Keen statistician signs up for Science degree - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Keen statistician signs up for Science degree

28 Jan 2020

A high-achieving Hervey Bay High School graduate with a fixation for number-crunching will study Science at USC as the first step towards a possible career as a statistician.

A future in medical research is another option that OP3 student Alex Sorrensen will explore, when he begins a Bachelor of Science at USC’s Fraser Coast campus on Monday 24 February, the start of Semester 1.

Alex said he was keen to take advantage of the many career and post-graduate study opportunities the three-year degree would give him.

“I’ve always had a passion for maths and science,” said the 17-year-old, who received school awards for chemistry, physics, maths C and maths B in Year 12.

“I really enjoy what many others think is boring, like statistics and running numbers and mathematic reasoning, but most of all I like the exact nature of maths; that there is always a definitive answer.”

Science is one of four degrees offered by USC Fraser Coast that allow students to undertake their first year of university locally.

Science students gain a strong foundation in chemistry, biotechnology, biology, ecology, mathematics and food and biosecurity locally, before completing the remainder of their subjects at USC’s Sunshine Coast campus.

They get to focus on their favourite areas of science through a choice of majors and minors in scientific fields.

“It’s no surprise that I plan to specialise in maths,” said Alex, who hopes the degree will ultimately lead to a career where he can use the critical thinking and problem-solving skills gained from his studies to find scientific solutions to serious health conditions.

“There are a few medical issues in my family, including members who are battling cancer, and this has made me consider working in the health and medical field,” he said.

“At this stage, I plan to go on to Masters-level in mathematics and statistics to prepare for a career in research, or study postgraduate medicine to become a doctor, if that is an area I decide to focus on.”

The opportunity to start his degree locally would make his first year of university much easier and let him maintain his part-time job at a Hervey Bay fast-food outlet, he said.

“I am glad I don’t have to find somewhere to live and look after myself while I study, not to mention the money I will save on rent and living expenses.”

There is still time to apply to study at USC in Semester 1.

— Clare McKay

Hervey Bay High School OP3 graduate Alex Sorrensen has enrolled in the Science degree at USC's Fraser Coast campus.

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