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Zhan-Qian "John" Lu

John Lu was born and grew up in northern Anhui Province, China.  He went to Beijing to study at the Peking University and received a BS in mathematics with specialization in probability and statistics. He went on take a graduate program in applied statistics at Beijing University of Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences. He came to the US in 1989 to study at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and received MS and PhD in statistics, under the guidance of Richard L. Smith. He was a visiting scientist at National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colorado, where he did post-doctoral research on applying Bayesian statistics to atmospheric sciences under the mentorship of professor Mark Berliner, who was visiting from the Ohio State University. He took a professor position at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in Kowloon, Hong Kong, China in 1997, where he taught at both graduate and undergraduate levels on statistical theory, regression analysis, time series analysis, and Monte Carlo methods.   After becoming a naturalized US citizen, he joined NIST as a mathematical statistician in July 2001. His main research activity has been collaborating with other scientists  to address various measurement science problems arising from physical, phantom, or medical products involving various disciplines, such as material sciences, manufacturing, biotechnology, chemical sciences, information technology, and physical sciences. He has also developed  some long-term collaborations involving funded research on biological and medical imaging biomarkers, including IMS projects on computational biology, shape metrology, translational science for optical medical imaging,  and Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)'s Quantitative Image Biomarker Alliance (QIBA) on volumetric imaging. 

Technical Areas of Research and Consulting:

  • Quantitative imaging and morphometric measurements (e.g. from 3D tomographic imaging, or optical imaging)
  • Statistics and mathematics for optical imaging and topography
  • Analysis of data as curves or distributions
  • Bayesian statistical applications
  • Nonlinear and nonparametric regression
  • Time series analysis and spectral analysis
  • Collaborative research, applications of statistics to materials science, physical sciences, biosciences, medicine,  and information technology

Professional Activities and Societies and Standards Activities:

  • Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Life Member
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Member
  • RSNA QIBA Volumetric Committee




Mathematical Statistician
Statistical Engineering Division

Employment History:

  • National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD. 2001-present
  • MathSoft/Insightful Inc., Seattle, Washington. 1999-2001
  • Department of Mathematics, HKUST, Hong Kong, PRC. 1997-1998
  • Geophysical Statistics Project, IMAGe, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO.  1995-1997 


  • B.S. (Mathematics, Specialization Class of Statistics and Probability), Peking University, 1986
  • M.S. (Statistics), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1992
  • Ph.D (Statistics), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1994

Phone: 301-975-3208
Fax: 301-975-3144