Diagnosing with large-scale data

August 10, 2020

A globe-trotting career has taken Dr Cathy Yuen Yi Lee from Wollongong in New South Wales to the US and Europe.

A globe-trotting career has taken Dr Cathy Yuen Yi Lee from Wollongong in New South Wales to the US and Europe.


A data scientist at Google Switzerland, Lee spent a large chunk of her career as a biostatistician tackling public health challenges. “In simple terms, it’s applying statistics to medical and health problems, and can really make a diff erence to public health policy,” she says.

After studying maths at the University of Wollongong, Lee took up a three-year biostatistics training program with the NSW Department of Health, which included a Masters of Biostatistics at the University of Sydney.


She followed up with a PhD at University of Technology, Sydney. This led her to an internship at Google Switzerland, several public health roles in Australia, a research fellowship at Harvard, and, fi nally, her current position at Google.


One of Lee’s projects involved studying risk factors for small and premature babies. Her analysis helped pinpoint priority areas for activities to prevent these babies becoming sick or dying – and fed into the NSW State Health Plan.


While she has landed some spectacular jobs, Lee says
she didn’t start out with a detailed set of goals.


“My university training helped me discover what I wanted my career to be like,” she says.

DR CATHY YUEN YI LEE – Career Pathway

  • Bachelor of Mathematics (Adv Hons), University of Wollongong
  • Master of Biostatistics, University of Sydney
  • PhD (Mathematics), University of Technology, Sydney
  • Data Scientist, Google, Zurich, Switzerland

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  1. His speech seemed not delivered much from science, he sounded more like politician; his answers to jurnalysts’ questions have not made impression on jurnalyst and viewers. CSRO misses opportunity to address vital areas for Australia during his mandate.

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