Roderick Joseph Little, PhD, is the Richard D. Remington Distinguished University Professor of Biostatistics, Professor of Statistics, Research Professor, Institute for Social Research, and Senior Fellow, Michigan Society of Fellows, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Prof. Little’s primary research interest is the analysis of data sets with missing values. Many statistical techniques are designed for complete, rectangular data sets, but in practice biostatistical data sets contain missing values, either by design or accident. As detailed in my book with Rubin, initial statistical approaches were relatively ad-hoc, such as discarding incomplete cases or substituting means, but modern methods are increasingly based on models for the data and missing-data mechanism, using likelihood-based inferential techniques.
Another interest is the analysis of data collected by complex sampling designs involving stratification and clustering of units. Since working as a statistician for the World Fertility Survey, I have been interested in the development of model-based methods for survey analysis that are robust to misspecification, reasonably efficient, and capable of implementation in applied settings. Statistics is philosophically fascinating and diverse in application. My inferential philosophy is model-based and Bayesian, although the effects of model misspecification need careful attention. My applied interests are broad, including mental health, demography, environmental statistics, biology, economics and the social sciences as well as biostatistics.