Rod Little

NISS Position: 
Senior Fellow
University of Michigan
Professional Title: 
Richard D. Remington Distinguished University Professor of BiostatisticsProfessor, Department of StatisticsResearch Professor, Institute for Social Research

Dr. Rod Little’s research interests include incomplete data, sample surveys, Bayesian statistics, applied and statistics. A primary research interest is the analysis of data sets with missing values; another interest is the analysis of data collected by complex sampling designs involving stratification and clustering of units. Dr. Little’s inferential philosophy is model-based and Bayesian, which he applies to the development of model-based methods for survey analysis that are robust to misspecification, reasonably efficient, and capable of implementation in applied settings. His applied interests are broad, including mental health, demography, environmental statistics, biology, economics and the social sciences as well as biostatistics.

Rod Little chaired the Biostatistics Department from January 2007 to December 2009, and from 1993 to 2001. Prior to that he was Professor in the Department of Biomathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles; Research Fellow at the U.S. Bureau of the Census (1982-83); Expert Consultant at the United States Environmental Protection Agency; Scientific Associate at the World Fertility Survey; and Research Associate (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Statistics, University of Chicago.

Active editorially, he was Coordinating and Applications Editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association from 1992-1994, and he was co-editor of the Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology from 2016 to 2018. From January 2010-December 2012, Little was a Vice President of the American Statistical Association.

Since his fellowship at the Census Bureau he has been interested in federal statistical issues such as the census undercount, and he has served as a member of the Committee on National Statistics and a number of other National Research Council committees. In 2009-10 he chaired an NRC study on the prevention and treatment of missing data in clinical trials. From September 2010-January 2013, Little served as the inaugural Associate Director for Research and Methodology and Chief Scientist at the U.S. Census Bureau.

An ISI highly cited researcher, he has over 250 refereed publications, notably on methods for the analysis of data with missing values and model-based survey inference, and the application of statistics to diverse scientific areas, including medicine, demography, economics, psychiatry, aging and the environment. He has chaired or co-chaired 30 doctoral committees. In 2005 Dr. Little received the Wilks' Memorial Award from the American Statistical Association for his research contributions. At the Joint Statistical Meetings, he gave the President's Invited Address in 2005 and the COPSS Fisher lecture in 2012.

Little is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.