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  • New Zealand Centre Visiting Fellow Professor Austina Clark

    22/09/2015 – Professor Austina Clark of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Otago, delivered a departmental seminar and a series of open lectures on a diverse set of themes at Peking University as part of the 2015 New Zealand Centre Visiting Fellowship programme.

    Professor Austina Clark prepared the following lectures as part of a Visiting Fellowship with the New Zealand Centre. If you are a member of the academic staff from any of our eight partner institutions and you are interested in attending a fellowship at Peking University, get in touch with our liaison officers to learn more about the application process. Visiting fellowships for New Zealand academics are held year-round at Peking University, across a broad range of departments, forming a significant contribution to the advancement of academic exchange between China and New Zealand.

    OPEN LECTURE: 23/09/2015 Undergraduate Retention, Completion Factors and Intervention for Maori Students at University of Otago

    Venue: Peking University Central Campus

    Host: Associate Professor Liu Hongzhong, The New Zealand Centre at Peking University

    In this lecture Professor Clark will discuss and expand on the following:

    "The success of undergraduate students in completing their degrees is one of the most important issues for universities. Reasons for this include “wastage” (of human potential, and financial cost), concerns about the reputation of an institution, and concerns of not meeting broader educational responsibilities."

    "From previous studies done at the University of Otago, we know that the Maori students have a lower completion rate compared to the overall completion rate for the University. Here we try to establish the possible reasons behind this, and also the effect of introducing intervention programmes."

    DEPARTMENT LECTURE: 24/09/2015 Statistics and Counterfeit Medicines

    Venue: Department of Probability and Statistics, Peking University

    Host: Professor Li Dongfeng, Department of Probability and Statistics

    In this lecture Professor Austina Clark will discuss and expand on the following:

    "Due to the prevalence of counterfeit medicines worldwide and their high-risk contents, a feasible out-of-lab approach to efficiently detect counterfeit products, as well as to qualitatively and quantitatively determine active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) content is desirable. In this study the potential of Raman spectroscopy, combined with various statistical methods, was investigated for this purpose for the first time. This study highlights the importance of choosing the correct pre-processing procedures and classification method for the data set and this approach may be used to determine the potential level of harm in counterfeit medicines based on API presence and amount."

    About Professor Austina Clark

    Professor Clark’s areas of interest are in ecological and biological statistics. Her PhD thesis observed “Spatial designs for field experiments”. Dr Clark’s research focus has been ‘to plan appropriate designs and develop methodology to handle messy and incomplete data’. Currently she is developing and applying methods to further assess the quantity and similarity of species richness. Dr Clark holds a number of publications in the fields of mathematics and statistics:

    "My interest in ecological and biological statistics started before I began my PhD studies, resulting in my thesis “Spatial designs for field experiments”. Since then I have accumulated a lot of design experience through consulting work for Ecology and Marine Sciences postgraduate students and staff. Experimental data often involve missing and/or dependent values, even with perfectly planned designs. In this case, standard statistical methods should not be applied. My research focus has been to plan appropriate designs and develop methodology to handle messy and incomplete data."

    - Professor Austina Clark (self-profile from the University of Otago website, 2015).

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