PHD Biostatistics, Multilingual Chinese

I was fascinated by numbers from my first arithmetic lessons. While others struggled, I saw patterns and possibilities and even beauty. In Middle School in China, I was the winner of the second prize in the National Mathematical Competition and this gave me great confidence in my ability and set me on the path on which I now find myself. However, In China, teachers simply regard an answer as right or wrong and admit no ‘middle ground’, such a teaching approach can be quite discouraging and my ‘love affair’ with mathematics began to ‘cool’.  When I came to the US in 2010 to study for an MBA in Finance, I was surprised to be faced with mathematic teachers who might give praise for an incorrect answer on the basis that the student’s approach to a problem was ‘interesting’ or even ‘impressive’.  My confidence was restored and my interest in, and love of, mathematics was really ‘fired’ during this time.

So, in my second year in U.S, I made a definite decision to become a mathematician and undertook research on the related subjects. I attended a college in N.Y to complement some undergraduate level mathematics course, and then went to XXXX as a mathematics graduate student. My particular fascination with Statistics arose when I studied Mathematical Statistics under Professor XXXX. I joined the American Statistical Association and I was soon reading everything that I could find on the subject. I began to appreciate that the scope for its practical applications are enormous and have the potential to beneficially affect many areas of people’s lives, particularly in the area of health. With that realization, came the deep desire to become an expert in the field. I had always wanted to ‘make a difference’ rather than merely ‘make a living’ and I see acquiring knowledge and skills in the field of biostatistics as a way of applying my natural skills and characteristics that will equip me to make a significant and beneficial difference in the world.

It is now my hope to acquire the skills and knowledge to enable me to become an expert biostatistician working ultimately in my own business providing governments, NGO’s or large enterprises in the field of health provision with expert guidance in the field. This is a specialty which is little known or regarded in China and it would be my hope to assist in correcting that situation by spreading knowledge and understanding of biostatistics and in assisting in the training of newcomers to the field.  This would be of enormous help in improving healthcare and health in that country.

I understand that there is an ethical component to Statistics and particularly Biostatistics. I see Statistics as a kind of ‘weapon’, and as such it can be (and has been) used for good and for ill. The entrenched view of a member of a government or a board room may become a major factor in the output if he/she can influence the wording of a survey questionnaire or the choice of samples used. I understand that the statistician must always seek to be an independent, disinterested and objective ‘truth seeker’ rather than a tool ‘proving’ that what is untrue is true, or vice versa, on behalf of possibly vested interests.

I have significant research experience and am particularly interested in pursuing research into Hepatitis B. This condition affects an estimated 350 million people worldwide and is very common in China where one in ten people are carriers and who often suffer distressing social exclusion. In future research, firstly, I plan to design experiments to see how positive conditions, such as yoga and healthy dinning, and how negative conditions, such as smoking and alcohol, affect the survival rate of chronic hepatitis b carriers. Secondly, I hope to participate in research relating to the analysis of clinical trials for the possible treatment of chronic hepatitis b. Recently, pharmaceutical company Arrowhead Research has been developing drug candidate ARC-520, which has the potential to treat chronic hepatitis b. This research has reached phase II. Clinical Trial Analysis will be critical in testing the efficacy of new treatment regimes. The two statistical methodologies that are of particular interest to me are statistical computing and stochastic modeling. I plan to concentrate on enhancing statistical skills in the above direction and building up a strong background in other statistical methodologies during my PhD studies.

In the summer of 2015 I began to work on my thesis on the design of a new data classification technique under the supervision of Professor XXXX. The objective of our work is to develop a new non-linear method of combining multiple classifier with kernel function. The approach will be the generation of the paper “a simple method for combining estimates to improve overall error rates in the classification” by Professor XXXX and Professor XXXX. It has been a fascinating project and has taught me many valuable lessons.

I have happily studied and socialized with people from many cultural and social backgrounds. I relate well to others.  I am always happy to share information about my own culture and am fascinated about others. I am a native speaker of both Mandarin and Cantonese and speak and write fluent English. I have visited South Korea and New Zealand and I have travelled widely within the US.  I am happy to work both as a team member and independently.

My teaching experience has been a very positive and satisfying experience. It has called for excellent communication and planning skills and it has provided personal learning exercises when dealing with sometimes unexpected and interesting questions from my students which required thought and research on my part. The opportunity to share my own enthusiasm for my subject and encouraging others has been a particularly satisfying part of this work.

My choice of this particular program arises because of the prestigious faculty, the research being undertaken and the facilities provided for it and the success of program graduates. I look forward to working in an academic environment that is challenging but supportive.

My record of academic success to date will assure the reader of my diligence, intelligence and further academic potential and I have what I believe is an excellent grounding in statistical methods. I have excellent programming skills and significant research experience. I believe that my studies in business are also relevant and will enable me to ‘add value’ by sharing this area of knowledge. To summarize, I believe that I am an excellent candidate and I undertake to apply myself enthusiastically and diligently to my work in the program.

Thank you for considering my application.

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