At five years old, Jenny Chen was already swimming.
“From the beginning, I loved the sport and began improving at a rapid pace. Soon enough, I found myself to be the state champion for my entire age group.”
At 13, her swimming hit a plateau.
“The plateau hit me like a freight train and caused doubt to obscure the path to my goals. I began to fear diving into a race instead of relishing it, and everything that used to ignite a fire in me began to work against me.”
Jenny's trouble in the pool began to affect her life outside the pool.
“My enthusiasm for everything was noticeably dampened. Something I had always loved to do had been torn away, and it seemed that there was no way to recover. No matter how much work I put in, I could not surpass my teammates, and I needed an answer.”
This is where Jenny's love for statistics began.
Jenny's father is a longtime ASA member, and she attended several JSMs with him, but statistics was not her favorite subject. She was more drawn to calculus and history. However, after taking AP Statistics as a high-school sophomore, Jenny was motivated to look for answers to her troubles in the pool.
Not only did she find answers, she decided to present her findings in a professional poster titled “Is There Any Racial Difference in Swimming Speed? A Nonlinear Swim Hockey-Stick Mixed-Effects Model” at JSM 2016. Her presentation will be fully published in the 2016 JSM Proceedings.
Jenny is already combining scholarly activity with service. She also volunteered at the JSM Career Service, Meeting Within a Meeting (MWM), and Beyond AP Statistics (BAPS).
Because of her experience presenting her poster and volunteering for other ASA programs, Jenny has learned that “the statistical community is one that I would very much like to be a part of in the future.”
Jenny plans to study either biostatistics or actuarial science in college.
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