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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Yale: Student Excels at Biostatistics, Violin

It’s not a complete surprise that violinist Mr. Kevin Zheng is pursuing a Master in Public Health degree in biostatistics. His mother, after all, works for SAS, the statistical analysis software company that was the Microsoft of epidemiology for decades.

Bored, he picked up a SAS codebook one day during Christmas break of his senior year at the Rice University’s School of Music. He proceeded to teach himself the software and earn certification. Then, as he was a student at Yale’s School of Music, he used his electives to take several classes in biostatistics to explore how to apply it. Dr. Daniel Zelterman, professor and a fellow musician and oboist with the Yale Medical Symphony, showed him the career possibilities in the field and invited Mr. Zheng to sit in on meetings to strategize clinical trial designs with researchers from the Yale School of Medicine. “He really opened the world of biostatistics to me,” Mr. Zheng says.

After doing an internship at the Einstein College of Medicine studying diabetes in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients this summer, he is leaning toward a career in research which he finds, in a way, quite similar to music. “You are creating a narrative out of numbers. That is a creative process.”

Mr. Zheng continues to play his violin as much as possible, practicing daily and appearing with the New Haven Chamber Orchestra and other local ensembles. He performed a lunchtime concert at the Einstein College of Medicine during his internship.

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