Faculty Spotlight: Weiming Hu


Geography professor Weiming Hu believes teaching is more than imparting knowledge; it’s about forging connections. As he completes his first year at JMU, Hu reflects on his journey in research and teaching.Weiming Hu

Hu began his academic journey at Wuhan University, specializing in Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics. However, it was during his master’s program in Geography at Pennsylvania State University that he discovered a passion for tackling geoscientific challenges. This led to a doctorate in Geography with a minor in Computer Science.

His research focuses on extreme weather forecasting and renewable energy, particularly wind and solar. With expertise in methodologies like machine learning and big spatiotemporal data analytics, Hu developed computational algorithms for weather forecasting, resulting in real-time forecasts published in the Monthly Weather Review.

The growing emphasis on research at JMU aligns seamlessly with Hu’s goals, influencing his decision to join the university.

Hu’s dedication to research and teaching is evident in his efforts to tailor courses and build connections. From lively classroom discussions to collaborative projects like developing a data dashboard for the Hillside weather station, Hu fosters a rich learning environment.

The weather station, managed by the Geography program, serves faculty across disciplines. Recognizing the inefficiencies of email-based data sharing, Hu and his students are developing a dashboard to visualize the weather station data and offer data download functionality, ensuring convenient access for all.

“Working alongside Dr. Hu has been a rewarding experience. He values my input and encourages exploration in our work together,” said Jack Brown, a Computer Science major.

Hu is also collaborating with UC San Diego to improve the accuracy and reliability of extreme event forecasts using Machine Learning techniques. He hopes to involve students in his research and provide them with opportunities to present alongside him in California.

Hu’s partnership with Ali Sloop, the stormwater coordinator in Facilities Management, extends to biodiversity monitoring and enhancing the web map of pollinator sites across campus. “The web map is an opportunity to further educate the campus community and the public,” Hu explained.

Hu’s work with Sloop, the Hillside weather station, and collaboration with faculty and students across campus embrace his “People and Data” vision noted in his most recent publication, People and Data: Solving Planetary Challenges Together, which proposes a stronger synergistic integration between people and data, working together to address planetary challenges.

“We have all been impressed with the creative and energetic way Weiming has started his career at JMU and the Geography program,” said Henry Way, director and professor of Geography. “I am excited for how he will keep us looking forward as the discipline of geography, and the needs of our world, change in the coming years,” he added.

Outside of academia, Hu enjoys strumming melodies on his guitar, tinkering with electronics and exploring Linux operating systems. But perhaps what truly sets him apart is his love for the electric unicycle — a mode of transportation he uses to commute to work, grab groceries or adventure through the Friendly City.

Back to Top

by Maya Winder (’24) and Lynn Radocha (’18)

Published: Friday, June 28, 2024

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Related Articles