Meet Bowei Kang, SM’20

How was your experience in the MS program in Statistics?

My time in the MS program in Statistics at the University of Chicago has been intellectually stimulating, professionally rewarding, and has laid a strong foundation for my future endeavors in the field. The program offered a rigorous curriculum that not only deepened my understanding of statistical theory and methods but also equipped me with practical skills essential for real-world applications. The faculty's expertise and dedication were evident in their engaging teaching styles and willingness to provide guidance beyond the classroom. Along with a hardworking cohort and a supportive academic environment, I always feel confident to meet challenges.

Do you think your needs were met within the department in that it accommodated your background and experiences both personally and culturally?

The department of Statistics exceeded my expectations in meeting my needs. The inclusive learning environment here fostered a sense of belonging, allowing me to thrive personally and culturally. The department's flexibility in tailoring academic support and resources to individual needs ensured that I could make the most of my academic journey. The cultural diversity within the department enriched my overall experience, providing valuable perspectives and fostering a collaborative atmosphere.

Did you feel that you had enough support within the department from faculty and staff to assist in any needs you may have had?

The department's faculty and staff were consistently approachable and ready to help. In my quest for research experience, I found unwavering support from my advisor, Dr. Jingshu Wang. Under her guidance, I received invaluable training in scientific research and was provided with numerous opportunities to collaborate with researchers from diverse disciplines. One notable project I engaged in was the single-cell RNA sequencing data analysis. This collaborative effort involved working alongside professors and researchers specializing in statistics, human genetics, developmental biology, and bioinformatics. Beyond the intriguing scientific discoveries we made, what truly enriched my experience was the inspiration derived from the diverse range of ideas shared within the team.

How were your job prospects after graduating, and what are you doing now?

I was planning to pursue a statistics-relevant PhD program following the completion of my master's degree. Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate in Public Health Sciences at the University of Chicago. Concurrently with my master's and Ph.D. studies, I have had the privilege of serving as a statistician in Dr. Xiaochang Zhang's lab, contributing to several captivating research projects centered around neural development and the mechanisms governing gene expression regulation.

Are there aspects of your degree program that have been particularly relevant or useful in your job hunt or current work?

The foremost and pivotal aspect is the rigorous statistical theory and methodology. Professors such as Dr. Rina Barber conducted their lectures with exceptional organization and clarity, imparting not only knowledge but also essential skills in distilling the essence of complex topics and formulating compelling scientific questions. This invaluable experience has significantly enriched my PhD studies. Moreover, the opportunities for collaboration with researchers from diverse fields have profoundly broadened my perspective and opened up new possibilities for my career path. These collaborations have not only expanded my horizons but have also equipped me with a versatile skill set that extends beyond the boundaries of my primary field of study.

Is there anything else you would like to add for prospective students to know when applying to the program?

The department, division, and university have collectively cultivated a diverse, collaborative, and supportive academic environment. Whether you aspire to pursue a career in academia or industry, this program offers an ideal platform to reinforce statistical theory, nurture scientific thinking, and foster personal growth.