Joint Quantitative Brownbag


David MacKinnon

Dr. Li Cai
Department of Education
University of California, Los Angeles

Li Cai is a statistician and quantitative psychologist. He is a professor of Advanced Quantitative Methodology at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies with a joint appointment in the quantitative area of the UCLA Department of Psychology. He is also Director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Managing Partner at Vector Psychometric Group.

He invented the Metropolis–Hastings Robbins–Monro algorithm for inference in high-dimensional latent variable models that had been intractable with existing solutions. The algorithm was recognized as a mathematically rigorous breakthrough in the “curse of dimensionality” and garnered numerous top-tier publications and national awards.


Reflections on the fading standardized testing requirement in college admissions


In this talk, I will draw on some of my personal experiences serving on the University of California’s Standardized Testing Task Force (STTF) between 2018-2020 and ponder about the future of the role of educational assessments in college admissions. The format will be conversational.

Background Reading

  • Executive summary of the STTF and the additional statement.
  • Cai, L. (2020). Standardized testing in college admissions: Observations and reflections. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 29(3), 34-36.