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In the first of a series of profiles on young statisticians, we asked one of the newest YSS committee members to tell us a bit about themselves…


Özgür Asar is a PhD Student in Statistics and Epidemiology at CHICAS, Medical School, Lancaster University

“I believe that every statistician should get experience with dirty, messy and incomplete real life data sets

I received my bachelors and masters degrees in statistics from the Department of Statistics at the Middle East Technical University, Turkey, before moving to England to pursue a PhD in Statistics and Epidemiology in CHICAS.

I have been developing statistical methods for problems in renal medicine and osteoarthritis. The project on osteoarthritis focuses on developing a new and non-invasive medical device to detect knee osteoarthritis and classify its severity. The device’s role is to listen the noise in the knee joints and turn them into acoustic emissions. My role in this study is to develop spectral analysis methods for replicated high-frequency time series data. This study is ongoing, and we expect the main outcomes to be the development of a new and wearable medical device, which will possibly replace magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and its routine use in England.

Last year, I attended the Spring Meeting for the East-North American Region (ENAR) of the International Biometric Society, which was held in Baltimore, USA. I presented work from my PhD studies and got very positive feedback, and also chaired a session on longitudinal data analysis. I have decided to attend this year’s meeting as well, which is held is taking place in Miami in March 2015, and will be presenting further work from my PhD studies, chairing a session on causal inference and serving as a judge for the poster competition.

I joined the YSS Committee in January 2015, and have already become involved in a range of projects. In particular, I am leading the organisation of a careers event for young statisticians in Lancaster, along similar lines to the successful event recently held in Exeter.

To read career profiles from several other early-career statisticians, check out the StatsLife profiles page here. For a brief overview of the members of the 2015 YSS Committee, click the “Committee profiles” tab above.