Vivian Wong

Associate Professor

  • B.A., University of Chicago, 1998
  • Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2010

Vivian C. Wong is a research methodologist in the field of Education. Currently, Dr. Wong is an Associate Professor in Research, Statistics, and Evaluation in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on evaluating interventions in early childhood and K-12 systems. As a methodologist, her expertise is in improving the design, implementation and analysis of randomized experiments, regression-discontinuity, interrupted time series, and matching designs in field settings.

Dr. Wong is the lead author or co-author of numerous articles and book chapters on research methodology. Along with colleagues, she recently published a paper on regression-discontinuity designs when multiple assignment variables and cutoffs are available, as well as a paper that uses a regression-discontinuity design to evaluate five state pre-kindergarten programs. She is currently examining sorting issues in regression-discontinuity designs, as well as using within-study comparison designs to identify best methods for prospectively choosing comparison schools in education evaluation contexts.

Dr. Wong's work has appeared in the Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and Psychological Methods. Dr. Wong participated in the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) Predoctoral Training Program at Northwestern University, and received the Outstanding IES Predoctoral Fellow Award in 2010 for her dissertation work on "Addressing Theoretical and Practical Challenges in the Regression-Discontinuity Design."  She is a Principal Member of IES's Statistics and Methodology review panel.

Make office hour appointments with Dr. Wong.


2011-Present   Design, Analysis, and Implementation of Field Experiments

2011-Present   Educational Statistics 1

2014  Educational Statistics 3: Correlation and Regression


2010   IES Cluster RCT workshop (teaching assistant)

2007-2010   IES Workshop on Within-study Comparison Designs (lead instructor)

2011  IES Workshop on Quasi-Experimental designs (teaching assistant)

2015-2017  IES Workshop on Quasi-Experimental designs (lead instructor)


  • Publications


    Hallberg, K., Wong, V.C., Cook, T.D. (under review). Evaluating Methods for Selecting School-Level Comparisons in Quasi-Experimental Designs: Results from a Within-Study Comparison

    Wong, V.C.  & Bassok, D. (forthcoming). Evaluating PreK-3rd Initiatives: A guide to substantive, methodological and practical considerations. Washington, DC: Foundation for Child Development.

    Wong, V. C., Steiner, P.M., Cook, T.D. (2013). Analyzing regression-discontinuity designs with multiple assignment variables: A comparative study of four estimation methods. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 37(5). 

    Wong, V.C., Wing, C., Steiner, P.M., Wong, M., & Cook, T.D. (2012). Research designs for program evaluation. In W. Velicer & J. Schinka (eds.), Handbook of Psychology: Research Methods in Psychology. (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons.

    Hallberg, K., Wing, C., Wong, V.C., & Cook, T.D. (2012). Experimental Design for Causal Inference: Clinical Trial and Regression-Discontinuity Designs. In T. Little (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Quantitative Methods. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

    Shadish, W.R., Galindo, R., Wong, V.C., Steiner, P.M., & Cook, T.D. (2011). A randomized experiment comparing random to cutoff-based assignment. Psychological Methods, 16(2), 179-191.

    Cook, T.D., Wong, M., & Wong, V.C. (2011). The interdependence of politics and science in the evolution of Head Start. In N. Stein & S. Raudenbush (Eds.), Developmental Cognitive Science Goes to School (pp. 300-313). New York, NY: Routledge.

    Cook, T. D., & Wong, V. C. (2008). Empirical tests of the validity of the regression discontinuity design. Annales d’Economie et de Statistique. No. 91/92(July-December), pp. 127-150.

    Cook, T. D., Shadish, W. R., & Wong, V. C. (2008). Three conditions under which experiments and observational studies often produce comparable causal estimates: New findings from within-study comparisons. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 27(4), 724-750.  Reprinted (2008) in M. Pirog (Ed.), Social Experimentation, Program Evaluation, and Public Policy (Vol. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management: Classics series). New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

    Wong, V. C., Cook, T. D., Barnett, W. S., & Jung, K. (2008). An effectiveness-based evaluation of five state pre-kindergarten programs. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 27(1), 122-154.  Reprinted (2008) in M. Pirog (Ed.), Social Experimentation, Program Evaluation, and Public Policy (Vol. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management: Classics series). New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

    Cook, T. D., & Wong, V. C. (2008). Better quasi-experimental practice. In P. Alasuutari, J. Brannen, & L. Bickman (Eds.), The Handbook of Social Research. London: Sage.

    Cook, T. D., & Wong, V. C. (2007). The warrant for universal pre-K: Can several thin reeds make a strong policy boat? Social Policy Report, XXI(3), 14-15.  Reprinted in Prevention Action, October 2007.

    Hirsch, B. J. & Wong, V. (2004). After-School Programs. In D. DuBois & M. Karcher (Eds.), Handbook of Youth Mentoring. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    Research reports:
    Cook, T. D., Wong, V. C., Taylor, J., Gandhi, A., Kendziora, K., Choi, K., et al. (2009). Impacts of School Improvement Status on Students with Disabilities: Feasibility Report. Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research.

  • Program Areas
  • Research Center