Statistical Science

A Conversation with Robert Groves

Hermann Habermann, Courtney Kennedy, and Partha Lahiri

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Professor Robert M. Groves is among the world leaders in survey methodology and survey statistics over the last four decades. Groves’ research—particularly on survey nonresponse, survey errors and costs, and responsive design—helped to provide intellectual footing for a new academic discipline. In addition, Groves has had remarkable success building academic programs that integrate the social sciences with statistics and computer science. He was instrumental in the development of degree programs in survey methodology at the University of Michigan and the University of Maryland. Recently, as Provost of Georgetown University, he has championed the use of big data sets to increase understanding of society and human behavior. Between his academic tenures, Groves served as Director of the US Census Bureau. Professor Groves is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association, elected member of the International Statistical Institute, elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences, elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies and presidential appointed member of the National Science Board. The interview was conducted in early 2016 at Georgetown University.

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Statist. Sci. Volume 32, Number 1 (2017), 128-137.

First available in Project Euclid: 6 April 2017

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Data science federal statistical system leverage-salience theory nonresponse responsive design sample surveys


Habermann, Hermann; Kennedy, Courtney; Lahiri, Partha. A Conversation with Robert Groves. Statist. Sci. 32 (2017), no. 1, 128--137. doi:10.1214/16-STS594.

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  • Bethlehem, J. (2002). Weighting nonresponse adjustments based on auxiliary information. In Survey Nonresponse (R. M. Groves, D. A. Dillman, J. L. Eltinge and R. J. A. Little, eds.) 157–214. Wiley, New York.
  • Groves, R. M. and Peytcheva, E. (2008). The impact of nonresponse rates on nonresponse bias. Public Opin. Q. 72 167–189.
  • Groves, R. M., Presser, S. and Dipko, S. (2004). The role of topic interest in survey participation decisions. Public Opin. Q. 68 2–31.
  • Groves, R. M., Singer, E. and Corning, A. (2000). Leverage-saliency theory of survey participation: Description and an illustration. Public Opin. Q. 64 299–308.
  • Groves, R. M., Presser, S., Tourangeau, R., West, T. B., Couper, M. P., Singer, E. and Toppe, C. (2012). Support for the survey sponsor and nonresponse bias. Public Opin. Q. 76 512–524.
  • Kreuter, F., Olson, K., Wagner, J., Yan, T., Ezzati-Rice, T. M., Casas-Cordero, C., Lemay, M., Peytchev, A., Groves, R. M. and Raghunathan, T. E. (2010). Using proxy measures and other correlates of survey outcomes to adjust for non-response: Examples from multiple surveys. J. Roy. Statist. Soc. Ser. A 173 389–407.