Past AQM Pathway PhD Students

AQM group photoPhoto (L-R): Lei Zhang, Rebecca Pillinger, Dewi Owen, Andrew Bell, Puneet Tiwari, Mark Hanly, Guanpeng Dong

Lei Zhang

BSc Mathematics & Applied Mathematics (University of Yunnan), MSc Statistics (Research) (London School of Economics)
1st year Supervisors: Fiona Steele and Sally Thomas
Topic Evaluation of education quality and equity in China

"I chose AQM because it gives me the opportunity to work with world-class research groups both in quantitative methods and education, and will help me to further my studies in statistics and inspire me to use what I have learnt in practice. Bristol is also a vibrant city for learning and living."

Rebecca Pillinger

MSci Mathematics (University College London), MSc Statistics (London School of Economics)
3rd year Supervisors: Fiona Steele and Harvey Goldstein
Topic Genetics and environment of intelligence tests

"I started my PhD in the Centre for Multilevel Modelling (CMM) before the AQM Pathway was set up, but am now part of the group. Bristol’s AQM Pathway is a great place to be a PhD student because of the opportunities we get to work closely with researchers with expertise in AQM. At CMM, there are a lot of exciting projects involving software development (MLwiN, REALCOM, and STAT-JR) and quantitative methodology (like the LEMMA3 node of the National Centre for Research Methods), which I get to be involved with.

"Perhaps most importantly, there's just a really friendly and supportive atmosphere here, both academically and socially. CMM and AQM also have a fortnightly seminar/reading group where we get opportunities to present papers for the reading group, and give seminars on our own work - this is a great opportunity to receive some feedback from a friendly audience. I have had lots of encouragement and support to present at conferences and publish journal articles.

"I highly recommend coming here if you're thinking about doing a PhD!"

Dewi Owen

BSc Geography (University of Bristol), MSc Operational Research & Applied Statistics (Cardiff University)
2nd year Supervisors: Kelvyn Jones and George Leckie
Topic Modelling segregation - a multilevel approach

"I choose the AQM pathway at Bristol for a number of reasons. Primary amongst these was the worldwide reputation of the centre as a developer of new methodology. The interdisciplinary nature of the team was attractive too, as it would allow me to gain different insights that I would not have been exposed to had if I had been based within a single department. Last, but not least, was the formalised training that was put in place: no other PhD that I had looked at had the depth and breadth of formal training that I've undertaken during my time on the pathway."

Andrew Bell

MSci Geography (University of Bristol)
2nd year Supervisors: Kelvyn Jones and Fiona Steele
Topic Understanding spatial and temporal context in time-series, cross-sectional and panel data in the social sciences

"I studied my undergraduate degree at Bristol, during which I took a course on Multilevel modelling which I really enjoyed. I subsequently did my masters dissertation using multilevel models to study the links between inequality and health. The AQM pathway offered me the perfect opportunity to carry on studying these substantive issues and methodologies. It has provided me with lots of training across quantitative social sciences, which gives me lots of experience and knowledge to draw on both in my current projects and (I hope) in the future. The SW Doctoral Training Centre has a brand new building with great facilities for the AQM students, including a number of computer rooms, teaching facilities and a powerful server solely for AQM students."

Puneet Tiwari

BSc Mathematics & Computer Applications (University of Lucknow), MSc Social Research Methods (London School of Economics)
1st year Supervisors: Leroy White and George Leckie
Topic Longitudinal analysis of dynamics of innovation

"I wanted to apply quantitative methods in the field of business. AQM at Bristol was my first choice as it gives me the opportunity to be supervised by some of the best minds in quantitative methods and multilevel modelling. The emphasis on nurturing AQM as a discipline and opportunities for the researchers can be felt as one enters University's new building for SWDTC students. It feels like AQMers are being welcomed with open hands!"

Mark Hanly

BSc Mathematics & Statistics (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), MSc Applied Social Research (Trinity College Dublin)
2nd year Supervisors: Paul Clarke and Fiona Steele
Topic Using auxiliary data to monitor and correct for nonresponse bias in household surveys.

"The strong research reputation and high quality training in quantitative methods made choosing to study on the AQM pathway at Bristol University an easy decision. In addition to the core quantitative courses available, the generous research support grant allows personalised training, adapted by the students, to suit our own needs. For me this has meant travelling to Germany to attend a summer school focusing on survey nonresponse and imputation, as well as attending other relevant conferences throughout my first year. The high quality training is complimented by excellent supervision from interdisciplinary supervisors who have encouraged and supported me in developing my ideas and submitting them to prominent research journals. As AQM students, we also benefit from a wider network of researchers from several fields as well as a dedicated research space. Relocating to the UK to begin a PhD was somewhat daunting but Bristol is a friendly exciting city that is fun to explore and offers something new at all times of the year."

Guanpeng Dong

BSc Geography (Henan University), MSc Human Geography (Graduate School, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
2nd year Supervisors: Rich Harris and Frank Windmeijer
Topic Analyzing spatial heterogeneity and dependence effects in the presence of hierarchical data structure: a hierarchical and spatial hedonic price approach.

"After obtaining my master's degree in Geography, where I focused on spatial econometrics, I developed a strong interest in quantitative geography and methodologies. The AQM pathway at the University of Bristol was greatly suitable for me because of its focus on improving students' quantitative analysis abilities. I was also attracted to Bristol because the research team in CMM has a great influence on multilevel modelling around the world.

"In the last year, I received a series of interesting AQM training courses like multilevel modelling and Markov chain Monte Carlo estimation, which greatly improved my research ability and enhanced my interest in quantitative methods. The reading group discussions are of great help in terms of enlarging the scope of my knowledge. With the help of my supervisors, I have finished and submitted a paper (the revised version) to a well-recognized journal in quantitative geography, and attended the annual conference of British geographers in July."