School of Mathematics and Statistics Maths & Statistics Careers

Natalie Karavasarmis

Cancer Council of Victoria
Graduated 2001

In 2000, I graduated from the BSc Honours degree in Applied Statistics. After a 4 year absence since completing the undergraduate degree, going back to university was exciting but daunting. A job opportunity overseas gave me the insight into the vast applicability of statistics, which I was not fully aware of. I realized how much I could contribute to the public awareness of health issues by analyzing data. This realization motivated me to return to university and learn more.

Now I work for the Cancer Council of Victoria as a Statistician. I have been there for 2.5 years. I work on many different and interesting projects, such as cohort studies, case-cohort studies and validation studies. I have the opportunity to apply many different kinds of statistical methods to analyzing the data, according to what is required. As an example, I wanted to estimate the chances of surviving for Victorian people diagnosed with various cancer types in the years 1982-1997. This involved the use of adjusted standard survival techniques to produce the ‘relative survival ratio’. The adjustment was necessary to compensate for lack of information on cause of death and/or accuracy, including others. Now I am looking at estimating the survival of people diagnosed with one or more cancers which may involve incorporating Stochastic Processes.

My work not only requires that I draw from my statistical knowledge but also general logical and analytical thinking, as well as communicating technical concepts to various audiences.

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