Staff Spotlight – Amy Chan, PhD


Polymathian resident statistician and overall smart person, Amy Chan, is this month’s focus in our series dedicated to getting to know the people behind Polymathian.

Amy started her career at Polymathian nearly 4 years ago, joining as employee number 20. Amy received an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Queensland and then went on to complete her Doctor of Philosophy - PhD Statistics.

  • Amy, if you could switch jobs with someone at Polymathian, who would it be?
  • Your job sounds fun!

It's true, the Polymathian marketing team does have a lot fun. Work hard, play hard!

  • You've been with Polymathian for a while now and are looked upon as a leader so what advice do you have for new employees?
  • Ask questions! Ask questions! Ask questions! New employees need to feel safe asking for help and feel supported.

  • What is your favourite book or film?
  • I love to read! My favourite book is from a sci-fi trilogy referred to as The Three Body Problem. Book two is my favourite in the series.

By the way, scientists recently declared the centuries old physics mystery of the three-body problem solved. Check it out!

  • I know you love sci-fi so if you could have a superpower, what would it be?
  • Teleportation.

  • Describe your job to a child?
  • Do kids understand statistics?

Fair enough. Next question.

  • What is the first thing you do when you get home from work?
  • Find something to make for dinner. I love to eat!

  • What is your personal moto?
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say.

  • What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
  • 1) Blunt 2) Complainy (?) 3) Fun

I asked Google for words that mean a person who complains a lot and included: bellyacher, grumbler, misery guts and kvetch (my personal favourite). Amy's long-time colleagues tell me her bellyaching is actually quite endearing.

  • What is one thing you cannot live without?
  • Sadly, that would be my phone. 🤳

Same, Amy. Same.☹️

Staff Spotlight – Amy Chan, PhD
Amy showing off a Tropochoc from a mountain top in Tasmania. Tropochocs are given as incentives for developers to contribute code to the codebase. I imagine Amy has a lot of Tropochocs!

  • How do you like to spend your weekends?
  • I like to do a variety of things. I am usually hiking, climbing or sewing. I got into sewing my own climbing accessories and have recently expanded into making my own clothing.

  • Are you a coffee or tea girl?
  • Coffee but I do like both.☕

  • What is a movie or TV show that you love that you'd be embarrassed to admit?
  • Star Wars.

That's not embarassing, try again.

  • Love Actually

Also, not embarassing.

  • Okay, how about Twilight?


  • And finally, I should probably ask you about work. What is your role at Polymathian?
  • I'm part statistician, part software developer and part consultant. In the beginning, when Polymathian was still small, it was important to be able to wear multiple hats and support various roles. Now, I'm happy to focus on my role as a leader on the ORB team and supporting simulation consulting projects.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Amy as much as I did. If you'd like to get recommendations for the best hiking trails in SEQ or find out more about how ORB optimises mine planning, connect with Amy on LinkedIn LinkedIn.

About the interviewer

Tami Pizani is the newest member of the Polymathian marketing team and has made it her mission to shine a spotlight on the employees behind Polymathian's success. Tami loves a great underdog story, discovering commonalities when meeting someone new, and a healthy debate over the use of the Oxford comma. You can connect with Tami on LinkedIn.


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