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Gongjun Xu

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Dr. Gongjun Xu is an assistant professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of Michigan. Dr. Xu’s research interests include latent variable models, psychometrics, cognitive diagnosis modeling, high-dimensional statistics, and semiparametric statistics.

Ginger Shultz

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The Shultz group uses data science methods in two primary ways 1) to investigate student placement in introductory chemistry courses and 2) to analyze student texts to provide instructors actionable intelligence about student learning. Using regression discontinuity we investigated the impact of taking general chemistry prior to organic chemistry on student performance and persistence in later chemistry courses and found that students who took general chemistry first benefitted by 1/4 of a letter grade but were no more likely to persist. A continued investigation using survey and interview methods indicated that this was related to academic skills rather than content preparation. Through the MWrite project we have collected a large corpus of student texts and are developing automated text analysis methods to glean information about student learning across disciplines, with specific focus on scientific reasoning.

Network representation of writing moves made by students in argumentative writing with relevant transition probabilities. The size of the node represents the relative frequency of operation use and the edge labels represent the transition probability with key transitions highlighted in orange.

Pamela Davis-Kean

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Pamela Davis-Kean, PhD, is Professor of Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and Research Professor, Survey Research Center and Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Prof. Davis-Kean is the Director of the Population, Neurodevelopment, and Genetics program at the Institute for Social Research. This group examines the complex transactions of brain, biology, and behavior as children and families develop across time. She is interested in both micro (brain and biology) and macro (family and socioeconomic conditions) aspects of development to understand the full developmental story of individuals.  Her primary focus in this area is how stress relates to family socioeconomic status and how that translates to parenting beliefs and behaviors that influence the development of children.