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SDS Student Spotlight - Vera Liu

1337039392Vera Liu is a student in the PhD in Statistics program in the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences

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

I am originally from Shanghai. In 2014, I started undergrad at Rice University, trying to do a Chemical Engineering major and a pre-pharmacy track, but ended up double majoring in Mathematics and Statistics. Currently I am a first year Ph.D student. 

What led you to choose Statistics as your field?

During the second semester of freshmen year, I took my first college-level statistics course. At that same time, I was also taking organic and inorganic chemistry as a pre-pharmacy student. It was just that one random day, I suddenly felt statistics makes “a lot more sense” to me than other subjects. That was when I started to take statistics seriously.

What attracted you to the PhD in Statistics program at UT Austin?

There are a variety of exciting research fields and the curriculum encourages me to explore different fields with professors starting from the second year. I love the amount of flexibility in deciding what I want to do in the future. 

Whis is your favorite vacation destination?

Vienna, Austria! mainly because I really hope to see the New Year’s Concert by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Every year they draw a lottery to decide who could buy tickets but I haven’t got the luck to win yet…

If you weren’t in grad school, what would you be doing?

I might be playing classical piano in some café, restaurants, or weddings, etc. I started playing the piano when I was four, and started the violin during my last year at college. Classical music is as important a part of my life as statistics.

Who is your role model? In your current field or otherwise:

Rafael Nadal. I’d say he’s the best left-handed player in the world and I grew up watching him playing on TV and in live. 

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