Distinguished University Scholar & Professor
Canada Research Chair in Psychometrics and Measurement (Tier 1)
Paragon UBC Professor of Psychometrics and Measurement
Professor Zumbo, UBC Distinguished University Scholar, is a mathematical scientist in the scholarly tradition that combines mathematics with statistical and computational/algorithmic techniques to develop theory and solve problems arising in statistical science, measurement, testing, and surveys in the social, behavioral, and health sciences.
His scholarly life is driven by an immense curiosity and desire to learn. This has meant that his primary focus has been on understanding and articulating the mathematical and conceptual nuances of measurement, test theory, and surveys. This focus on understanding coupled with a great deal of energy and commitment to knowledge dissemination and mobilization has resulted in a prolific record of published research papers, monographs, edited volumes, and invited addresses and webinars available online. His first peer-reviewed scientific publication appeared in 1987 when he was 21 years old.
He began his career as a professor in January 1990 with his first tenure-track appointment in the Faculty of Education with an adjunct appointment in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Ottawa (1990-1994). He subsequently held professorships in the Departments of Psychology and of Mathematics at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC, 1994-2000), prior to starting his current appointment in the Measurement, Evaluation, and Research Methodology (MERM) Program and associate membership in the Institute of Applied Mathematics (IAM) at the University of British Columbia in 2000 where he is Professor and Distinguished University Scholar, the Canada Research Chair in Psychometrics and Measurement (Tier 1), the Paragon UBC Professor of Psychometrics & Measurement and twice selected a Killam Laureate; Faculty Research Prize – 2017 in recognition of outstanding research and scholarly contributions, and Teaching Prize – 2012 in recognition of excellence in teaching.
He is an experienced researcher whose pioneering work has addressed several cross-disciplinary recurring topics in psychometrics and statistical methods, such as (i) validity theory and validation practices, (ii) measurement invariance and item bias, (iii) studies of the robustness of statistical and psychometric methods to violations of their assumptions, and (iv) the development of nonparametric, Bayesian, and adaptive alternatives. The main themes in his primary core research program are:
- Mathematical science: formulating mental test theory as an abstract mathematical model, using concepts in measure theory, probability theory, and functional analysis
- Geometry of multivariate statistics and psychometrics; Bayesian analysis; mixed & latent variable models; item response theory (IRT); generalizability theory (G-theory); classical test theory (CTT)
As evident from the list of publications, awards, and academic titles, his professional contributions reflect a pragmatic and eclectic attitude in methodological matters that have also led to concomitant advances in international assessment and surveys, language testing, and the methodology of quality of life and wellbeing, health and human development. These more discipline-specific advances, in the end, feed his primary core research program.
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Elected a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, AERA, 2011
Recipient of the Research Fellow Award by the International Society for Quality of Life Studies, ISQOLS , 2010
Recipient of the Samuel J. Messick Memorial Lecture Award, awarded jointly by ETS, LRTC, and ILTA, 2005
Recipient of the first UNBC University of Northern British Columbia University-wide Excellence in Teaching Award, 1998
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Research Fellow, 1989
The UBC Psychometric Research Webinar Series is part of the knowledge mobilization efforts to maximize the impact of the research emerging from the UBC Canada Research Chair (Tier 1), Psychometrics and Measurement. We aim to foster improved psychometric research and practice, testing, assessment, and survey design globally.
- The UBC Psychometric Webinar Series aims to share new developments with you in psychometrics and statistical science. The series’ focus is described in general terms: psychometrics, testing, assessment, and statistical and data science.
Director of the Edgeworth Laboratory for for Quantitative Educational & Behavioural Science, UBC
EPSE 681C Psychometric & Data Science Concerns for Fairness & Equity with Emerging Technologies
EPSE 684 Item Response Theory
EPSE 681C Test Theory, Reliability, & Generalizability Theory
EPSE 683 Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Growth and Change
University of Alberta