Li Cai is Chief Scientific Officer and a managing partner at VPG. He earned his PhD in Quantitative Psychology from the historic LL Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory at 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 is a Professor of Education and Psychology at UCLA. Dr. Cai has written over 100 papers and book chapters and been a PI or co-PI on over $30 million in funded research projects since he joined UCLA in 2008. 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 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 and statistical methodology research journals and has served on governing bodies of major professional associations in psychometrics and statistical methodology.