This is the homepage of Tak-Wah Lam.

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Tak-Wah Lam graduated with a BSc in Computer Science from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1984 and received his MS & PhD in Computer Science from the University of Washington in 1988.  Since then he has been with the University of Hong Kong.  He is now a professor in the Department of Computer Science.  He was an associate dean of the Faculty of Engineering from 2001 to 2006. He has received several teaching awards from the department and faculty, and more recently an outstanding supervisor award from the university.

Tak-Wah’s research is mainly on the design and analysis of algorithms for different applications.  His work has spanned the areas of compressed text indexing, computational biology, and scheduling.   Fourteen doctoral students have graduated under his supervision.  A few of them remained as academics in Hong Kong or overseas. Apart from theoretical work, he is keen on collaborating with the genomics industry, like BGI and Novogene, on applying some latest data structures and algorithms to build advanced software tools for bioinformatics.  The most recognized example is the alignment software SOAP2/SOAP3/SOAP3-dp.

Outside of work, he enjoys playing basketball and tennis with his two sons.   Due to his back & shoulder problems, he disciplines himself to go to the swimming pool regularly.  More recently, he has quitted practicing Tai Chi due to knee pain.


Tracking the PhD students:


·       Dinghua Li (2017): TuSimple

·       Ruibang Luo (2015): UEC >> Johns Hopkins U

·       Chi-Man Liu (2015): L3 Bioinformatics

·       Rongbin Li (2014): Rocket Fuel Inc., US

·       Sze-Hang Chan (2013): HKU >> ??

·       Lap-Kei Lee (2009): MPI Germany >> HKU >> Open U

·       Alan S.L. Tam (2009): Apple, Hong Kong >> Apple, US

·       Ho-Leung Chan (2007): U of Pittsburgh, USA >> MPI, Germany >> HKU >> Morgan Stanley

·       Wing-Kai Hon (2004): Purdue University, USA >> Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

·       Prudence W.H. Wong (2002): HKU >> U of Liverpool, UK

·       Isaac K.K. To (2000): HKU >> Outblaze, HK >> U of Liverpool, UK >> Cluster Technology, HK

·       Ken W.K. Sung (1998): Yale University, USA >> National U of Singapore, Singapore

·       Ka-Hing Lee (1996): Hewlett Packard, HK

·       Joe K.W. Chong (1995): MPI, Germany >> HKU >> Cluster Technology, HK


Recent Grants:


2015 Innovation & Technology Fund (ITF) PSTS, A genomic and Pharmaceutical Knowledge-based System for Clinical Diagnosis and Case Repository, HK$ 3.2M


2013 Innovation & Technology Fund (ITF), A genomic and Pharmaceutical Knowledge-based System for Clinical Diagnosis and Case Repository, HK$ 5.85M


2012 Research Grants Council (GRF): Ultrafast SNP-sensitive & Gap-sensitive alignment of short reads to human genome via better indexing, HK$ 620K



Publications: See DBLP or Google Scholar for a full list 



Bioinformatics software:


      MEGAHIT: An ultra fast single-node solution for large and complex metagenomics assembly via succinct de Burijn graph. Bioinformatics 2015.
 A web application for interpreting human variations. Bioinformatics 2015.


      BALSA: Integrated secondary analysis for whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing, accelerated by GPU. PeerJ 2014.


      MICA: A fast short-read aligner that takes full advantage of Intel Many Integrated Core Architecture (MIC). BMC Bioinformatics 2015


      SOAPdenovo2: An empirically improved memory-efficient short-read de novo assembler. BMC GigaScience 2012.


      SOAP3-dp:  Fast, Accurate and Sensitive GPU-based Short Read Aligner.  PLOS ONE 2013.


      GLProbs: Aligning multiple sequences adaptively. ACM-BCB 2013.


      BWT-SW: Compressed indexing and local alignment of DNA.  Bioinformatics 2008.







E-mail: twlam @
By post: Department of Computer Science, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
Office: Room 409, Chow Yei Ching Building
Tel: 2859 2172; Fax: 2559 8447