Department of Statistics

Chanatda Somchit, Thailand: Statistics PhD student


"This is a safe and secure destination for international students."


Chanatda is working on initial values for nonlinear regression and implementing new link functions for generalised linear models (GLMs). Nonlinear regressions are common in areas such as agriculture, biometry and chemistry, and GLMs are widely used in applied statistics. “The ones I am working on apply to binary responses – as in there are only two possible values, such as alive and dead – so the application areas are limitless.”

Why did you choose to do your post-graduate study at the University of Auckland?
After working as a lecturer for four years in the Department of Statistics at the University of Phayao, Thailand, I started giving serious thoughts to choosing the right university in order to improve my skills and knowledge. The Department of Statistics has a wide range of academic staff and research potential in areas that interest me, such as statistical modelling and biostatistics. I chose the University of Auckland as the platform to my future.

How important was the university’s worldwide ranking in your decision to study here?
The University’s worldwide ranking was one factor in my decision to study here. But the most important factor was the researchers and research topics I was interested in.

Were you familiar with New Zealand before coming here?
I wasn’t. But life here has been much better than I imagined; this is a safe and secure destination for international students.

What do you enjoy most about living in Auckland?
I enjoy meeting new people, travelling and enjoying new experiences here. I have a lot of good PhD friends in the department and some from the English school I attended before enrolling for a PhD. I have also made friends from joining recreational activities at the University of Auckland.

Was Auckland’s cultural diversity an important part of your decision to study here?
Yes! The mix of culture between Europeans and Māori culture is so fantastic.

What questions do you think students need to ask when making decisions about overseas study?
They need to ask about the range of research being undertaken in the department and the conditions required for studying here – such as English language proficiency.

How have you funded your study?
I have a PhD scholarship from the University of Phayao.

Chanatda Somchit is from Lampang province, northern Thailand. She has an MSc in Applied Statistics from Chiang Mai University, Thailand.