The Women in Mathematics committee stands in solidarity with those experiencing racism and joins the call for actions to end systemic racism worldwide and in our own community. We are committed to support the University of Waterloo's immediate actions to create positive changes. You can find more information about the immediate and developing actions in this regard on the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (HREI) website.

Cecilia Cotton

Associate Professor in Statistics, University of Waterloo

My career

woman with long hair smilingMy job as a professor has two main parts: teaching and research. I teach statistics classes to undergraduate and graduate students. In my classes we learn how to calculate and model the association between a risk factor and a disease. We all know that smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer but how do you prove it? Or suppose there is a new treatment for a disease, how would you design a study to test the new treatment? We also learn how to design a survey and analyze the resulting data.

I also do research in the field of biostatistics. One of the projects I am working on is comparing different dosing strategies for patients on dialysis. We want to determine which rule for when to increase/decrease the drug dose is associated with patients surviving for the longest time.

Hard skills: Mathematical ability, computer programming, report writing.
Soft skills: Public speaking, time management, ability to teach.


My education

  • Bachelor of Mathematics (BMath), University of Waterloo, Statistics with Computer Science (CS) minor, Co-op Education, Dean's Honours List, 2002
  • Master of Mathematics (MMath), University of Waterloo, Statistics-Biostatistics, 2003
  • Master of Science, University of Washington, Biostatistics, 2005
  • PhD, University of Washington, Biostatistics, 2009

Age pyramid

Age pyramid of Ontario population in 2001 and 2006.
Sources: Statistics Canada, censuses of population, 2001 and 2006.

University of Waterloo

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