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Statistics | Selected Student Profiles

Cindy Cook

What is your background?
I received my bachelors of science degree in mathematics with a minor in economics from Catawba College.

Why did you choose the statistics graduate program at AU?
I choose to apply to American University because of its location in the D.C. area. I decided to come to American after I visited the university at the CAS prospective graduate student day, where I had positive meetings with current students and professors.

What internships/research/work have you done while in the program?
I had an internship for the summer of 2012 at the Security and Exchange Committee where I was able to use the programming and data analysis skills I have gained from American to analyze and manage large data sets. I am currently working on a project developing an algorithm to optimally predict Cox Models for nonlinear survival analysis data.

What do you hope to do with the degree?
I hope to be accepted into a PhD program for the fall semester to continue my studies with the ultimate goal of entering the academic field as a professor.

Jiao Yu

What is your background?
I was born in China. I graduated from a college in China with an undergraduate degree in mathematics. I received my master's degree in applied mathematics from Florida State University and then started studying statistics at American University. I have been tutoring undergraduates on campus for three years. So far, I have done three internships. Now I am working at APCO Worldwide in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Why did you choose the statistics graduate program at AU?
I have always been interested in science. After receiving the first master's degree in mathematics, I realized that I was eager to apply my knowledge into real world problems. Statistics helps analyze issues in different areas, such as public policy, health care, and education. That is what I want to do for the future and my background is also useful to study statistics. The statistics program at American University has a lot of study areas, such as survey sampling strategies or spatial data analysis, so I have opportunities to study what I like.

What internships/research/work have you done while in the program?
I am interning at APCO in D.C. I am helping them manage data collection, code data, and analyze data. Also, I participated in the pitch competition, which they conduct every semester, and won the competition. In the meantime, I am doing research on the process of recruiting leukocytes using statistical models. If the project is going well, the paper will be published in 2013.

What do you hope to do with the degree?
My career goal is to be a statistical consultant helping people understand problems and figure out solutions based on data. I will focus on my career after graduation. The communication skills and writing skills that I earned from the internships are really valuable and will help me do well in the future work.