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Distinguished Data Scientist Pak Chung Wong Joins ACT

IOWA CITY, Iowa—Pak Chung Wong, Ph.D., chief scientist and project manager at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), is joining ACT as principal advisor on data science for ACTNext, the research and development center dedicated to developing ground-breaking learning and assessment systems.

In this newly created role, Wong will report to Alina von Davier, a globally recognized researcher in computational psychometrics and vice president of ACTNext.

Wong is an expert on extreme scale data analytics, visual analytics, visualization, privacy, security, and social computing. His research ranges from the impact of climate change on the electrical grid to the use of DNA to store data.

“During his two decades at PNNL, Dr. Wong made significant contributions to its mission of explaining the Earth and our universe,” said von Davier. “We are extremely excited to have a scientist with his skills advancing ACT’s research in education and workplace success.”

While at the PNNL, Wong and his colleagues implanted the lyrics from “It’s a Small World After All” into the genome of a bacterium. While seemingly whimsical, the work has practical applications. DNA is an extremely efficient storage medium, and has the potential to last thousands, and even millions, of years.

Wong earned his PhD in computer science from the University of New Hampshire. He has published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and has received 10 U.S. patents.

In addition to his work at the PNNL, Wong is associate editor-in-chief of computer graphics and applications at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and an associate editor at the Information Visualization Journal.

About ACT

ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT is trusted as a national leader in college and career readiness, providing high-quality assessments grounded in nearly 60 years of research. ACT offers a uniquely integrated set of solutions designed to provide personalized insights that help individuals succeed from elementary school through career.