week summer 2019 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in computational and data science.

There is a total of ten projects proposed in different research fields including applied mathematics, biology, chemistry, (astro)physics, mechanical engineering, bioengineering, radiology, and earth sciences.


Now recruiting two PhD students and summer research interns for year 2019

MSU data science and computational seismology lab is now recruiting two PhD students to start in Fall 2019. Please check our research page (https://chenseismolab.org/research) for the current research in our lab. As the PI (Dr. Chen) is jointly appointed by both the departments of CMSE and EES at MSU, the interested applicants can look up the PhD program requirements on both departments’ web pages and decide which one suits them better. It is also possible for the applicants to have a joint PhD between CMSE and EES no matter which department they decide to apply through. Please note that the application deadlines are different between CMSE and EES.

MSU CMSE department is relatively new (since 2015), very vibrant, and diverse in terms of research themes. Here is a background introduction of our department of CMSE. Below is the link for the application information for the CMSE department.


And here is the link to the application information for MSU EES department.


Those who are still in their first three years of undergrad studies are welcome to apply for summer (2-3 months) internship to work on various research projects on seismic data collection, computational modeling of seismic waves, or seismic tomography in our lab.

Qualifications of PhD applicants:

  1. B.S. or M.S. in geophysics, physics, applied math, or computer science. Strong background in foundations of physics, math, or computer programming.
  2. Genuinely interested in advancing scientific understanding of Earth’s interior structure or earthquake source.
  3. Self-motivated in developing new computational methods for imaging and inverse problems to enable scientific discoveries in the field of seismology and beyond.

We are looking forward to your applications. Please feel free to email Dr. Chen (chenmi22@msu.edu) for more detailed information regarding PhD application or summer research projects for undergrad research experience.