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Dr Eben Afrifa-Yamoah

Statistician/lecturer

Maths careers

From a high school teacher in Ghana to researcher and lecturer in Western Australia, Dr Eben Afrifa-Yamoah is passionate about making maths fun

Eben has always loved maths. Growing up in Ghana, it was his best subject in school. He loved the fact that if you understand the rules in math, if you’re disciplined in following those rules, you can always find a right answer, in the end.

Eben worked as a high school math teacher in Ghana before receiving scholarships to study in both Norway and then Australia. He has three Masters degrees, which he pursued because he wanted to be the best teacher he could be.

The sunny statistician

These days, he is a uni lecturer who enjoys the challenge of teaching, alongside his research. “The subject I’m teaching is not [considered] lovable,” he says. “But I’m going to change that perception! I let [my students] have a feel for the fun side of maths, the fun side of statistics.”

Eben is a statistician, which means he mainly deals with data (stats) and how understanding those data and looking at them in different ways can tell us things about systems. His research has helped fisheries become more environmentally sustainable; helped people manage their medical conditions more effectively; and looked at the effects of climate change on people who work in hot environments.

He is currently working on a project that uses data to better predict which people in the community are at risk of developing diabetes, and says, “Data are ruling the world. So, we need people who are able to make sense of those bunches of numbers.” – Rachael Bolton

Eben’s pathway

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Statistics), University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  • Master of Education (Mathematics), University of Education, Winneba
  • Master of Philosophy (Mathematical Statistics), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • Master of Science (Mathematical Sciences), Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • PhD (Applied Statistics), Edith Cowan University
  • Lecturer, Edith Cowan University

This article originally appears in Careers with STEM: Maths & Data 2022 in partnership with Edith Cowan University.

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