Susan Wei

A head shot of Susan Wei

Dr. Susan Wei is a lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics. She is a classically-trained statistician who has, since arriving in Melbourne, reinvented herself as a deep learning researcher. She spends her time pondering the unreasonable effectiveness of deep neural networks. For the two years before she moved to Melbourne, she lived without home internet!


What was your relationship with maths and stats like in school?

I fared well in maths with considerable ease until I reached the University of California, Berkeley for my Bachelor’s. That was the first time I realised math is not rote at all, but very creative and elegant.

Tell us about a role model you had throughout your journey to become a mathematician/statistician

I had very supportive and experienced PhD advisors who gave me a lot of license to pursue my own intellectual interests.

What is a mathematician/statistician? Do you consider yourself to be one?

I consider myself a statistician, someone who grapples with understanding and quantifying uncertainty.

What is your favourite mathematical theorem?

The Central Limit Theorem.

In what ways has mathematics and statistics featured in your life outside of your work?

Maths/stats provide a good whetstone for the mind. It’s a type of thinking I apply constantly outside of my work.

What do you like to do in your free time?

A lot of my working hours are so unstructured that they feel like free time. I suppose when I’m not working, I prefer to spend my time with friends and family.