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Gunter Maris, Renowned Educational Researcher, to Join ACT

IOWA CITY, Iowa—Gunter Maris, a pioneer in statistics and learning theory, has agreed to join ACT as senior director of advanced psychometrics. As part of the ACT research and development group ACTNext, Maris will lead a team of research scientists located in both the Netherlands and the United States.

“Among his peers, Dr. Maris is considered the most significant innovator in the field of educational measurement,” said Alina von Davier, vice president of ACTNext. “His research into learning pathways, adaptive learning, and network psychometrics has the capacity to change not only our profession, but education around the world.”

In addition to advancing the science of psychometrics, Maris is known for upending accepted knowledge. Marten Roorda, ACT chief executive officer, said questioning assumptions may be key to making rapid advances in what is often perceived as the slow pace of educational improvement.

“As a society, we have been ‘stuck’ in our level of academic achievement,” said Roorda. “Through the work of researchers like Dr. Maris, we can now access and analyze student-specific information from virtually every step in the learning process. By personalizing education for each child, we can help millions of young people learn better and faster than ever before, and in doing so change the world.”

Maris currently is a professor of psychological methods at the University of Amsterdam and principal research scientist at Cito, an international assessment organization based in the Netherlands. His research focuses on theories of learning and individual differences, and the statistical methods needed to evaluate those theories.

Maris has published widely in scientific journals including in Science, Psychological Review, and Psychometrika. He holds a PhD in mathematical psychology from the Netherlands’ University of Nijmegen, and a Master’s degree in theoretical psychology from Belgium’s University of Leuven.

He will be joining ACT in June 2017.

About ACT

ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT is trusted as a national leader in college and career readiness, providing high-quality assessments grounded in nearly 60 years of research. ACT offers a uniquely integrated set of solutions designed to provide personalized insights that help individuals succeed from elementary school through career.