Three faculty members elected to Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology

Author: Megan Valley

Lijuan WangLijuan Wang

Notre Dame Associate Professors Lijuan Wang, Guangjian Zhang, and Zhiyong Zhang have recently been elected to the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology.

A small, selective society that facilitates high-level research and interaction among its affiliates, SMEP is limited to 65 active members.

With the trio’s election, Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology now has six members in the society—no other department in the country has more. Gitta Lubke, Scott Maxwell, and Ke-Hai Yuan are also members.

“It’s a great honor to be part of the organization,” Wang said. “Many of the members are authors of research articles that I have enjoyed reading and researchers I admire very much. It’s great to be able to interact with them academically and learn from them via this channel.”

Wang’s research focuses on developing, evaluating, and applying statistical methods and models for psychological and behavioral data analysis.

Guangjian ZhangGuangjian Zhang

“I am interested in quantitative methods for analyzing repeatedly measured data to study how and why people change over time or age,” she said. “I am also interested in investigating how to analyze data from inter-related individuals such as the mother, father, and kids from a family to better understand family dynamics.”

The society allows researchers to stay up-to-date on current research, Guangjian Zhang said.

“Members of the society are experts on methodology issues in multivariate experimental psychology” he said. “I particularly like the interactive meeting format of the SMEP. It is a great opportunity to hear their ongoing research activities and their thoughts on my research.”

Guangjian Zhang studies methods for modeling high-dimensional complex data and is currently working on effective methods of analyzing high-dimensional data measured repeatedly at many time points.

He is interested in applying these methods to solve substantive questions like the self-management of patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Zhiyong ZhangZhiyong Zhang

Zhiyong Zhang appreciates that his membership will allow him to collaborate more broadly with some of the top researchers in the field—and will also help him bring the latest research to his students at Notre Dame.

His research centers on developing new methods and software for better data analysis in the areas of developmental and health research.

“My method development focuses on the use of Bayesian statistics—an alternative way for data analysis to the frequentist method,” he said. “I have also developed popular web-based software for power analysis and structural equation modeling.”

All three faculty members said the supportive environment in the Department of Psychology has been invaluable.

“I have benefited and learned so much from my colleagues and students via research collaborations, mentoring, and teaching,” Wang said. “Our quantitative psychology group is one of the best in the nation—and being able to work in this group definitely boosts my learning.”

Originally published at