Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Kyra Singh

What is your name?
Kyra Singh

What was your graduation year?
2011

What were your major(s)/minor(s)?
Economics and Statistics, Minor in Psychology

Where are you currently working or in school? What is your job title (if any)?
Statistician at Google

Where are you from originally? Where do you live now?
I'm originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, and I currently live in NYC.

What drew you to the Carnegie Mellon Statistics program?
The CMU statistics program has a great balance of theoretical and applied coursework. I was attracted to the program because I felt certain that I would receive a solid training in the foundations of statistics, while also getting the opportunity to apply my learnings. Additionally, the undergraduate program is very strong and the professors are extremely supportive of the students. I still remember Professor Greenhouse having the most helpful office hours for Introduction to Probability and Statistics, and Professor Nugent's career session on applying to jobs and internships in statistics.

What was your favorite Statistics class or project? Which class do you wish you had taken?
Professor Nugent's Topics in Statistics course on Cluster Analysis. This course inspired me to do my dissertation research in the area of model-based clustering!

Describe any research experiences or internships you had while at CMU. What did you like best about them?
I took the 36-490 Undergraduate Research course. My group and I worked with Professor Freeman on a project to determine the relationship between high energy cosmic ray particles and active galactic nuclei. It was a really cool experience applying statistics in this area. I didn't know anything about astrostatistics prior to the research, and it was fascinating to see the versatility of statistics firsthand.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you end up in your current job/school?
After graduation, I entered a doctoral program in Statistics at the University of Rochester. I further developed my statistical modeling and analytical skills in the program (under the guidance of the best advisor, Tanzy Love!), and landed an internship with Google in an ads research group. The internship led to my current full-time gig!

Tell us about any CMU student clubs or organizations in which you were involved.
I was actively involved in my sorority Delta Gamma and as a TA for different statistics courses in the department. Both activities were great leadership opportunities. Also, I met a lot of other CMU students through Greek life and TA-ing, many of which I am still friends with today! :)

What advice would you give to an incoming student or new Statistics major?
Get involved in research, consulting, or internships! The research projects and internships I did were useful in helping me to determine what I wanted to do after graduation, and the types of work that interested me.

How do you like to spend your free time? Do you have any hobbies?
In my free time, I love to spend time with friends, visit museums and parks in the city, read, and do acroyoga!

Which movie or TV character best matches your Statistics/Data Science personality?
Everyday, I aspire to be as enthusiastic and passionate about statistics as Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation is about her profession. Her love for public service is infectious, and I would love to have that effect on people when talking about statistics!

If you could be any statistical distribution, which one would you be and why?
This is a tough one because there are so many to choose from and I love them all! I would have to go with any distribution that's a conjugate prior, because it likes to help other distributions out. :)