In AMSI scholarship recipient
AMSI grant recipient profile: Yueqing Xuan

Yueqing Xuan

RMIT University

I am a second year PhD student from the School of Computing Technologies at RMIT University and student member of Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S). My research focuses on explainability and fairness in Machine Learning and Recommender Systems. Specifically, I look into counterfactual explanations which provide explanations and recommendations to individuals who are unfavourably treated by automated decision-making systems.

1. Can you give me a quick rundown about the type of mathematics you are studying and its potential impacts for the broader community (think how you would explain your work and studies to others who don’t study maths)

My research work involves using optimisation techniques to find counterfactual explanations for everyone who are adversely affected by the automated decision-making such as AI models. By employing optimisation techniques, my research can help suggest the most effective algorithmic recourse which allows individuals to overturn the negative automated decisions with minimum efforts.

2. How did you get into mathematics/statistics/data science? Was there someone or something that inspired you to this field?

I studied Information Systems when I first entered university. Soon I found my passion in big data and data science when I was working on course assignments which involved using statistics to automate commercial processes. Then I further pursued a master and a PhD degree in computer science, with a passion of employing the power of data and statistics.

3. You received a Travel Grant to attend AMSI Summer School 2024. How important was this in terms of your ability to attend, fully participate in the program and meet others studying in similar fields? Do you think it was an advantage to attend the program in-person?

The Travel Grant is very important for my active participation in the summer school. The travel grant gives me to the opportunity to stay with other students and share our insights and passions about math. The travel grant frees me from the problem of arranging accommodation and travels. I strongly believe that attending the program in-person allows me to fully enjoy the study experience.

4. What was the most valuable part of the program for you?

The most valuable part is the diversity of subjects offered by the summer school and diverse backgrounds of students participating in the summer school. The diversity in knowledge provided and students I engaged with allowed me to learn a lot from the subjects and my cohorts.

5. In the long-term, what do you think are the benefits of having attended Summer School?

The most important benefit is the math knowledge I learned from the summer school. The subject I took is very relevant and useful to my current research. In addition, the network I built with other students further support future collaborations.

6. Summer School included a special Careers Day program which aims to help give students an idea of the kinds of career paths available to maths graduates in industry and private sector research areas. Do you feel better equipped to explore career options in the mathematical sciences after attending AMSI Summer School?


Yes. The Careers Day allows me to know what types of jobs require math expertise and how I can plan my study or research to make myself better equipped with these skills.

7. What advice would you give to someone who is considering applying for Summer School in 2025? Should they apply and why?

Yes. I will strongly encourage them to apply for the Summer School and Travel Grant. The summer school provides excellent opportunities for learning advanced maths and meeting with like-minded students who are passionate about maths, science and research.

8. What are your current career ambitions in the mathematical sciences sector?

I plan to stay in academia and continue doing research. I would like to incorporate the math I learned into my research which would make the AI systems more scientifical and rigorous.

9. How did connecting with the community at AMSI Summer School support your experience?

My cohorts are amazing, passionate in math, and supportive to each other. By discussing our interests in math and exchanging experiences in study, I learned more about math and its applications in different domains. We also helped each other in terms of coursework. The community at AMSI summer school allowed me to learn more about math beyond the classroom.

10. Any other feedback/comments you would like to provide on the AMSI Travel Grant or AMSI Summer School 2024?

I am fully satisfied with the experience I had with the AMSI summer school and Travel Grant. Thank you so much for organising such an amazing program.