Meet Nur Azizah Komara Rifai – Statistics Summer Scholarship recipient
This summer, we have a number of fantastic students who received a Department of Statistics scholarship to work on fascinating projects with our staff members. We’ll be profiling them here on Stats Chat and we’d love to hear your feedback on their projects!
Nur Azizah Komara Rifai is working with Yannan Jiang on a research project entitled ‘Trends in typical food portion sizes consumed by New Zealand adults.’
“There is an urgent public health need to reduce obesity. Research from other countries indicates food portion sizes have been increasing parallel with rates of obesity, and are an important contributory factor. But no information currently exists on how New Zealand adults’ food portion sizes are changing over time.
“Data from the National Nutrition Survey in 1997 and 2008/09 will be cleaned, categorised and then analysed using R. I’m interested in using statistics to determine trends in food portion sizes over time and then disseminating those findings to the public.”
More about Azizah:
“I’m from Indonesia. I am studying statistics at Padjadjaran University in Bandung, the capital of West Java province in Indonesia, and will be travelling to New Zealand to take up the scholarship.
“I experienced a critical period in my life when I was accepted into both my dream course in statistics at Padjadjaran University (despite the prohibitive cost) and the Chemical Analysts Academy in Bogor (at much cheaper cost). I had to choose between the two, but the decision was made much tougher because my family was hit by the financial crisis.
“I did not want to be selfish with my personal desires, but I also did not want to underestimate my future. It was a very difficult struggle to persuade my parents that I should choose statistics and that it had excellent employment prospects. We prayed for a miracle to pay for the course and finally we solved it. While I’m unable to pay or replace the struggles my parents went through to get me there, I was able to give them the gift of scoring a perfect 4.00 GPA.”
“I like traditional food like lalap and sambal, watching television, playing the keyboard, drawing, hanging out with my friends, sport (futsal, jogging, badminton, swimming, gymnastics), and reading textbooks.”