Statistics PhD candidate wins a Harvard post-doctoral fellowship
PhD candidate - School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
UTS Mathematics PhD student Cathy Yuen Yi Lee will be undertaking a post-doctoral fellowship at the prestigious Harvard University in 2016.
Ms Lee is currently undertaking her PhD under the guidance of Distinguished Professor Matt Wand and Distinguished Professor Louise Ryan. She has been recognised for her work on big data analysis with UTS School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
She says one of the biggest challenges today is to be able to interpret the large quantities of data we have in all walks of life.
“Because we have a lot more data now, we have to figure out ways to extract insights from large data sets efficiently. We can’t just rely on traditional methods or powerful computing,” Ms Lee said.
“What we are doing is developing innovative statistical methods called variational approximations so that we can analyse data sets in a much faster way without compromising accuracy.”
She applied one of her statistical methods to the NSW Perinatal Data Collection, to create a dashboard where hospitals were ranked in terms of their predicted caesarean section rate in real-time.
“Normally we process the data after collection, however this methodology treats data as arriving online and analysing them on the fly,” Ms Lee said.
Ms Lee’s research has most recently been published in Statistics in Medicine.
Ms Lee says she’d like to take the opportunity at Harvard to combine the strengths of data science and statistics, and look into modern machine learning techniques and apply these to environmental health and cancer research.
Between finishing her PhD and beginning her postdoc, Ms Lee will be undertaking an internship with Google Zurich as a quantitative data analyst.