SAMSI Hosts Simons Foundation Public Lecture – “The Public Health Impact of Air Pollution and Climate Change”

Francesca Dominici speaking on April 24 in Chapel Hill

Francesca Dominici speaking on April 24 in Chapel Hill

SAMSI was proud to be chosen as just one of nine places in the world to host a public lecture for the Simons Foundation. The Simons Foundation is sponsoring these lectures as part of “Mathematics for the Planet Earth”. MPE 2013 is a year-long series of events recognizing the role of the mathematics sciences, including statistics, in solving important problems in ecology, the environment, climate change, human health and a variety of other areas that concern the planet on which we live.

On April 24, over 150 gathered to hear Dr. Francesca Dominici talk about the public health impact of air pollution and climate change. The evening started out with a reception for professors and other distinguished guests from the Triangle region.

Richard Smith at the podium

Richard Smith welcoming everyone to the event.

Dr. Richard Smith, director of SAMSI, welcomed everyone and introduced Dr. Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program.

Dr. Linda Birnbaum at the podium

Dr. Linda Birnbaum, Director of NIEHS, introduces Francesca Dominici

Dr. Birnbaum then introduced Francesca Dominici, Professor of Biostatistics in the Harvard School of Public Health, and Associate Dean of Information Technology.

Dominici gave an eloquent speech talking about how she and her colleagues look at various data sets, such as air pollution monitoring sites from the EPA, Medicare claims, data from NOAA, amongst others. She has developed statistical methods for the adjustment of measured and unmeasured confounders, Bayesian hierarchical models, causal inference methods, and missing data methods.

Here are more photos from the evening’s events. More about the speech will be covered in the next issue of SAMSI.Info.


Dan Solomon talking at reception