Li Cai is Chief Scientific Officer and a managing partner at VPG as well as a Professor of Education and Psychology at UCLA. He is currently Director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), a large R&D center at UCLA. He earned his PhD in Quantitative Psychology from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Broadly speaking, his research agenda involves the development, integration, and evaluation of innovative latent variable models that have wide-ranging applications in educational, psychological, and health-related domains of study. A key component on this agenda is statistical computing, particularly as related to IRT and multilevel modeling. Dr. Cai has developed IRT software programs such as IRTPRO and flexMIRT® for item analysis and test scoring, as well as the scoring engine behind VPG’s Adaptest®, a web-based system for the administration and scoring of IRT-based, including adaptive, tests.
Dr. Cai has written over 60 papers and 13 book chapters and been a PI or co-PI on over $15 million in funded research projects. His methodological work is regularly published in psychometric and statistical journals, such as Psychometrika, Psychological Methods, The British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, and Multivariate Behavioral Research and he has also collaborated with substantive researchers at UCLA and elsewhere on projects examining measurement issues in mental health, substance abuse treatment, and patient-reported outcome (PRO) research. Dr. Cai has won numerous awards in his career including the 2011 Anne Anastasi Early Career Award from The American Psychological Association, the 2012 Cattell Early Career Award from the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology, and the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), which is the highest honor bestowed by the US government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their careers. He has been an editor or associate editor of major psychometric research journals and has served on governing bodies of major professional associations in psychometrics.