Student Stories: Godwin Yung

GodwinWhat program are you in? 

Biostatistics PhD

Tell us about the path that brought you to Boston and our department, including how you became interested in biostatistics and computational biology.

The summer before my senior year, I participated in a REU/internship program at UCLA. A couple other undergraduates and I worked together on applying statistics to improve measurements from spectrometers, devices which can accurately calculate the mass of protein molecules. This experience opened my eyes to see how the things I learn in the classroom can be applied to solve meaningful, life-saving problems. From there, I narrowed my interest from mathematics to statistics by writing my college senior thesis on the EM algorithm and applications in proteomics, and working as a biostatistician at USC for a year. Coming to Boston was a difficult decision. While Harvard was the best offer I had, my wife (girlfriend at the time) Cathy did not want to leave the comforts of sunny California. It took her family and my promise of a ring to convince her to move across the country! We haven’t looked back since. We absolutely love our life here! 

What do you like best about the department, school, and/or Boston?

I love Boston and the northeast region in general. The many small New England towns are a great way to spend a weekend. I also love to hike, and there’s plenty of opportunities near and far. The Arnold Arboretum, Breakheart Reservation, and the White Mountains are some my personal favorites. So it snows here… One can still snow-shoe! 

What do you see yourself doing in 5 years? In 20 years?

5-20 years: saving lives with a computer, pen, and paper

Retirement: knowledgeable consultant, avid reader, seasoned dog trainer (see below) 

Is there something unusual about you that you’d like everyone to know?

I have a bordering unhealthy passion for dogs and dog obedience training. I have a 1.5 year old collie myself. My dream is to have her serve the community by visiting children in hospitals.