Professor T.W. Lam

BSc CUHK; MS, PhD Washington
Head of Department; Professor

Tel: (+852) 2859 2172
Fax: (+852) 2858 4141
Email: twlam<at>

Professor TW Lam joined HKU after receiving his PhD in Computer Science from University of Washington in 1988. He has served as an associate dean of the Faculty of Engineering from 2001 to 2006 and is currently the Head of the Computer Science Department. His research has ranged from theoretical analysis of algorithms to big data analytics for bioinformatics. He has published over 200 research articles in international conferences and journals, and the most impactful ones come from the engineering work in bioinformatics software. More recently, he aspires to tackle industrial problems with intricate algorithmic techniques and has been awarded a couple of ITF grants. Since 2014, he has been managing a startup company (co-founded with Professor D Cheung and Dr R Luo) to advance the bioinformatics technologies for analyzing high-throughput DNA sequencing data for clinical applications. Professor Lam loves teaching, especially in inspiring students in learning theoretical subjects. He has received several teaching awards from the Department and Faculty, as well as a research student supervisor award.

Research Interests

Algorithms, Bioinformatics, On-line Scheduling, Parallel Computing

Selected Publications

[Top 1% Scholars at HKU, 2011-17]
  • D Li, CM Liu, R Luo, K Sadakane, TW Lam, MEGAHIT: an ultra-fast single-node solution for large and complex metagenomics assembly via succinct de Bruijn graph, Bioinformatics 31(10): 1674-1676 (2015) [2016 HKU Outstanding Research Output Prize]
  • H.L. Chan, T.W. Lam, and K.K. To, Nonmigratory Online Deadline Scheduling on Multiprocessors, Proceedings of the 15th Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA), pp. 970-979, 2004. (SIAM J. Computing. 34(3): 669-682, 2005)
  • W.T. Chan, T.W. Lam, H.F. Ting, and W.H. Wong, A unified analysis of hot video schedulers, Proceedings of the 34th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC), pp. 179-188, 2002
  • K.W. Chong, Y. Han, and T.W. Lam, On the Parallel Time Complexity of Undirected Connectivity and Minimum Spanning Trees, Proceedings of the 10th Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA), 225-234, 1999. J. of the ACM 48(2): 297-323, 2001)
  • M.Y. Kao, T.W. Lam, T. Przytycka, W.K. Sung, and H.F. Ting, General techniques for comparing unrooted evolutionary trees, Proceedings of the Twenty Ninth Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC), pp. 54-65, 1997, (SIAM J. on Computing, 30(2): 602-624, 2000)

Recent Research Grants

  • 2015-17 (ITF tier-2 project, 7.5M HKD): A Genomic Database for the Chinese Population with Applications for Precision Medicine
  • 2013-16 (ITF tier-2 project, 6.3M HKD + PSTS 3.2M HKD): A Genomic and Pharmaceutical Knowledge-based System for Clinical Diagnosis and Case Repository