UW-Madison School of Education - Events

School of Education Events

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Quantifying Uncertainty in Models and Methods: A Bayesian Perspective

UW-Madison’s David Kaplan, the Patricia Busk Professor of Quantitative Methods with the School of Education’s No. 1-ranked Department of Educational Psychology, is delivering this presentation.
Date
Monday, November 05, 2018
Time
2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Location
259 Educational Sciences building
Description

UW-Madison’s David Kaplan, the Patricia Busk Professor of Quantitative Methods with the School of Education’s No. 1-ranked Department of Educational Psychology, is delivering this presentation on Monday, Nov. 5 titled, “Quantifying Uncertainty in Models and Methods: A Bayesian Perspective.”

david_kaplan_2016_150pxddd0bf37c0a569e0ad6dff0000cdac6dQuantitative approaches to education research are focused on the estimation of population parameters of interest, such as treatment effects, regression coefficients, etc., obtained through methods that rest on notions of frequentist probability. Recently, quantitative education research has embraced the Bayesian paradigm of probability, and a key characteristic of Bayesian statistical inference that separates it from its frequentist counterpart is its focus on characterizing uncertainty in model parameters.

This uncertainty is encoded through the specification of prior probability distributions on all model parameters.

From a Bayesian point of view however, parameters are not the only quantities that contain uncertainty. Specifically, the selection of a particular model from a universe of possible models can also be characterized as a problem of uncertainty. The method of Bayesian model averaging quantifies model uncertainty by recognizing that not all models are equally good from a predictive point of view, but a weighted average across the space of possible models can yield optimal predictive performance.

This talk provides an overview of Bayesian model averaging with a focus on recent developments and applications to common models and methods in education research.

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