My research interests

Steve Simon


I got an email from someone at UMKC with the title, Director of Undergraduate Research. She was

“looking through the abstract booklet from the Faculty Research Symposium sponsored by Lawrence Dreyfus’s office at the end of last semester, and I was really intrigued by your presentation on the likelihood ration slide rule. That’s just the kind of innovative work that undergraduate students would like to be involved with, and you would be an awesome mentor for undergraduate researchers.”

Flattery always works with me, so I took her suggestion of setting a faculty profile that undergraduate students at UMKC could review. Here’s what I put on that profile.

I am interested in research about the research process. One application is the use of Bayesian Statistics to monitor the patient accrual process during a prospective clinical trial. Many trials fall behind in patient accrual, leading to major delays in completing the research and/or serious shortfalls in proposed sample size. The Bayesian model helps researchers predict trial completion more accurately by forcing them to describe their prior beliefs about the patient accrual process. The model also allows a researcher to monitor patient accrual during the trial, allowing early adjustments to the research if patient accrual is much slower than expected.

I’m also interested in auditing the existing research record to look for general trends and patterns in how research is conducted and reported. How often, for example, do research reports still rely on methodologies like post hoc power calculations that have been discredited in the research community? How often does IRB approved research fail to follow the proposed research protocol and how often is the research left unpublished?

I had to add in some “tags”, so I wrote “Bayesian Statistics; patient accrual; auditing research.”

There’s a place to suggest specific projects that undergraduate students might want to help with, but I haven’t filled that out yet. I made my profile publicly available. Why not? The main page for undergraduate research at UMKC is here.

I don’t expect to get a flood of students knocking on my door, but you never know.

You can find an earlier version of this page on my blog.