Ken Lange

Kenneth L. Lange, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor 

Bio

Kenneth Lange is the Rosenfeld Professor of Computational Genetics and Chair of the Department of Human Genetics at University of California, Los Angeles. He previously served as chair of the UCLA Department of Biomathematics. From 1994 to 1998 he was Professor of Biostatistics and Mathematics and the Pharmacia & Upjohn Foundation Research Professor at the University of Michigan. He has authored four advanced textbooks and published more than 200 scientific papers in the areas of genetic epidemiology, population genetics, membrane physiology, demography, oncology, medical imaging, stochastic processes, and optimization theory. Many of his landmark papers predate by a decade or more the current flood of biological applications of hidden Markov chains, Markov chain Monte Carlo, and high-dimensional optimization.

Two themes dominate Dr. Lange's research. One is the development of novel mathematical methods in optimization theory, applied probability, and computational statistics. The other is a devotion to realistic biological modeling. Although there is bound to be a tension between these two poles, the advancement of the biomedical sciences depends on bridging the gap. His contributions to genetic epidemiology, population genetics, membrane physiology, demography, oncology, and medical imaging highlight some of the connections. Many of his landmark papers predate by a decade or more the current flood of biological applications of hidden Markov chains, Markov chain Monte Carlo, and high-dimensional optimization. Dr. Lange has also made important software contributions to the human genetics community. His program Mendel is the Swiss army knife of statistical genetics packages. He and faculty colleague Eric Sobel are constantly adding new utilities, with a recent emphasis on special handling of the enormous data sets generated by SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) association studies.