I am an assistant professor of methods and statistics within the Department of Child Development and Education at the University of Amsterdam. My areas of expertise primarily involve structural equation modeling (SEM), multilevel modeling, nonparametric methods, and modern missing data methods. My methodological research interests include psychometrics (namely, testing measurement equivalence / invariance and detecting differential item functioning [DIF] / measurement bias), resampling methods (permutation, bootstrap, Monte Carlo simulation), Bayesian inference, planned missing data designs, and statistical programming. I frequently intermingle these interests; for example, my dissertation research investigated the use of small-variance priors in Bayesian SEM for detecting DIF, and my postdoctoral work involved developing permutation-randomization methods for detecting DIF.
My current research is funded by the NWO's Veni grant, the goal of which is to integrate the social relations model (SRM) with SEM. I am using Bayesian methods to model "round-robin" (or "social network") data from the perspective of generalized latent-variable modeling, enabling many advantages of SEM to be applied to models for network data:
My Veni project will involve developing a new R package for the integrated SRM+SEM. I also maintain two existing R packages (semTools and simsem) and contribute to two other R packages (lavaan and blavaan), which are all devoted to SEM in R.
I was raised in the Atlanta, Georgia area of the USA. While my activities were primarily creative in my youth (theatre and music), I developed a strong interest in philosophy and psychology as well. When I began to study psychology for my bachelor's degree at Kennesaw State University, I felt a stronger affinity for the topics involving research methods and statistics than I did for other (albeit interesting) content areas within psychology, so I decided to persue a master's degree in applied statistics. During my master's program, I worked as the coordinator of KSU's psychology laboratory for bachelor's students, where I worked as an academic advisor, SPSS tutor, and editor of APA-style manuscripts. I also edited manuscripts for APA-style as an editorial assistant for the journal Teaching of Psychology, and checked introductory methods and statistics textbooks for errors. I spent my final months at the psych lab developing tutorial videos for students learning APA style and introductory statistics via SPSS for the first time. My tutorials can be found on my YouTube page, linked below.
During my master's program, I was thrilled to learn about the field of quantitative psychology, where I could devote my attention to studying the statistical methods that other psychologists use to draw inferences about the people who are the focus of their research. I attended a PhD program in quantitative psychology at the University of Kansas, during which I taught intermediate statistics to bachelor's students using R software, and I worked as a consultant in the Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis (CRMDA). Also at the CRMDA, I helped develop workshops and instructional documents to use R for data management, regression, and SEM. A link to these documents is provided below.
I teach workshops on a variety of topics in statistics and computing. Below (listed in reverse chronological order), I provide lecture slides, zipped folders containing collections of workshop materials, or links to the workshop web pages where such materials can be downloaded.