PhD, Mathematical Sciences, 2008
Current job/field: Biostatistician
"I love number crunching," says Rui (Sammi) Tang. But not just any numbers. Tang is interested in statistical genetics, the subject of the dissertation she completed while earning a PhD in Mathematical Sciences. "Statistics helps me understand the world from a data analytics point of view," she says. "Michigan Tech has a great statistical genetics program and provides a great place to live."
Tang has embarked on a career at Amgen, a top biotech company headquartered in California, where she plans to "be a major contributor in the development of drugs for cancer patients." Five years from now, she hopes "to be a senior, experienced biostatistician in the biotech industry and develop novel methods for analyzing patient health data and designing efficient drug studies."
Tang’s research involved developing more efficient methods for investigating the relationship between human genes and diseases like diabetes. She studied with Shuanglin Zhang, who holds the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Professorship in Mathematical Sciences.
Originally from Chengdu, in China’s Sichuan Province,Tang says her family and friends have been important as she pursued her career. "My family was always supportive as I grew up," she says. "When I was at Michigan Tech,I met lots of friends and great colleagues who I enjoyed being with and learned a great deal from."
She also found an outlet in sports while at Tech. "Basketball, badminton, hiking, and actually all kinds of sports games are interesting to me," she relates. That love of games and number crunching came in handy during her graduate school years, as well. "I won first place in the Michigan Tech poker tournament among about sixty students in 2008," she says. "It was my first poker tournament ever."
Rui (Sammi) Tang