Census and Statistics Department
GUO, Erya, BSc in Statistics
During the internship period, I was assigned to the Science and Technology Section. This section is mainly responsible for collecting statistics that reflect public technology usage in Hong Kong and the status of innovation, which are essential factors in defining Hong Kong as a knowledge-based economy.
My first duty was assisting with the preparation of the latest issue of “Hong Kong as a Knowledge-based Economy”. I presented different types of datasets using various means of data visualization to clarify the tendencies and comparisons. I also learned how to compile a statistical publication to make it both objective and comprehensible. The second task was more profound, as I was asked to review the Inland Tax Ordinance and reconcile research and development (R&D) statistics. In this process, I learned to use Access VBA on large datasets, which was entirely new to me. With the assistance of my supervisor and other colleagues, I finally completed over 5000 revised datasets. Through these real-world tasks, I not only consolidated the knowledge that I had mastered at university, such as R programming and survey design, but also came to understand the entire survey process of the S&T section.
I also acquired a lot of knowledge from my supervisor at school, Professor WEI Yingying. Her current research field is image recognition and artificial intelligence (AI). This was the first time that I had stepped into the machine learning and AI area. I read through all of the dissertations she recommended and compiled four reports on these topics. I also optimised the web crawler for picture extraction from Google. That was a real challenge for me, but with my supervisor’s instruction, I was put on the right track and eventually came up with the working code. This broadened my horizons and helped me to learn more about the mechanisms of machine learning.
The programme was a very nice change from the structure of a regular course. From my perspective, there was a fair amount of work, to which I was able to apply the knowledge learned from books. My supervisors and colleagues were patient and helpful, always willing to provide suggestions when I encountered obstacles. I built deep friendships with them over the course of the internship. To sum up, the Professional Attachment internship programme is definitely a valuable opportunity for students who would like to pursue further study in Statistics and related fields.