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SDS Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Nathan Marti


17 November 2016—Nate Marti, Ph.D. is a biostatician and SDS Department lecturer.

Tell us a little bit about yourself—educational background, work experience, etc.

I received my PhD in Developmental Psychology with a specialization in quantitative methods from The University of Texas at Austin. After graduating, I joined the Statistical Consulting Services at UT Austin. Next, I spent five years with Center for Community College Student Engagement culminating in the position of Associate Director. I then returned to the Statistical Consulting Services at UT Austin as the manager of consulting services. Since leaving that position, I have continued to teach a graduate-level hierarchical linear models course for SDS and a power analysis course at the SDS Summer Statistics Institute while pursuing a private research consulting business in which I have conducted quantitative investigations in fields such as public health, psychology, social work, and law.

What led you to choose statistics as your field?

Statistics chose me. As a graduate student in psychology, I took numerous statistics courses and obtained an internship with the Statistical Consulting Services that evolved into a full-time position after graduation. During that time, I developed an appreciation for the thoughtful application of quantitative methods in enhancing any empirical field of study that I have continued to pursue to this day.

Tell us about a project or piece of research you have worked on while here at UT.

While working at the Center for Community College Student Engagement, I used a novel implementation of group-based latent trajectory modeling to identify longitudinal enrollment patterns from community college students’ transcripts. The research characterized the often-discussed but largely unquantified topic of the heterogeneous pathways of community college students. The work culminated in an article published in Research in Higher Education.

What is your favorite book?

My go-to statistical book is Data Analysis Using Regression and Multilevel/Hierarchical Models by Andrew Gelman and Jennifer Hill, and my short list of favorite books includes The Big Short by Michael Lewis, Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.

What would you have for your last meal?

A stuffed avocado.

What is your favorite vacation destination?

Mountain biking in Bend, Oregon, where I visit as often as possible.

If you were not teaching, what would you be doing?

Gardening, traveling, or mountain biking in Bend, Oregon.

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