In 2005, the University celebrated the inauguration of the first 8 Endowed Professorships,
a milestone in the University's history.
To date, a total of 116 Endowed Professorships have been established.
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Dr Patrick Poon

Patrick S C Poon Professorship in Statistics and Actuarial Science

"The establishment of this Endowed Professorship helps The University of Hong Kong secure its leadership position in the field of Statistics and Actuarial Science. May the fine tradition of teaching and research at the University be strengthened and generations of students be inspired. "

Dr Patrick Poon

Yin Guosheng

Yin Guosheng

Appointed in 2019
Prior to 1967, the discipline of statistics only existed as a special teaching unit within the Department of Mathematics, with a senior lecturer and a lecturer. It subsequently joined the new Faculty of Social Sciences as an independent unit before being upgraded to the Department of Statistics in 1968.

Then in 1998 its name was changed to the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, becoming the first department with this name in Asia and in the Greater-China region. Since 1999, its mission has been to become a top research-led department at an international level. In 2004, the Department moved to the Faculty of Science, and in 2011 it was designated a Centre of Actuarial Excellence by the US Society of Actuaries for a period of five years, with the status renewed for another five years.

Professor Yin Guosheng is the Head and Professor of the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at The University of Hong Kong (HKU), and is also the Patrick S C Poon Professor in Statistics and Actuarial
Science.

Professor Yin’s main research areas cover clinical trial methodology, adaptive design, big data, machine learning, Bayesian methods, change-point analysis, and survival analysis. Specifically, one of his key research fields is on developing innovative statistical methods for clinical trials as these are becoming more complicated due to strict procedures and regulations, and costly in terms of time and funding.

To expedite drug development and enhance precision medicine, Professor Yin has developed numerous novel statistical methods and adaptive designs for clinical trials, including phase I dose-finding methods and drug-combination studies. The statistical methods, regression models and computational algorithms that arose from his cutting-edge research have generated enormous impact in the advancement of statistical modelling and theories. More recently, his research focus has expanded toward machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Professor Yin received his PhD in Biostatistics from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003. He worked as Assistant Professor (2003-08) and Associate Professor (2009) in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He joined HKU as an Associate Professor in 2009, and was promoted to Professor in 2014.

He has published over 140 peer-reviewed papers in top-tier statistical journals such as the Journal of the American Statistical Association, Annals of Statistics, and Biometrika, as well as in leading medical journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Journal of the National Cancer Institute. He has written one book in English, Clinical Trial Design: Bayesian and Frequentist Adaptive Methods, and co-authored another in Chinese, Statistical Methods for Clinical Trials.

Professor Yin was among the world’s top 1% of scientists ranked in one of the 22 subject fields of Thomson Reuters according to Essential Science Indicators in 2015. He was elected as a Member of the International
Statistical Institute in 2012 and as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2013.

He received the James E Grizzle Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Biostatistics, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been invited to be the keynote speaker at multiple international workshops and meetings, and has given over 100 invited talks. Professor Yin has also served as Associate Editor for numerous journals including Statistical Analysis and Data Mining, Japanese Journal of Statistics and Data Science, Journal of American Statistical Association, Contemporary Clinical trials, and Bayesian Analysis.

Former Holder(s):

Ng Kai-Wang

Appointed in 2011

The Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science strives to be an international centre for excellence in research and education. The research awards won by its members include two Silver Guy Medals of the Royal Statistical Society, one Krumbein Award from the International Association for Mathematical Geology, one Chinese National Natural Science Awards (sole winner of Class II Award in mathematics) in 2000 when no Class I Award was given, two Chinese Education Ministry Natural Science Awards (Class II), two Croucher Foundation senior Research Fellow awards in Hong Kong, and at least one award in each of the five categories of HKU research award including the Distinguished Research Achievement Award.

Professor Ng is in his fourth term as head of the Department, and has played a key role in driving forward its development. Examples of his leadership include the establishment of problem-based courses in hands-on data analysis which entailed a large enrolment expansion in statistics, his proposal for a 70 percent expansion of the actuarial science programme, and his taking on of extra duties of consultative work as Acting Director of the Social Science Research Centre for 30 months, in order to earn extra funding for the Department. He has also ensured that the master’s degree in statistics has become a vital and sustainable supplementary funding source.

Professor Ng gained his PhD from the University of Toronto and joined HKU in 1979. In statistics and actuarial science he has published more than 80 articles in international journals and has co-authored six books in total, one of which has become a graduate textbook recommended by the Education Ministry in China, and other three are in world-renowned monograph series.

He has served on the editorial boards of international journals, including the leading publication in actuarial science, Insurance: Mathematics and Economics. Professor Ng has also been an office bearer at many international conferences. He is Co-Chairman of the organising committee for the 16th International Congress on Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, to be held in 2012 as part of the HKU centenary celebrations. He is also Vice-Chairman of the local organising committee for the 59th World Statistics Congress, to be held in the territory in 2013.

On numerous occasions, Professor Ng has given invited talks. Most recently he was a plenary speaker at a research workshop at the Fields Institute in Toronto. He was also a keynote speaker at the 14th International Congress on Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, in 2010. In celebration of the first World Statistics Day (WSD) of the United Nations, he was invited by the Hong Kong Statistical Society to deliver the WSD Academic Seminar on his discovery of the Converse of Bayes’ Theorem, which will be the topic of his next book project.