Ding Ma received his Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University. Advised by Prof.ZhimingKuang, his dissertation research investigated three dominant patterns of large-scale atmospheric variability, namely the South Asian monsoon, Madden-Julian Oscillation and the annular mode.Beforemoving back to Harvard, he was an Earth Institute Fellow at Columbia University, where he was working with Prof. Adam Sobel to explore extreme weather associated with large-scale variability. His work emphasizes a combination of observational analysis andnumerical modeling. Guided by observations, numerical experiments are designed and conducted to pursue a better theoretical understanding of the large-scale atmospheric variability in the past, present and future. The main goal of his work is to identify essentialphysical mechanisms governing the large-scale circulation variability.