Data makes the difference: public health professor advises students in Japan


Published: November 9, 2014

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Dr. Suzuki with University of Tokyo students

Students at the University of Tokyo recently gained valuable insight into statistics for research from a UNT Health Science Center School of Public Health guest lecturer.

Sumihiro (Sumi) Suzuki, PhD, Associate Professor of Biostatistics, taught five lectures and five workshops during his visit and consulted one-on-one with students working on their PhD dissertation and master’s thesis projects.

His visit was through a special invitation from the university’s Department of Community and Global Health within the Graduate School of Medicine.

“It was great to connect with such a diverse group of students from Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar,” Dr. Suzuki said. “Most of the students speak English, making it easy to communicate, and though their backgrounds vary greatly, each one is very motivated and determined to make a contribution in their areas of interest.”

Student projects included research into risky sexual behavior in Peruvian adolescents, alcohol use and quality of life in Vietnam, satisfaction of HIV patients in Nepal, and indoor smoking of Japanese parents of infants.

In projects like this, the importance of well-designed research for valid statistical data is critical.

“Statistics in research translates to evidence and proof; the correct statistical design, analysis and interpretations are key to developing studies that are meaningful,” Dr. Suzuki noted.

The University of Tokyo is considered the number one university in Japan and consistently ranks among the top 50 universities in the world by various ranking entities.