Sense from uncertainty, patterns from chaos
Sense from uncertainty, patterns from chaos – why Louise Ryan loves statistics.
Statistician Louise Ryan is excited. She’s about to meet a girl who is in her final weeks of high school and trying to figure out what to do at university. The girl likes maths but wants to do something that will "make a difference".
"I'm excited to meet this girl and say 'hey, have I got the field for you," says Ryan, distinguished professor of statistics in the UTS Faculty of Science, chief investigator with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS) and recipient of the prestigious Pitman Medal for 2018.
"When you’re a statistician, you get to do some maths, which is what we like and we’re good at that mathematical thinking. But I consider myself a biostatistician, applying statistics in biology, medicine, health and the environment.
"For those of us who want the satisfaction of working on a real-world problem and making a difference, biostatistics offers that perfect synergy and it has always clicked for me."
In the mid-1970s, Ryan was that girl – a lover of maths and very good at it, but unsure where it could take her. On the advice of her high school guidance counsellor, she enrolled in actuarial studies.
Read the full story at the UTS Newsroom.