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Future Statistics PhD Uses STJR Education in Classroom and Workplace

Posted February 28, 2014

IMAG0418_edited_portraitAfter receiving his master’s degree in 2010, STJR graduate Jingang Miao stayed at Texas A&M to pursue a PhD in statistics. Jingang, who had majored in biomedical English at Peking University in China, now has a well-rounded background that sets him apart from other professionals.

In summer 2013, Jingang did an internship at Capital One bank in Dallas. This experience showed him that communication skills are essential for statisticians who interact with businesspeople frequently. These statisticians study business problems, express those problems in mathematical language, and then crunch the numbers to find solutions.

But how do statisticians communicate their solutions to businesspeople? “You have to prepare the weapons from Dr. Gastel’s classes, and use good examples and analogies,” he said, referring to the STJR program coordinator, Dr. Barbara Gastel.

Jingang emphasized that thanks to his communication skills, academic tasks such as simplifying class materials for undergraduates he taught and preparing manuscripts for publication were less challenging. He also pointed out that the program allowed him to explore different areas of science. “This is very unique; I don’t see many programs that can allow this much flexibility in a curriculum,” he said.

Jingang studies logistic regression, a statistical method used to estimate the probability of an event having occurred (whether a credit card transaction was fraudulent, for example). After receiving his PhD in summer 2014, he plans to move to New York City to work at multinational insurance company AIG.

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