About the Major
The Major in Statistics curriculum centres on the study of statistics, a scientific discipline characterised by the development and applications of analytic and quantitative tools which involve logical thinking, problem formulation, probabilistic reasoning and intensive data analyses. The programme aims to equip students with powerful mathematical, analytical and computational skills, which are in great demand in practical areas where data is obtained for the purpose of finding information in support of decision making. It establishes for students a strong background in statistical concepts, and provides them with a broad and solid training in applied statistical methodologies.
The curriculum is constantly revised to meet a steadily rising demand for specialist statisticians or quantitative analysts in government, business, finance, industry, as well as in research and teaching in local and overseas institutions. The Statistics Major prepares them for proper applications of this generic science in their future career. Indeed such applications of statistics as an analytical tool have been given growing prominence in the modern society. For example, the following projects have called upon the diverse expertise of the academic staff of the Statistics Major to generate valuable outcomes:
- Data mining - provides a powerful technique to analyse massive data like credit card transactions for credit risk;
- Biostatistics - enables medical and statistical specialists to estimate case fatality rate of SARS and investigate other properties of the epidemic;
- Sampling methods - provide reliable estimates of the number of July 1st marchers;
- Time series models - used for accurate forecasting of “red-tide” in Kat-O, assessment of the local financial market as well as development of financial risk management tools to analyse the stock market;
- Bioinformatics - helps to solve crime scene complications where potential evidence is stained with DNA from more than one person.
- Graduates of the Statistics Major readily find employment in banking, finance, risk management, insurance, IT, marketing research, environmental protection, government, hospitals, scientific research, and universities;
- Statisticians often play critical roles in large-scale and multi-disciplinary projects, providing guidance on all aspects of data collection and determining objective findings;
- Statistics is a profession which is growing rapidly all over the world, as the quantitative demands from every field rise. The degree from HKU provides a superb training for this profession.
There is no better training than obtaining solid hands-on experience in the real workplace. Our internship programme serves precisely this purpose. As an intern, the student will gain insights into the challenging world and daily activities of statisticians or quantitative analysts while strengthening his/her technical, analytical and communications skills.
Students who declare Statistics as first Major are eligible to join the internship programme. Upon successful job offer, the student may also wish to enrol in the Statistics Internship course in order to have his/her internship recognised as capstone experience.
Dr Patrick S C Poon Scholarship in Statistics
In 2012, Dr Patrick S C Poon, member of our Actuarial Science Programme Advisory Board and Distinguished Science Alumnus of the Faculty, kindly pledged to the University for establishing 4 scholarships in support of outstanding undergraduates to pursue Decision Analytics, Risk Management or Statistics studies. The scholarships, each valued HK$50,000, are awarded annually to final-year candidates who pursue a first Major in Decision Analytics, Risk Management or Statistics on the basis of academic merit. Dr Poon is currently the Chairman of Harvest SCP Group Company Limited.
(Video) Introduction of the Major
2018 BSc graduate (major in Statistics)
"One of the best things in life that happened to me is to spend my undergraduate years in HKU under the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science. I consider myself as the kind of person who can never stay put and is always keen on exploring new experiences. Luckily, my Department provides me with a diversity of opportunities that satisfy my cravings for inspiration and all-round development. There are overseas research fellowship scheme and career advising programme (CAP) tailor-made for Statistics and Actuarial Science students. By fully utilizing the resources posted on the CAP platform, I managed to obtain a quant internship in an investment firm which turned out to be a dramatic turning point of my life. Aspired by my research topic during the internship, I decided to further pursue a PhD study into this specific area in HKU. And with the wholehearted support from my professors and the Department, I am granted with the Hong Kong Postgraduate Fellowship (HKPF) for my upcoming PhD study.
I remember seeing a saying in a blog that touched me deeply in the heart. It says, ‘When you say yes to an opportunity that is calling you, even when you are scared, even if you are not sure you are ready, you build your confidence. When you say yes, you will evolve.’ The accessibility to abundant opportunities is what I am truly grateful for in this program. Because it gives me a choice to say yes and prepares me to embrace the challenge when the time arrives.”