Professor and Distinguished University Scholar;
Canada Research Chair in Psychometrics and Measurement (Tier 1);
Paragon UBC Professor of Psychometrics and Measurement
– Multivariate statistics, measurement models, and measurement error models
– Mathematical science and particularly applications of measure theory, and geometry of test theory and statistics
– Intersection of philosophy of science with measurement, modeling, and statistics
Scarfe Office Block 2501


Carleton University
University of Alberta


A biographical Wikipedia entry about Professor Zumbo.


Professor Zumbo, UBC Distinguished University Scholar, is a mathematical scientist trained in the scholarly tradition that combines pure and applied mathematics with statistical and algorithmic techniques to develop theory and solve problems arising in statistical science, measurement, testing, and surveys in the social, behavioral, and health sciences.

His program of research is actively engaged in development of statistical and psychometric methods for  quality of life and well-being, health and human development, and language testing. This applied work, in the end, feeds his primary research program in research methodology and measurement.

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 professorial career in 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.

Scholarly Interests:

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  • As is evident from the list of publications and awards, his program of research is noted for his having addressed cross-disciplinary recurring controversial topics such as theories of measurement validity, measurement invariance, the role of levels (or scales) of measurement in statistics, and the role of hypothesis testing in empirical studies and particularly their lack of robustness to violations of assumptions. His contributions to these debates have highlighted his orientation from the intersection of mathematics, measurement and statistical science, with philosophy of science and scientific methodology.
  • His program of research is actively engaged in psychometrics for language testing, quality of life and wellbeing, and health and human development. This applied work, in the end, feeds his basic program of research in research methodology and measurement.

Community Engagement:

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



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

Courses Taught:

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