The mission of the AIMS2 lab is to investigate new and existing methods for the study of change in behavioral and social science. The research is focused at the intersection of theory and methods and how to strike a balance to further our understanding of empirical data. Much of the work is concerned with longitudinal analysis and different approaches to modeling dynamic systems over time. This draws from a range of different disciplines including economics, computer science, mathematics, and control theory. The main goal is to approach questions from multiple angles and to readily integrate the useful tools developed in other disciplines into our own substantive work.
These goals and interests reflect a strong belief that, when empirical data is involved, no model is ever correct or true in the absolute sense. The most we can hope for is a close approximation of what we observe. In cases of simulated data, the investigation is primarily concerned with either verifying a methodological approach, or in qualitatively describing emergent behavior of systems. Computer skills are a prerequisite as is an openness to numerous statistical frameworks.
The members of the AIMS2 lab regularly attend and present at the Stats-Lunch Brown-Bag. This collaborative series is currently hosted through the Department of Psychology and the Quantitative Interest Group at Portland State University. The goal is to have a weekly meeting to discuss quantitative methods in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Meetings are informal, and there is no set format for presentations or topics. Past discussion have ranged from requests for consultation to tutorials and practice lectures. This also provides an opportunity to have multiple quantitatively focused faculty — Joel Steele, Todd Bodner, Liu-Qin Yang, and Jason Newsom — together at one time. All areas are welcome.