Yayuan ZhuWhat program are you in and how many years have you been in this program?

I’m in the second year of my PhD in Biostatistics.

Why did you choose to study biostatistics at the University of Waterloo?

Waterloo’s Biostatistics program is unique in the sense that it belongs to the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science rather than the Department of Biology. My bachelors and masters degrees were focused on mathematics and so I wanted a biostatistics program that was also math-oriented.

What are your career goals?

I am currently undecided, but I am starting to lean towards a career in academia.

What has been your most rewarding moment as a graduate student so far?

Publishing my first paper was the most single rewarding moment in my PhD studies.

What is the most challenging part of life as a graduate student?

Coming to UWaterloo as an international student was extremely challenging. Finding housing and roommates can be quite a headache, but the move to Canada is definitely worth it.

What has been your favourite course or project in graduate school?

I really enjoyed survival analysis and measurement error.

Can you describe any practical or hands-on experience you’ve had during your studies?

Waterloo has provided me with lots of opportunities learn about relevant technology.

How do you spend your time outside of school?

Most of my time outside of school is spent with friends or at the gym.

Do you have any words of advice for people considering or planning graduate studies at the University of Waterloo?

Waterloo is an amazing school. If you’re undecided speak with the professors. They are amazing people and they really want to help you succeed.

Do you have any words of advice for students considering biostatistics?

The most important thing is learning how to explore. Have an open mind and try to ask as many questions as possible.

Faculty Joint PublicationsMap of Faculty and PhD Students backgroundsDavid Sprott Distinguished Lectures

Faculty Research Chairs

Actuarial Science

Johnny Li
Munich Re Chair in Insurance

Ken Seng Tan 
Sun Life Fellow

Ruodu Wang
University Research Chair

Tony Wirjanto
University Research Chair


Richard Cook
Math Faculty Research Chair