Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, May 6, 2011

Robert Groves elected to National Academy of Sciences

Survey methodologist Robert Groves, director of the U.S. Census Bureau and a U-M professor, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors attainable by an American scientist, in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievement in original research.

  Robert Groves

An internationally recognized expert in scientific surveys, Groves is a research professor at the Institute for Social Research, professor of sociology in LSA, and a research professor at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland (a joint teaching program of U-M, Maryland and Westat Inc.)

Groves, has authored or co-authored seven books and scores of scientific articles. His 1989 book "Survey Errors and Survey Costs" was named one of the 50 most influential books in survey research by the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). His book "Nonresponse in Household Interview Surveys" with U-M researcher Mick Couper received the 2008 AAPOR Book Award.

Groves received Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Dartmouth College in 1970, Master of Arts degrees in statistics and sociology from U-M in 1973 and a doctorate in sociology from U-M in 1975. He joined the Department of Sociology as a lecturer in 1975, attaining the rank of assistant professor in 1977, associate professor in 1983 and professor in 1990.

From 1990-92, he served as associate director of statistical design, standards, and methodology at the Census Bureau, on loan from U-M. He is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association, an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, and past president of the AAPOR.

In 2001 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from AAPOR. He has consulted on survey designs for a wide range of public and private organizations including the National Institutes of Health, the Census Bureau, the Social Security Administration, A.C. Nielsen and Co., the Gallup Organization, the American Lung Association, Cornell University, and Statistics Sweden.

Groves has also served as project director of the National Survey of Family Growth. Funded and directed by the National Center for Health Statistics, the survey of more than 18,000 men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 is the principal source for national estimates of factors affecting pregnancy and birth rates. Currently Groves is on leave from U-M, having been appointed by President Barack Obama as Census Bureau director.

Groves will be inducted into the NAS next April during its 149th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Groves, elected along with 71 others, brings the number of U-M faculty elected to the National Academy of Sciences to 25. Also elected this year from U-M was Huda Akil, Gardner C. Quarton Distinguished Professor of Neurosciences and co-director of the Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience Institute.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furthering science and technology and to their use for the general welfare.