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Li Cai

Li Cai

GSE&IS Building Rm 315
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521

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Li Cai

Li Cai is a statistician whose research encompasses educational and psychological measurement, computational statistics, and research design. He led the development of widely used item response theory software programs such as IRTPRO and flexMIRT. His research and development activities have been in the areas of statistics, assessment system design, mental health statistics, and patient-reported outcomes.

Research Center


  • Director, The National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST)


  • Ph.D., Psychometrics, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2008

Awards, Honors, Fellowships

  • 2007 ETS, Gulliksen Psychometric Research Fellowship
  • 2009 AERA, Outstanding Quantitative Dissertation Award
  • 2010 NCME, Brenda H. Loyd Outstanding Dissertation Award
  • 2011 APA, Anne Anastasi Early Career Award

Select Publications

  • Cai, L., Yang, J. S. & Hansen, M. (2011). Generalized full-information item bifactor analysis. Psychological Methods, 16, 221-248.
  • Cai, L. (2010). Metropolis-Hastings Robbins-Monro algorithm for confirmatory item factor analysis. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 35, 307-335.
  • Cai, L. (2010). A two-tier full-information item factor analysis model with applications. Psychometrika, 75, 581-612.