Home » A Statistician's Life, Celebrating Black History Month

Michael Thomas

1 February 2021 948 views No Comment

Michael Thomas

Biostatistician, Georgia Department of Public Health

MS, Biostatistics, Drexel University
BS, Mathematics, Kennesaw State University

Michael M. Thomas grew up in Roswell, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta. From a young age, he noticed he excelled in his math courses. He remembers a high-school teacher handing him sheets with example questions for exams and he picked the one with the equations on it, because it seemed the shortest. Fortunately, this choice allowed him to highlight his problem-solving skills and develop a deeper understanding of quantitative concepts.

Fast-forward three or so years and Thomas was working through a mathematics degree at Kennesaw State University. By minoring in applied statistics and computer science, he found that arcane equations could be used as powerful tools.

After completing a research experience for undergraduates in mathematical biology and working as a tutor for high-school students, Thomas developed a passion for helping others understand math and programming concepts. He went on to complete an MS in biostatistics at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health and help guide conversations around data at Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training.

Thomas wrote in a journal before finishing graduate school a “focal point” for his career—a long-term goal to help guide steps in his development. It said, “Help communicate public health problems using quantitative methods.” Some of Thomas’s proudest career moments involve some action to that effect.

Currently, Thomas is a biostatistician at the Georgia Department of Public Health. Some of his happiest moments there come from helping colleagues, policymakers, and the public better understand the answer to a question regarding population health.

Thomas has been involved in mentorship, tutoring, and career-development conferences for students since he was an undergraduate. This year, along with a team of statistics professionals, he helped plan and host StatFest 2020. StatFest aims to help expose students from underrepresented groups to the array of potential career paths in statistics and data science. One of his proudest moments this year was acting as vice chair for the conference. Despite the numerous challenges associated with moving a conference online, the StatFest team was able to pivot to a format that garnered engagement from a driven group of undergraduate students.

Thomas is pursuing a PhD in computational science and engineering focused on civil and environmental engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and continuing to assist with projects at the Georgia Department of Public Health. He hopes to continue his career goal of improving access and understanding of statistical tools and concepts.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Comments are closed.