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Student Spotlight – Wei Dai

November 29, 2017

While pursuing his undergraduate degree in mathematics at UCLA, Wei Dai was attracted by the patterns and knowledge behind data. He wanted to explore information hidden in genetic and public health data with the objective of helping to reduce the risk of disease.

Now a second year Master of Science student in the Department of Biostatistics, Wei has gained practical experience in both bioinformatics and machine learning. As a research assistant in Professor Hongyu Zhao’s lab, his work focuses on analyzing genetic correlations between neurodegenerative, psychological, and immune diseases. This research experience, says Wei, “helped me realize that genes are the key to reducing the risk of disease and ultimately improving human health.”

Wei also actively engages in student activities and now serves as the president of YSPH Biostatistics Student Association. He aims to promote academic discussion, connect the YSPH biostatistics community, and help each member further explore their academic and career opportunities. Wei enjoys Yale’s famous Payne Whitney Gymnasium, which helps him refresh his mind and stay energetic.

Last summer, Wei worked as a commercial pricing analyst at AIG. There, he applied his skills in survival analysis and R programming to predict loss events and developed R packages to evaluate model risk. In the future, Wei plans to apply what he learned from Yale to industry risk analysis, alleviating not only personal risk, but also company and market risk.

Submitted by Denise Meyer on November 29, 2017