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Mr Leon Di Stefano

Research Technician, Bioinformatics
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)

After quitting medical school, I completed a BA at Melbourne University with majors in maths & stats and linguistics, and a diploma in Spanish. I reluctantly decided to focus on statistics because I liked its cross-disciplinary aspect, and applicability across science and industry; I wanted to be employable post-university; and I found it challenging (or to put it bluntly difficult and confusing!). The reluctance was because (at least in my mind) pure maths still seemed "sexier" than statistics. In 2013, I finished an MSc at Melbourne University, the thesis component of which combined elements of both.

Post-MSc I landed the job I currently have, as a research assistant in Bioinformatics here at WEHI. My day-to-day activities involve manipulating, plotting, and analysing genetic data, which so far has come from humans, cancers, the malaria parasite, and even snails.

My experiences so far have convinced me of the importance of programming in applying maths outside academia; that the most valuable subjects at university were those in which I "got my hands dirty" enough to gain new skills, and not just knowledge; and that mathematics and statistics are distinct disciplines, and should be treated on their own terms.

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Created by: system last modification: Monday 14 of November, 2016 [03:30:06 UTC] by admin


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