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University of Warwick public lecture: how statistics can help prevent floods

Professor Valerie IshamStatistics are far from dry – in fact they are vital to help us cope with extreme weather events such as the heavy rainfall which caused flooding in Coventry last year.

A free public lecture at the University of Warwick by Valerie Isham, Professor of Probability and Statistics at University College London, will show how methods from statistical science can help predict extreme rainfall events.

Knowledge gained from statistics can help design appropriate flood defences under the new challenges posed by climate change.

The lecture entitled Rainfall, Hydrology and Climate hosted by the University of Warwick’s s Department of Statistics will take place on Wednesday 8 May 2013 at 6.15pm

Professor Isham, who recently completed a two-year term as President of the Royal Statistical Society, will illustrate several approaches taken by statistical modellers to interpret hydrological data and predict extreme rainfall events,

Her talk is part of a series of public lectures run by the University which aims to open up the world of mathematical science to the general public and to show how maths and statistics play a crucial role in understanding and improving most aspects of everyday life.

Head of the Statistics Department at the University of Warwick Professor David Firth said "We are very fortunate indeed to have such a great speaker for this year's Statistics public lecture.

“Valerie Isham's work on rainfall is a brilliant example of just how powerful mathematical ideas can be in helping us to understand real-world phenomena that are important to river authorities, town planners, insurance companies etc., as well as to the long-term development of climatology".

This year, 2013, is International Year of Statistics, which aims to celebrate the contribution statistics make to every-day life.

The lecture is in room MS.01, Zeeman Building (Mathematics and Statistics) at the University of Warwick. Attendance is free.

Refreshments will be served in the Main Atrium of the Zeeman Building after the lecture. For further information visit

There is no need to register for the event. However if you wish to use car parking on campus please contact Lynn dot Clarke at warwick dot ac dot uk

The lecture is in room MS.01, Zeeman Building (Mathematics and Statistics) at the University of Warwick. Attendance is free.

For further information visit