Jaehoon Lee received the Texas Tech Parents Association’s Barney E. Rushing Jr. Faculty Distinguished Research Award in Social Sciences, Humanities and Creative Arts Disciplines.
From qualitative or quantitative data collection to surveys, observations and experiments, research methods can take numerous forms. But how effective are those methods when the research is complex?
Jaehoon “Jason” Lee, an associate professor of educational psychology and leadership in Texas Tech University's College of Education, evaluates research methods for their performance in complex data environments. He believes methodology and applied research are symbiotic endeavors. Advances in methodology are limited in value if not utilized by applied scientists and educators.
For his dedication to research, Lee received the Texas Tech Parents Association's Barney E. Rushing Jr. Faculty Distinguished Research Award in Social Sciences, Humanities and Creative Arts Disciplines.
Can you describe your research and its impact, both in academics and society?
I believe methodology and applied research are symbiotic endeavors – advances in methodology are of limited value unless they are routinely utilized by applied scientists and educators. Thus, my research has spanned on evaluating research methods for their performance in complex or ‘less favorable' data environments. Another line of my research is adapting advanced modeling techniques to real-life questions in various fields, including education, psychology, human and social science, special populations, public and mental health, medical science, brain imaging and biomechanics.
What projects are you working on at this time?
I'm currently running a series of Monte Carlo simulation studies on propensity score methods (PSM) and multilevel/Bayesian latent variable modeling. For example, I have developed and am evaluating principal component scores based on PSM that would improve the efficiency and sensitivity of PSM, especially when there are a large number of potential covariates.
What areas are you interested in for future research?
I'm hoping to design algorithms that efficiently extract and analyze psychological and biomedical information from virtual reality (VR) machines. My lab and I have been collaborating with colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine and University of Connecticut for this project.
What rewards do you get from teaching?
Among many rewards I get from teaching, my favorite reward is getting to celebrate the milestones of my students – big and small accomplishments throughout the day and school year. I am happy to watch my students (current and previous) grow, and I am proud to be a part of the process to get them to where they are today.
What motivated you to pursue a career in academia?
I was in my undergraduate in Korea, and there was one course, Factor Analysis, I just loved so much. I couldn't stop asking the professor, Dr. Soonmook Lee, for additional material. Not for grading, really just for my own pleasure. Later, the professor helped me apply for graduate programs in the U.S. I was offered a scholarship. It was my childhood dream to be paid to go to a graduate school.
How has Texas Tech helped you advance your research and teaching?
Texas Tech helped me in many different ways. To name a few, but not limited to, fund support for research and equipment, a flexible teaching schedule, great colleagues, leadership, collegiality and excellent students!
Who has had the biggest impact on you and your career, and why?
Dr. Todd D. Little, a professor of educational psychology and leadership at Texas Tech. He is my graduate school adviser, supervisor of my first job at University of Kansas and now mentor and colleague at Texas Tech. He gives unwavering support and confidence as I am pursuing my career in academia. He always cares for my comfort and happiness.