Posted on May 8, 2023 by Rebekah Alegria

A high school AP Statistics course changed the trajectory of Ethan Wood’s career path. Woods, who will graduate this month with a Bachelor of Science in Statistics and Data Science, will continue on with his studies as a doctoral student at Rice University.

During his senior year at Winston Churchill High School here in San Antonio, Woods fell in love with the field of statistics and has been steadfast in his academic journey in statistics and data science ever since.

He also discovered a passion for research during his studies at UTSA. He worked with David Han , associate professor of management science and statistics in the Carlos Alvarez College of Business at UTSA, studying meteorite data and attempting to predict personality traits based on geographical location. Their most recent project involved analyzing the transmission of COVID-19 in the state of Texas. Woods had the opportunity to virtually present his work at UPSTAT, the Upstate New York Statistics Conference.

“I was really proud when I received an honorable mention for my presentation,” said Woods. “It is an honor that isn’t usually bestowed upon undergraduate students.”

Continuing to pursue his research, he participated in a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program last summer at Rice University. He researched topics such as genomic medicine encompassing bioinformatics and epidemiologic inquiry.

In addition to his academic pursuits Woods was active in other experiential activities as well. He participated in the Rowdy Chess Club and was heavily involved in the American Statistical Association Student Chapter within the college. He also interned with investment company Victory Capital in business analytics.

Woods urges Alvarez business students to seek out internship opportunities and find the one that fits them best. “Reach out to your professors to see if they have any opportunities for you. Also, if you have a topic you are interested in researching, and you want to dip your toes into that water, try an REU. They are usually fully funded and will benefit your academic journey in the long run,” he said.

Ethan will leave UTSA cherishing the guidance and dedication of his professors at the Alvarez College of Business. Faculty who inspired him to reach for his dreams included Han, Jerry Keating , professor of statistics, and Anuradha Roy , professor of management science and statistics.

Curious to see where this path leads him, Woods looks forward to his next research discovery as he begins his doctorate studies this fall.

— Rebekah Alegria