Distinguished Achievement Award 2012

Howell Tong, Ph.D. Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics

Dr. Howell Tong (born 1944 in Hong Kong) is a statistician, working mainly but not exclusively in the fields of nonlinear time series analysis and chaos. From October 1, 2009, he is an Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics and was twice (2009, 2010) holder of the Saw Swee Hock Professorship of Statistics at National University of Singapore. He has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Statistics at the University of Hong Kong since 2005.

Tong went to England initially to study in 1961. He got his Bachelor of Science (1966, with first class honours), Master of Science (1969) and Doctor of Philosophy(1972) all from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) where he studied with Maurice Priestley. Tong remained in UMIST first as a lecturer and then as a senior lecturer. While in Manchester, he started his married life with Mary. In 1982, he moved to the Chinese University of Hong Kong where he was the founding Chair of Statistics. Four years later, he returned to England to be Chair of Statistics (-as the first Chinese to hold a chair of statistics in the UK) at the University of Kent at Canterbury until 1999. From 1999 to September 2009, Tong was a Chair of Statistics at the London School of Economics. Between 1997 and 2004, Tong was also concurrently Chair of Statistics and sometime Pro-Vice Chancellor and Founding Dean of the Graduate School, University of Hong Kong.

Tong was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 1993, an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries, England in 1999, and a Foreign Fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in 2000. He won the State Natural Science Prize, China in 2000. The Royal Statistical Society, UK, awarded him their Guy Medal in Silver in 2007 in recognition of his "...many important contributions to time series analysis over a distinguished career and in particular for his fundamental and highly influential paper "Threshold autoregression, limit cycles and cyclical data", read to the Society in 1980, which paved the way for a major body of work in non-linear time series modelling.

Tong has two children: Simon and Anna, who are both Googlers.


Jun Liu, Ph.D. Professor, Harvard University

Dr. Jun Liu is Professor of Statistics at Harvard University, with a joint appointment in the Harvard School of Public Health. He is a Changjiang Scholar at Peking University, and also Guest Professor at Tsinghua University. Dr. Liu received his BS degree in mathematics in 1985 from Peking University and Ph.D. in statistics in 1991 from the University of Chicago. He held Assistant, Associate, and full professor positions at Stanford University from 1994 to 2003. In 1995, Dr. Liu won the NSF CAREER Award and the Stanford Terman fellowship. In 2000, he won the Mitchell Award for the best statistics application paper. In 2002, he received the prestigious COPSS Presidents' Award (given annually and jointly by five leading statistical associations to one individual under age 40). In 2010, he was awarded the Morningside Gold Medal in Applied Mathematics (honored once every 3 years to an individual of Chinese descent under age 45). He was selected as a Medallion Lecturer by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) in 2002, as a Bernoulli Lecturer in 2004, and as a Kuwait Lecturer by Cambridge University in 2008. He was elected to Fellow of the IMS in 2004 and Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2005. He served on numerous grant review panels of the NSF and NIH (a permanent member of NIH study section GCAT) and editorial boards of numerous leading statistical journals. He is now a co-editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association.

Dr. Liu and his collaborators introduced the statistical missing data formulation and Gibbs sampling strategies for biological sequence analysis in early 1990s. The resulting algorithms for biological sequence analysis, gene regulation analysis, and genetic studies have been adopted by many research groups and become standard tools for computational biologists. Dr. Liu has also made fundamental contributions to statistical computing and modeling. He pioneered sequential Monte Carlo methods. His studies of Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms have had a broad impact on both theoretical understandings and practical applications. Dr. Liu has published one research monograph and more than 130 research articles in leading scientific journals, and is one the ISI Highly Cited mathematicians.

Receive Date: 
Tuesday, October 16, 2012