A Perfect Balance
Applied Scientist, Amazon
With a combination of theoretical and practical research experience, Xiao Huang can’t find a work problem he is unable to solve.Xiao Huang (Ph.D. AMAT ’18)
Xiao Huang says the Ph.D. coursework at Illinois Tech provided valuable and rigorous technical training that prepared him for a career as a senior analyst specializing in statistics and operations research for United Airline. He says the balance between theoretical deepness and practical usefulness was most valuable.
“I was greatly influenced by my PhD advisor, Professor Lulu Kang,” Huang says. “I have essentially laid the foundation as a data scientist and an independent researcher under her guidance, and I learned how to work productively from her.”
Half of Huang’s Ph.D. research was theoretical, and the other half included practical data modeling.
“That is quite similar to what I encounter in my industrial career,” Huang says. “I think the most useful techniques I learned from these projects are machine learning and Bayesian statistics, as well as fluent coding skills in R language.”