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SDS Faculty Spotlight: Sally Amen

1 November 2016—Sally Amen is a lecturer in the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences.

Tell us a little bit about yourself - educational background, work experience, etc.

Originally from San Antonio, I moved to Austin to attend UT and graduated with a B.A. in pure math. After working several years in industry (and realizing it wasn’t for me), I came back to UT and got an M.S. in Statistics in 2012. I’ve been working as a statistical consultant and lecturer here for the past 4 years.

What led you to choose statistics as your field?

Math has always been my favorite subject, so much so that I took statistics in high school as an elective. As an undergrad at UT, my favorite class was Probability. I also took a Math Stat class my senior year and really enjoyed the theoretical side of statistics. So when I decided to go back to grad school, although I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with my career, statistics seemed like a good option.

Tell us about a project or piece of research you have worked on while here at UT.

I was lucky to be part of a team that was awarded a 2014 Curriculum Innovation Grant to improve the course I teach and coordinate, SDS 328M Biostatistics. We spent the summer updating the lab assignments, creating tutorial videos, and integrating a final project into the course. Since we’ve implemented the changes, I’ve seen a vast improvement in how much students are learning in our course.

Who is your role model, in the statistics field or otherwise?

Marie Curie.

What is your favorite song?

Right now, I can’t stop listening to Beyonce’s Lemonade album.

What is your favorite food?

Chips and salsa.

If you were not teaching, what would you be doing?

Running a farm for abandoned cats.

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