To celebrate National Science Week, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Mathematics and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS) is holding the following free public lecture at the University of Technology Sydney. Date: Wednesday, 19 August 2015 Time: 6:00pm - 6.30pm: Refreshments 6:30pm - 7.30pm: Lecture Venue: Green Lecture Hall, Level 2, Building 7, University of Technology Sydney. Professor Louise Ryan University of Technology Sydney The impact of coal dust in the Hunter Valley Newcastle is home to the world’s largest coal export port. Loaded coal trains travel to the Port from mines located all throughout the Hunter. Because the train tracks cut through residential neighborhoods, local citizens are concerned that resulting coal dust emissions are reducing air quality and potentially causing adverse health effects. In an attempt to address citizen concerns, the NEW Environmental Protection Authority commissioned a study designed to the impact of passing trains on the levels of particulate matter measured in the air. For National Science Week mathematician Prof Louise Ryan will give a non- technical discussion of the analysis and describe the challenges she faced in the analysis and strategies used to tackle these problems. The talk will illustrate the challenge of tackling real world problems such as this, especially when there are financial, political and societal implications in play. The usefulness of modern visualization techniques in making sense of large, messy datasets like this one will also be shown. Biography of Professor Louise Ryan After completing her undergraduate degree in statistics and mathematics at Macquarie University, Louise Ryan left Australia in 1979 to pursue her PhD in statistics at Harvard University in the United States. In 1983, Louise then took up a postdoctoral fellowship in Biostatistics, jointly between Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard School of Public Health. She was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1985, eventually becoming the Henry Pickering Walcott Professor and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard. Louise returned to Australia in early 2009 to take up the role as Chief of CSIRO’s Division of Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics. In 2012, she joined UTS as a distinguished professor of statistics in the School of Mathematical Sciences. Louise is well known for her methodological contributions to statistical methods for cancer and environmental health research. She loves the challenge and satisfaction of multi-disciplinary collaboration. She has received numerous prestigious awards, most recently her 2012 election to the Australian Academy of Science.