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Research Scientist Achievement Award
Mick P. Couper

From census counts to political polls, the collection of social science or public policy data depends heavily on surveys. Mick P. Couper, senior associate research scientist in the Institute for Social Research’s Survey Research Center, is a leader in newly emerging methods of designing and conducting surveys that are leading to ever-more reliable results.

Internationally recognized as a survey methodologist, Couper is an expert in survey non-response and computer-assisted data collection. He collaborated with Robert M. Groves on a major book, “Non-response in Household Surveys” (Wiley 1998), which analyzes why people decide to participate in surveys. Their theories have resulted in survey-design models to reduce non-response rates and methods to account statistically for a lack of response.

Couper also is a leading expert in new survey technologies such as computer-assisted telephone and personal interviewing, e-mail surveys and Web-based surveys. He was extensively involved in the transition from paper-based to computer-assisted personal interviews in federal agencies and academic research organizations, and continues to work in this area. A current project examines how rich graphics on Web sites affect survey responses. This work incorporating literature from the fields of visual perception and interface design is indicative of Couper’s cross-disciplinary interests.

His many international engagements as a conference organizer and keynote speaker reflect his global stature. Couper’s service on committees and to professional organizations shows his commitment to the field he has been so instrumental in advancing.

An active educator on campus and off, he has taught several graduate-level courses.

For the last three years, Couper has served as director of the Detroit Area Study, a graduate student practicum in the Department of Sociology, where he holds a joint appointment. Couper serves on the editorial board of Public Opinion Quarterly and is an associate editor of the Journal of Official Statistics, both leading journals in the field of survey methodology.

Michael A. Savageau
Lawrence Sklar
Kensell D. Wise
Robert E. Lewis
Don B. Clewell
Andrew F. Nagy
Jeffrey R. Parsons
Julia Adams
Richard D. Woods
Fred C. Adams
Photios G. Ioannou

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