American Australian Association

Alumni Spotlight

Tui Nolan Resized

Tui Nolan

2019 AAA-Aurora Indigenous Education Scholar (Graduate Education Fund)

Methodological Statistician, Tui Nolan, is a Gudjal man from Sydney, Australia, with degrees from both the University of Technology Sydney and The University of Sydney. In February 2020, Tui will begin his postdoctoral research Cornell University in the Department of Statistical Science under the supervision of Professor David Rupert, supported by the AAA-Aurora Indigenous Education Scholarship.

Tui’s primary statistical research ambition focuses on Multi-Level (ML) modeling, a statistical technique that extends ordinary statistical regression methods to the situation where the data are hierarchical. Tui will be working on the development of novel machine learning algorithms for the enhancement of a broad range of applied fields such as public health and education. The latter half of his research will focus on implementing these results into a statistical ML algorithm and analyzing cosmological applications. He would like to use these findings to influence the Australian Government’s plans for launching the Australian Space Agency and furthermore, benefit the work of this organization in astronomy.

An example of results from Tui’s work to date, includes his research at the George Institute for Global Health. Tui used his statistical analysis techniques to determine the major factors preventing Indigenous Australians from entering the driver licensing system from data that was collected in the local Redfern area. Based on the results of this project, the New South Wales Government established the Driver Licensing Access Program to help remove barriers that prevent Indigenous Australians from entering the driver licensing system.

Tui has completed numerous internships at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and again, used his mathematical and statistical knowledge to replace antiquated methods for determining interest rates and loan cycles. The results were so impressive that the RBA set up an Indigenous internship program with CareerTrackers, with whom Tui was the first intern at the RBA. There has been a further five Indigenous Australian interns accepted into this Indigenous internship program since Tui’s success.

A summary of Tui’s academic achievements is a testament to his devotion to the mastering of his craft and excelling in his career. He has recently completed a 12-week internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, a world leader in robotic exploration of the solar system. He was one of two of the first indigenous Australian students to participate in the pilot program, where he worked alongside the world’s best in statistics and mathematics. He will be undertaking another at The Alan Turing Institute whilst studying at Cornell. Tui is excited to bring this knowledge and research back to Australia to inspire the next generation of students into STEM studies.

It is clear that Tui has already made significant contributions to the Indigenous Community, specifically education in STEM, and has the capabilities, knowledge and passion to offer more to this space. His long-term career goal has evolved to become an academic at an Australian university that builds and maintains strong collaborations with industry and technology-based companies to develop research outputs that contribute to existing knowledge with direct benefits for society. Along with the support of the AAA-Aurora Indigenous Education Scholarship, Tui will be supported on a Fulbright Future Scholarship.

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