Weiwen Miao Awarded Grant for Biostatistics Panel
The professor of mathematics and statistics recently earned funding to create and host a “Careers in Biostatistics” event, featuring professionals and graduate students from the field to introduce the discipline to Haverford’s growing body of statisticians.
The American Statistical Association (ASA) has awarded a grant to Professor of Mathematics and Statistics Weiwen Miao to organize a one-day career event at Haverford College that will draw from Philadelphia’s rich body of biostatisticians to introduce the field to interested students.
Biostatistics is a broad field that helps facilitate data collection and analysis for all kinds of biological experiments and research. Enrollment in all statistics courses has more than doubled in the last five years at Haverford following the creation of the statistics minor in 2013. The discipline has drawn students from throughout the Tri-College Consortium, and Miao hopes that her event will attract quantitatively talented students from colleges and high schools throughout the area to learn about a dynamic, growing field.
“The increased enrollment in our statistics courses at all levels shows that more and more students are interested in statistics and want to pursue a statistics-related career,” said Miao. “However, most our students do not know what kind of jobs they can do as a statistician.”
Hence the event this grant will fund. From a diverse pool, Miao hopes to bring about 10 panelists to campus. One session will feature private-sector pros from pharmaceutical and biotechnical companies, another will include current or recent graduate students in biostatistics, and a third will provide a forum for faculty members from biostatistics departments to give advice on possible career paths and how to apply biostatistics knowledge.
Philadelphia’s status as a hub for STEM research and industry, paired with Haverford’s burgeoning statistics program, gives the event a positive outlook as a networking and informational opportunity for students in and beyond the Tri-Co. With the ASA’s funding, Miao hopes to make the event happen next fall, while she is on sabbatical.
“I am quite happy that ASA funded the event,” she said. “The event will show students the life as a biostatistician, the joy and challenge they face, and also how to get into the field.”