Professor Lam, Tak-Wah

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

Tel: (+852) 2859 2172
Fax: (+852) 2858 4141

Professor TW Lam joined HKU after receiving his PhD in Computer Science from University of Washington in 1988. He served as an associate dean of the Faculty of Engineering from 2001 to 2006 and is currently the Head of the Computer Science Department and the Executive Director of the HKU-SCF FinTech Academy. His research ranges from theoretical analysis of algorithms to big data analytics for health informatics. 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 has been aspiring to tackle industrial problems with intricate algorithmic techniques and has been awarded a number of ITF grants. In 2014, he together with Professor D Cheung and Dr R Luo has co-founded a startup company to advance the bioinformatics software technologies for analyzing high-throughput DNA sequencing data for clinical applications. Professor Lam loves teaching, especially in inspiring students to learn theoretical subjects. He has received several teaching awards from the Department and the Faculty, as well as a University-level research student supervisor award.

Research Interests

Algorithms, Bioinformatics & Big Data Analytics

Selected Publications

[Top 1% Scholars at HKU, 2011-21]

  • R Luo, CL Wong, YS Wong, CI Tang, CM Liu, CM Leung, TW Lam, Exploring the limit of using a deep neural network on pileup data for germline variant calling, Nature Machine Intelligence 2 (4), 220-227 (2020)
  • 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]
  • CM Liu, T Wong, E Wu, R Luo, SM Yiu, Y Li, B Wang, C Yu, X Chu, K Zhao, R Li, TW Lam, SOAP3: ultra-fast GPU-based parallel alignment tool for short reads, Bioinformatics 28 (6), 878-879 (2012)
  • TW Lam, LK Lee, KK To, PWH Wong, Speed scaling functions for flow time scheduling using active job count, Proceedings of European Symposium on Algorithms, pp. 647-657, 2008 (Algorithmica 65 (3), 605-633, 2013)
  • TW Lam, WK Sung, SL Tam, CK Wong, SM Yiu, Compressed indexing and local alignment of DNA, Bioinformatics 24(6), 791-797 (2008).
  • WK Hon, TW Lam, K Sadakane, WK Sung, SM Yiu, A space and time efficient algorithm for constructing compressed suffix arrays, Algorithmica 48 (1), 23-36 (2007)
  • KW Chong, Y Han, and TW Lam, On the Parallel Time Complexity of Undirected Connectivity and Minimum Spanning Trees, Journal of the ACM 48(2): 297-323 (2001)
  • MY Kao, TW Lam, WK Sung, HF Ting, A decomposition theorem for maximum weight bipartite matchings, SIAM Journal on Computing 31 (1), 18-26 (2001)
  • M.Y. Kao, T.W. Lam, T. Przytycka, W.K. Sung, and H.F. Ting, General techniques for comparing unrooted evolutionary trees, SIAM Journal on Computing, 30(2): 602-624 (2000)

Recent Research Grants

  • 2021-23 (ITF Tie-2, 7M HKD) Towards a Fully-Automated Karyotype Analysis for Detecting Chromosomal Abnormality via Intelligent Bioinformatics and Image Analysis
  • 2019-21 (ITF tier-2 project, 5M HKD): AI-enabled Private and Public Data Integration Platform for Rapid Development of RegTech Applications
  • 2018-20 (ITF tier-2 project, 7.3M HKD): Advanced 3GS Bioinformatics Algorithms and a complete bioinformatics solution for clinical genetics
  • 2015-20 (ITF tier-2 project, 7.6M HKD + PSTS 3.4M 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