Weng Kee Wong

Professor of Biostatistics

(310) 206-9622
(310) 267-2113

Room 51-239B CHS
Department of Biostatistics
UCLA School of Public Health
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1772

  • B.S. Honors Mathematics (1983) National University of Singapore
  • M.S. Mathematics (1985) University of Winsconsin-Milwaukee
  • M.S. Statistics (1989) University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St.Paul
  • Ph.D. Statistics (1990) University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St.Paul
Research Interests: 

My current research is to develop more realistic optimal designs for practical applications in the big data era. This invariably means the models are high-dimensional and current algorithms do not work well. Nature-inspired metaheuristic algorithms are essentially assumptions free and have been shown to be able to solve many different types of complex high-dimensional optimization problems in engineering and computer science, even when rigorous proofs of convergence and their theoretical properties remain quite elusive. My recent work has shown that unlike current algorithms used in statistics, metaheuristics can solve different types of optimal designs for virtually any model and under any criterion for small to moderate sized problems. In 2018, I co-organized a workshop “Particle Swarm Optimization and Evolutionary Computation” at IMS. A probabilist and a mathematician from NUS and Prof. T. L. Lai from Stanford University were motivated by the workshop and we are now working on theoretical aspects of evolutionary algorithms. Our initial work seems to have gotten some attention in the engineering community as I was pleasantly surprised to be invited to be a guest coeditor of a special theoretical issue for the journal “IEEE Emerging Topics and Computational Intelligence”. I view this as a distinct honor given that I am an ‘outsider’. Additionally, I am the lead organizer of a 1-week workshop on Metaheuristics, Machine Learning and AI at the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) at Durham, NC from March 8-12th 2021.

In 1997, I won the First Independent Research Support and Transition Award from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. I participated in several rheumatoid arthritis (RA) studies, including "High versus Low Dose Pencillamine in Systemic Sclerosis" and "Long Term Observational Study of Early Severe RA Patients". Earlier on, I also served as the director of the "Multipurpose Arthritis Center Data Analysis Core" from 1995-1998. Currently, I am the biostatistician for the "Multi-Center Phase II Trial of Oral Type I Bovine Collagen in Scleroderma" supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). I have also participated in NIH-supported research work in dentistry and environment health science.

  • Biostat 200C Biostatistics
  • Biostat 245 Advanced Seminar: Biostatistics
  • Biostat 250A Linear Statistical Models
  • Biostat 250B Linear Statistical Models
  • Biostat 279 Optimal Design Theory and Methods