University of Maryland

SoDa Symposium: Quantitative Methodology with Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation

Presented by the Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation program in the College of Education, a SoDa Center Affiliate Organization

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EST

The Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation program in the College of Education offers PhD and MS degrees as well as certificate, focused solely on quantitative methodology. Although the terms data science and statistics are well-known, quantitative methodology and measurement may be less well-known and understood.

Faculty will introduce the Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation program and discuss quantitative methodology more broadly, and several faculty members will highlight a specific research area.


Presenter 1: Tracy Sweet, Associate Professor

Tracy Sweet is an Associate Professor in the Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation program in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology.  She completed her Ph.D. in Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University and a M.A. in Mathematics at Morgan State University. Her research focuses on methods for social network analysis with particular focus on multilevel social network models. Recent projects include network interference and missing data. She serves as the Associate Director of Research for UMCP for the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center and currently overseeing projects on applying data science and statistical methods on large-scale educational data. Finally, Dr. Sweet is committed to improving diversity in the fields of statistics and quantitative methodology. She serves on the DEI committee for her department and the College’s Council on Racial Equity and Justice, and is interested in exploring how race and ethnicity is analyzed in quantitative methods.

Presenter 2: Peter Steiner, Associate Professor

Peter M Steiner is an Associate Professor in the Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation program in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland. He received a master’s and doctorate degree in Statistics from the University of Vienna and a master’s degree in Economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. His research focuses on causal inference with quasi-experimental designs, graphical models for causal inference, the design and analysis of replication studies, and factorial surveys (vignette experiments). In 2019, he received the Causality in Statistics Education Award of the American Statistical Association.

Presenter 3: Ji Seung Yang, Associate Professor

Dr. Yang is an Associate Professor of Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland. Before joining UMD in the fall of 2013, Dr. Yang worked as a postdoctoral researcher at University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) where she received her Ph.D. in the Social Research Methodology Program within the School of Education and Information Studies in 2012. She earned her M.A. and B.A. in Education at Yonsei University, Korea. Dr. Yang’s research interests focus on measurement and advanced quantitative research methods in social sciences. The research interests encompass 1) development of statistical models that incorporate measurement errors in the frameworks of Item Response Theory, Generalizability Theory, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, and Latent Variable Modeling, and 2) development of multilevel/multidimensional item response model with efficient computation. 

The Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation Program

(A SoDa Center Affiliate Organization)

Most of the educational and social science research that takes place today relies on the expertise of those who develop data collection instruments such as assessments, questionnaires, and interview protocols, plan research and evaluation studies, design sampling frameworks, collect and analyze data, and develop new statistical models and methods. The program in Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation trains future professionals in these areas, and we offer both the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. Our programs are widely recognized as being among the best programs in the country with exceptional students trained by faculty who are respected leaders within their specialties.

The SoDa Center at UMD

The powerful information available in large social science data sets is critical to understanding and addressing many of our nation and world’s most pressing challenges: from Covid-19 to racial, social and economic injustice; and from climate change to deep and damaging political and cultural divides. To help address these challenges, the University of Maryland has launched a new Social Data Science Center (SoDa) designed to advance research, education, and applications of social data measurement and analysis. This center leverages UMD’s strengths in survey methods, measurement, information management, visualization, and analytics. Facebook is providing support for the center’s research and education programs over the next three years.