The current young statistician's
representative on the NZSA executive committee is
As part of my BSc in marine biology, statistics was compulsory. Having done no
mathematics or statistics past NCEA level 1, this wasn't something I was overly excited about. However, I soon realised that you can't do research without
statistics, and luckily for me I enjoyed it.
I majored in marine biology and applied statistics at Victoria University, and went on to do my MSc in applied statistics. I made the decision to carry on with
statistics as I think it is the most versatile thing to study, and I was still able to incorporate fisheries into my thesis. I did this at Victoria University with
Dr. Richard Arnold and Dr. Adele Whyte as my supervisors.
Straight after I completed my thesis I started work at Statistics New Zealand in the Statistical Methods department. My work includes sample design, weighting and estimation,
editing and imputation, working to create a strategy for the use of administrative data, and lots of other interesting tasks.
As the NZSA young statisticians representative I hope to help make all young statisticians in New Zealand better informed of opportunities available to them.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions about how the NZSA can better support young statisticians.
Local YS Representatives
An active young statistician's network, both within local areas/organisations and across New Zealand,
is being built up. Currently we have reps in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. If you're interested in representing your local area, email Kylie
Carlos Liu (email@example.com)
Amanda Hughes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Catherine Cumpstone (email@example.com)
2012 NZSA Conference Rep
Daniel Turek (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Daniel Turek is the student representative on the 2012 NZSA conference organizing committee.
Daniel is arranging a young statistician's event for the conference, which will be held
in Dunedin (29 – 30 November). Details will be posted on the conference website
Introducing Carlos Liu
I joined Statistics New Zealand after graduating from the Statistics Department of
The University of Auckland. As a statistical analyst, my key responsibilities are to provide methodological
support to my internal clients. This involves survey design, seasonal adjustment, confidentiality,
and all sorts of modelling work.
Statistics plays the critical roles in my work, and widely opens up my career. I am glad that
I have the opportunities to work with a lot of statistics professionals.
Introducing Amanda Hughes
During my B.Sc. in Statistics at the University of Canterbury I was successful in gaining an internship at Statistics New Zealand.
From then on I knew statistics was for me, I was hooked. I finished my B.Sc. (Hons) in statistics in 2011 with a brief period of study in the UK.
I am now back in New Zealand and working in the Statistical Methods team at Statistics New Zealand.
Introducing Catherine Cumpstone
As a student I did a summer scholarship at Lincoln University which highlighted to me I was more interested in
Stats than Biology (which I was already majoring in). So, in 2010 I added on a Statistics major to my BSc at the
University of Canterbury where I also took up tutoring in the Mathematics and Statistics Dept.
In 2011 I started working in Statistical Methods for Statistics NZ down in Chch, and now I work on managing a
project that will influence how we are going to use admin data in the future.
Introducing Daniel Turek
(2012 Conference Rep)
After completing BSc and Masters degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science in the United States,
I worked for several years in California. This included teaching secondary school maths for two years,
which made me realize I truly wanted to continue my education. After exploring opportunities abroad,
I settled on the beautiful country of New Zealand!
I'm currently a PhD Student in Statistics at the University of Otago, and in the final year of my program.
My research relates to the study of model-averaged confidence intervals, and developing new techniques for
the construction of them. I presented bits of my research of the NZ Maths & Stats Postgraduate Conferences in
2010 and 2011, and will present the bulk of my findings at the International Statistical Ecology Conference,
held in Norway in July 2012. I am yet undecided what I will do upon completion of my program!
Young Statistician Profiles
Dr Debbie Leader
Hi all, my name is Debbie.
I did both my undergraduate and post-graduate study at The University of Auckland, with a brief 1 ½ year transfer to The University of Otago
during my PhD study when my supervisor moved.
What did I like most about Dunedin? It is so much smaller than Auckland. I get to walk to uni rather than spend ½ hour to 1 hour driving and then trying to
find somewhere to park.
Which topic of statistics is my favourite? That is a pretty tough question to answer, but I would have to say that the application of classification models
to large data sets would be one of my favourite areas of studying statistics.
Where are I working? I’m currently the Senior Tutor in Statistics at Massey University Manawatu campus, within the Institute of Fundamental Sciences.
This is my first job after graduating with a PhD in Statistics from UoA. There is so much to like about this job, but for me
I very much enjoy being able to pass on the knowledge and hopefully the enthusiasm I have for this subject.
Hi my name is Dominic O'Halloran. I completed my
undergraduate degrees at the University of Otago and then moved back home to Palmerston North where I did my Post Graduate Diploma in Statistics out at Massey in 2011.
What did I like most about Dunedin? I had a great time in Dunedin, I got to have that classic Dunedin experience. I met fantastic people, really broadened my horizons -
learnt a lot academically speaking with a few life lessons thrown in as well, I lived in some horrible flats but we had some awesome parties.
Which topic of statistics is my favourite? I enjoy using statistics where it intersects with business. So that could be anything from a classification problem,
a customer segmentation, a modelling project. I guess that all falls under 'data mining'. I enjoy the computational side of this type of work e.g.
what code to write, which software to use, is my computer powerful enough to do the job, and how do I give this back to the client.
Where are I working? I am currently employed as a Marketing Analyst for a company called Torque and it is my first stats related job since graduating.
What I love about this job is the variety and the scale of the data that I have to analyse. I have worked on projects for a wide range of industries such as banking,
insurance, superannuation, retail, telecommunications and others. The size of the data that I work with on a day to day basis is orders of magnitude larger than
anything I studied at university. Another aspect of the job that I like is that my statistical knowledge is really important but I also need to learn from
other disciplines such as computer science and marketing.
What are my career ambitions?
At the moment I am really happy writing lots of code and doing analysis work. I think in the long I would like to do more consulting work
helping businesses use the data they collect but are only just starting to leverage.
Useful information for young
Young statisticians are
join the NZSA
and the first year of membership is free to senior students enrolled at New
Zealand universities, or who are graduates of NZ universities studying overseas,
and not in full-time employment.
Normally some funding is
available to enable young statisticians to travel to NZSA conferences. Details
are circulated with conference registration material. Special dinners for young
statisticians are becoming a feature of our conferences.
NZSA Conference, 2012
The NZSA encourages presentations from students at its annual conferences, and
as an enticement, prizes are awarded for the best student presentations. This
year the prize was awarded jointly to Darcy Webber and
Brigid Betz-Stablein. Congratulations! The prize fund was provided by
Hoare Research Software (HRS) and the NZSA.
An archive of past winners can be found
Careers in Statistics
The University of Auckland's Statistic Department has
produced a series of posters
showing where statistics graduates can end up working. There's some fascinating stories - from astrostatistics to sports statistics,
from research wind energy to insurance.
To see the posters click here (PDF) and
click here (PDF).
Links to other young
Young Statisticians in the Royal Statistical Society
Young Statisticians in the Statistical Society of Australia
Links to awards/prizes for young statisticians
HRS Student Prizes
Hoare Research Software (HRS)
has fostered a close association with the NZSA by offering prizes for the best
student talks at NZSA conferences. A
list of past winners is given here.
When you submit an abstract, make sure that it is identified in the student
The Australasian Region of the
International Biometrics Society offers a
Scholarship for Honours and coursework Masters students
in statistics-related disciplines.
International Statistical Institute
Includes some information for young statisticians (if you search a bit)
ENBIS Young Statistician Award
The Young Statistician Award is aimed to recognise the work of young people in
introducing innovative methods, promoting the use of Statistics and/or
successfully using it in the daily practice. People from both academic and
industrial world are encouraged to participate.