Bodo Winter is a Ph.D. student whose research interests lie in cognitive linguistics, phonetics and language evolution. His keen interests in statistical modeling have resulted in many invited presentations, where Bodo explains new approaches to statistical modeling of linguistic and psychological data. Below is some information about this work and experiences.
You are giving several invited workshops on mixed-effects methods for data analysis, including internationally in Denmark and Germany. What is this technique and why do you think folks are taking interest?
“Linear mixed effects models are an impressively powerful tool for analyzing data of all kinds. They empower researchers to model their data more flexibly, and in particular, they are well-designed for complex nested, hierarchical and crossed experimental designs that we frequently deal with in cognitive science. Linear mixed effects models are basically ‘regression on acid.’ It’s being pushed a lot right now in the psycholinguistics community and is becoming increasingly used by a large number of scientists because of its many advantages for dealing with clustered data.
Some of the introductions to linear mixed effects modeling can be quite daunting and are technically challenging, so I see my task to break it down. Basically, I’m turning my own learning process outwards and hopefully helping others along the way to use new analyses approaches for their data.”
How did the CogSci program support your efforts developing and delivering these workshops to an international audience?
“The CogSci program has given me generous summer funding that made my travels, conference visits and workshops possible. Also, some of these opportunities only opened up because of networking that was due to the program, such as meeting invited researchers and speakers on campus while they visit UC Merced.
The CogSci program, with its collaborative spirit and its productive work atmosphere, has encouraged me to present multiple talks and posters at multiple conferences this summer. And, they have given me the opportunity to reach out and connect with other departments, by encouraging me to pursue my workshops.”
This summer Bodo also beefed up his own training by going to summer workshops as an attendee. He won a fellowship/travel grant for a Nonlinear Methods workshop at U. Cincinnati, and a Linguistic Society of America Institute fellowship for a prominent workshop in Ann Arbor. Bodo’s main advisor is Prof. Teenie Matlock.