Robin Myte, PhD student in Oncology with a Master’s of Science in Statistics degree from Umeå University
Which year did you graduate with a Master's of Science in Statistics from Umeå University? 2014
What do you do now? I am a PhD student in Oncology, at the Faculty of Medicine, Umeå university, where I conduct epidemiological research of colon cancer. A big part of the research means analysing data on biomarkers and lifestyle-related factors and how these relates to cancer. I got in contact with the research group when I wrote my master thesis in Statistics. It is meaningful, very fun, and varied work. At the Faculty of medicine, there is a shortage of knowledge and skills in statistics, which means that I get involved doing data analysis in lots of different research project besides my own. Thus, I never get bored.
Which knowledge or skill that you acquired during the master courses do think you have been most useful for you? I work in an environment where most co-workers do not have a background in statistics. Therefore, I have had most use of my capability to choosing the best statistical method to answer a particular question from data and then to communicate the results in a way that people understand. Also, all training in linear models and the fact that R was used throughout all course have also helped.
Tell us about the master courses you took? Which did you find most interesting? I think that the mix of courses, from theoretical to applied courses, was well balanced. For example, Probability theory 2 was very theoretical, but extremely useful, since you really learned the fundamental theory behind commonly used statistical methods. On the other side of the spectrum were courses such as Multivariate data analysis, focusing on application of methods on real data and dissemination of results for audiences without statistical background.
What was the best with your studies in Statistics and Mathematical Statistics at Umeå University? It was a great crowd, who studied at advanced level in Statistics and Mathematical Statistics, so we always had fun doing group assignments and labs. The possibility for external collaborations during the degree work (master thesis) was good.
What was most difficult with your studies in Statistics and Mathematical Statistics at Umeå University? In one way, it was good to take two parallel (part-time) courses, since it felt as if you got more time to understand stuff when the courses ran over 10 weeks instead of 5. But, it was kind of stressful to have two exams the same week.
How did the contact with the teachers work? Very well. The teachers built a good atmosphere where you dare to be wrong and to try new thoughts. They were easy to get in touch with when you had questions or needed help.
What part of the student life in Umeå did you enjoy most? The best with Umeå as a city is that it is a medium-sized young city, so everything is close – (you can go or bike everywhere) but at the same time it is big enough for there to be lots of things to do. I myself like to work out at IKSU, the massive sports complex on campus with gym, swimming pool, climbing wall, beach volley court, martial arts hall etc., or just to have a beer down town. Then, the winter and the northern lights are cosy too.
How did you find housing in Umeå? Via Bostaden, the public rental company in Umeå. I shared a three-room apartment at Ålidhem, with an acquaintance, who had a better queue position than I did.
Do you have any advice to students thinking about coming here to study? Keep in touch with your fellow students! You will probably engage and specialize in different fields after the studies. It is very practical to have friends with different expertise just an email away. Also, it is fun to see where people end up!