HKBU mathematics scholar wins prize in Natural Science of Yunnan Province award scheme
Dr. Tang Man-lai, Associate Professor of the Department of Mathematics, won the 2nd Class Prize in the Natural Science of Yunnan Province award scheme in 2011 for a collaborative research project entitled “Biostatistics: Theory and Methods”. The project examined the insufficiencies of statistical methods that are currently applied in biological medicine, clinical research and pharmacy.
Dr. Tang and his collaborators from Yunnan University successfully investigated how to improve the defects of existing statistical methods by suggesting a more accurate method to handle and analyse incomplete discrete data in a more effective manner, thereby enhancing the accuracy and representativeness in statistical results.
Members of the research team from Yunnan University were: Professors Tang Niansheng, Dean of Faculty of Mathematics and Statistics, Wang Xueren, former Vice-Chancellor and President, Li Huiqiong, and Chen Xuedong.
Dr. Tang said: “In analysing collected data, we often find it difficult to handle incomplete discrete data. Incomplete or missing data refer to information that cannot be collected from the samples, such as sensitive data like income and sexual orientation. In some cases, the selected samples may fail to provide necessary information in follow-up clinical research due to adverse effects caused by a treatment. Unlike continuous data, discrete data can take on only a finite or countable number of values (i.e. integer values). Therefore, special statistical procedures are desired and required for handling incomplete discrete data.” Ignorance of incomplete discrete data in any research will significantly reduce the credibility and representativeness of the conclusion and final outputs.