Xinran Liu ('14)- Data Scientist, Amazon

Xinran Liu

As an international student, I came to Champaign in the summer of 2012 for Master program in Statistics. Currently I am employed with Amazon as a data scientist, formerly with Zillow. Two years of studying experience in the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign definitely prepared me well (and also my classmates I believe) for my early career. If you look at my (and their) career path, there are several possible tracks/concentrations.

  • Credit Risk Modeling (banking or financial service, usually require using SAS, traditional large company)
  • Marketing and sales (market mix model, choice modeling. Nielsen is a good example)
  • IT industry (requires R, python skills, knowledge in machine learning, etc. Most of the companies from west coast)
  • Bio statistician ( very likely requiring PhD degree, in pharmaceutical industry)
  • Business Intelligence (this is a buzz word, usually a mix of above concentrations )

Highly recommend all students take full advantage of resources around campus (I am very thankful for all those support &
resources available to me back then) , to name a few:

  • Internship opportunities at Research Park
  • If you are willing to volunteer, there are many research opportunities in other departments. (Food science, neuroscience, geology..)
  • Feng Liang's STAT 542 is awesome, it keeps up with industry trend very nicely
  • All courses teaching or requiring coding (Python, R ,SQL or SAS) equipped me well for industry application
  • Courses in computer science (data structure, algorithms..) and operation research

'14 - M.S. Statistics