Saw Swee Hock Professorship of Statistics


The establishment of the endowed professorship in Statistics in the Department of Statistics and Applied Probability (DSAP) in 2003 was made possible by a generous gift to the National University of Singapore (NUS) by Professor Saw Swee Hock, a well-known alumnus and philanthropist.  The endowed professorship is designed to invite distinguished Professor of Statistics from overseas universities to spend one semester in the Department to teach and conduct research.  The holder of the professorship is required to teach one module covering any topic in statistics at the undergraduate or graduate level.  It is hoped that the interaction of the visiting professors with students and faculty members, and their participation in departmental activities, during the semester-long visit will help to inject a greater academic vibrancy in the Department, ranked fifth by QS World University Ranking in 2012.

Since its inception, the endowed professorship has attracted the following renown Professor of Statistics who have visited or will be visiting DSAP:



Period of Appointment

Professor Yao Qiwei
The London School of Economics and Political Science
2 March 2020 – 4 May 2020
Professor Jon Wellner
University of Washington
14 January 2019 – 3 April 2019
Professor Hsing Tailen
University of Michigan
15 January 2018 – 04 July 2018
Professor Lai Tze Leung
Stanford University
02 January 2017 – 08 March 2017
01 January 2016 – 28 March 2016
Professor James Marron
University of North Carolina
12 January 2015 – 11 April 2015
Professor James Berger
Duke University
12 January 2015 – 1 March 2015
20 January 2014 – 7 March 2014
Professor Andrew Barbour
Universitat Zurich
30 January 2013 – 28 April 2013
Professor Peter Hall
University of Melbourne
13 August 2012 – 10 October 2012
3 September 2011 – 2 November 2011
Professor Howell Tong
London School of Economics
2 August 2010 – 1 December 2010
1 September 2009 – 30 November 2009
Professor John David Kalbfleisch
University of Michigan
18 December 2006 – 17 May 2007
Professor David Siegmund
Stanford University
17 August 2005 – 16 January 2006  


Professor Saw Swee Hock received his BA and MA from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1957 and 1960, and his PhD in Statistics from the London School ofEconomics (LSE) in 1963. He began his academic career at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur (1963-1969), subsequently becoming Founding Professor of Statistics at the University of Hong Kong (1969-1971) and Professor of Statistics at NUS (1975-1991). He was Founding Chairman of the National Statistical Commission of Singapore (1971-1975). In 2015 he was conferred the Honorary Doctor of Letters by NUS. He is currently the President’s Honorary Professor of Statistics in NUS and Professorial Fellow at the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute.

Professor Saw has served as a consultant or advisor to governments, private corporations and international organizations. He was member of more than 39 advisory panel sand Committees, including the United Nations Committee on Salary Adjustments, the International Statistical Institute, and the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population. He has held visiting positions in, among places, Princeton, Stanford, Cambridge and LSE. He has served as a member of the NUS Board of Trustees. His publications include some 47 authored/edited books, 31 book chapters and over 110 articles on statistics and its related discipline.

Apart from his distinguished academic career, Professor Saw is well-known for his philanthropic work particularly in the area of tertiary education. He has donated widely to universities in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and England to set up bursaries, scholarships, professorships, research programmes, centres and schools. His major gifts to NUS centred on the establishment of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, the endowed Centennial Professorship in Law, and the endowed Professorship in Statistics. His other two landmarks gifts were given to LSE to establish the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre and the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre.

Professor Saw has received numerous accolades for his outstanding philanthropic and academic achievements. He was named Honorary Professor of Statistics at the University Hong Kong and Honorary Professor at Xiamen University. He was made an Honorary Fellow of LSE as well as an Honorary University Fellow of HKU. He was awarded the 2013 Singapore President’s Award for Philanthropy by the Singapore President and the Public Service Medal (PBM) by the Singapore Government in the 2013 National Day Awards.