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Profiles of AWIS Members in Statistics: Yogasudha Veturi

Statistics encompasses tools used across a spectrum of other disciplines including agriculture, genetics, epidemiology, finance, policy making, psychology, engineering (to name but a few) for a host of applications including experimental design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data, pattern recognition, and predictive modeling. Statistical analysis is indispensable for decision making in any kind of scientific research. Good statistical skills, however, are built on the backbone of strong mathematical concepts. My love for mathematical modeling is what made me choose a career in Statistics.  After a stint at a maize genetics lab, I became fascinated by the prospect of developing statistical methodologies for the genetic dissection of complex traits in plants and humans. In addition, the pace of data production by the genetics community today has far overtaken that of data analysis and interpretation, thus magnifying the role of statistics in this field.

I earned my Bachelors (with Honors) in Statistics from Lady Shri Ram College for Women at the University of Delhi in India in 2006. Subsequently, I graduated with a Masters in Statistics from North Carolina State University in May 2009. From October 2009 to July 2012, I worked as a statistician with Dr. Randall Wisser in a maize quantitative genetics laboratory, which was focused on understanding the genetic basis of quantitative trait variation. I graduated with another Masters in Plant Genetics from the University of Delaware in Summer 2012. My thesis work at UD pertained to the development of an association mapping framework for plant populations that undergo recurrent selection. At UD, I also performed statistical analyses for studying fungal morphology and plant pathology.

Career Advice from Ms. Veturi:

In today’s world of exploding data, it is necessary to develop good data management and organization skills. Good programming skills are crucial. One of the most underemphasized skills is the ability to communicate statistical jargon to non-statisticians, whom each of you will have to deal with on a regular basis as soon as you set foot in the "real” world. It is good to keep an open mind about which field you will end up in; every field is interesting if you spend enough time understanding it. Whichever domain you end up working in, try to detach yourself from the minutiae of statistical analysis and keep the bigger interests of the project in mind. Be inquisitive!

Yogasudha Veturi is currently enrolled as a PhD student in Biostatistics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, specializing in statistical genetics. Some of her areas of interest are quantitative/ population genetics, analysis and prediction of complex traits, genotype-by-environment interactions, and genetic relatedness.


 International Year of Statistics Participating Organization

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