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Hedges Wins Statistician of the Year Award

Hedges recognized for work on meta-analysis and education evaluation


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Larry V. Hedges

The Chicago Chapter of the American Statistical Association (ASA) named IPR education researcher and statistician Larry V. Hedges 2013-14 Statistician of the Year for his prominent accomplishments.  Past winners include University of Chicago economist and Noble laureate James Heckman, Stanford University statistician Brad Efron, and Harvard University statistician Donald Rubin.

Hedges, who is Board of Trustees Professor in Statistics and Social Policy at Northwestern University, was chosen from a field of distinguished applicants “for outstanding, lifelong work on statistical methods in meta-analysis and their applications in evidence-based policy and education,” said Feinberg associate professor Borko Jovanovic, who chaired this year’s award committee and is a former president of the ASA’s Chicago chapter.

In his acceptance speech October 24 award ceremony, Hedges tackled the hot-button topic of “Big Data with Big Consequences, But Who Will Benefit?” In his talk, he alerted his fellow statisticians to the idea that “other fields could eclipse statistics as the principal source of inspiration and training for working with big data, to the detriment of both statistics and the sciences that hope to benefit from big data.”

A national leader in education statistics and evaluation, Hedges came to IPR and Northwestern in 2005 from the University of Chicago and is a founding director of IPR’s Center for Improving Methods for Quantitative Policy Research (Q-Center). He is best known for his research on statistical methods for meta-analysis, a statistical analysis of the results of multiple studies that combines their findings. He has co-authored many of the field’s definitive books on the topic, including most recently the second edition of The Handbook of Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis (Russell Sage Foundation, 2009), in addition to numerous journal articles on meta-analysis and many other topics.

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ASA Chicago Chapter President Mary Kwasny and Borko Jovanovic
present Larry Hedges with his award at the October 24 ceremony.

 

In addition to developing specific methodological tools and models in the fields of education, psychology, medicine, and others, Hedges has also worked to raise the bar of methodological expertise. While at IPR, he has led a two-week workshop on cluster-randomized trails each summer for six years, all of which have been supported by the Institute for Education Sciences (IES). These workshops have trained more than 180 researchers, students, and faculty since 2008. And he has created training and education opportunities for postdoctoral fellows in rigorous statistical evaluation, also with IES funding.

His research portfolio spans a number of critically important topics, such as national and cross-national assessments of student achievement, the social distribution of U.S. academic achievement, and improvements in the generalizability of evaluation research and in the ability to scale up education programs and models.

Hedges currently serves as a Senate-confirmed member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences, a post to which President Barack Obama nominated him in 2011. In this role, he advises and consults with the director of the Institute of Education Sciences on education policy and research priorities. He also has worked to bring together the education research community, in particular by helping to found the Society for Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) and of which is he now president. SREE works to advance and disseminate causal research on education by organizing conferences and publishing original research in its Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness.

An elected member of the National Academy of Education, Hedges is also an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Statistical Association, American Psychological Association, and American Educational Research Association.

Larry Hedges is Board of Trustees Professor in Statistics and Social Policy, professor of psychology, and an IPR fellow.