Curating Robert E. Horton’s Bibliography

Name of the Speaker: Dr. Solomon Vimal

Title of the Seminar: Curating Robert E. Horton’s Bibliography

Date and Time: 13th May 2024 (Monday), 04:00 pm

Online Platform: MS Teams (link to the video of the seminar)

About the Speaker: Dr. Solomon Vimal currently holds the dual role of CEO at Geothara and Postdoc at Jacobs-Technion Institute, Cornell-Tech, NYC through the Runway Startup Postdoc Program. His primary mission revolves around developing an enterprise data science product aimed at enhancing security in water, energy, and climate (WEC) domains, with market interests in sustainable infrastructure design and risk management. Dr. Vimal completed his Ph.D. at the Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles, focusing on climate change impacts on Arctic lakes. His exceptional academic achievements include numerous fellowships, awards, and prizes, notably the Norman Medal from ASCE. With over 10 published papers and pending patents, he has demonstrated a commitment to geospatial data science. Dr. Vimal’s extensive global education in hydrology, including three master’s degrees and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, underscores his expertise. Additionally, his contributions to hydrology, such as inventing algorithms for resilience and rediscovering a century-old evaporation estimation method, have advanced our understanding of land-atmosphere interactions.

Abstract: Robert E. Horton (1875-1945) is regarded as the father of modern Hydrology for setting the field on a strong quantitative footing. While he published well over 200 works (papers, reports, and books), only about 80 of them have been listed in bibliographies until recently. His works are found scattered in several libraries and archives throughout the US. Our bibliography curation project, which began in 2018 nearly tripled the known list of Horton’s publications from 80 to over 200. We are digitizing all of these works, as well as his unpublished works, letters and drafts, to make them openly available to hydrologists. A GenAI-enabled Horton bot will be created to seamlessly access all the material so that hydrologists can “consult” with Horton on some of his fundamental contributions to hydrology. Noteworthy findings from our work includes Horton’s correspondence with Theodore von Karman circa 1938, for a work that is part of a “bluebook” (similar to Peter Eagleson’s 1991 report) where Horton lays out a comprehensive approach for runoff processes; a 1949 Hydrology textbook where Horton is not credited as co-author even though he spent 5 years of his time developing the book; a Hydrology handbook published posthumously in 1949, presumably the first of its kind, which may have inspired the classic Handbook of Hydrology by Ven te Chow (1962).


Date(s) - 13/05/2024
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Interdisciplinary Centre for Water Research (ICWaR) - IISc Bangalore