I’m a senior researcher at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), especially broadening participation in STEM. I currently lead a portfolio of NSF-funded work as Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI on four NSF grants, including topics such as children’s STEM ability stereotypes, undergraduates’ motivation and retention in STEM, and gender biases in STEM higher education and workforce settings. I’m also a co-founder and current co-director of AIR’s Methods of Synthesis and Integration Center (MOSAIC), which supports methods innovation across evidence synthesis projects at AIR.

Leading academic journals such as Child Development, Journal of Educational Psychology, and Trends in Cognitive Sciences have published my research. This work largely uses quantitative methods for research synthesis and analyses of large-scale data sets, including data science approaches that I learned as a 2014 fellow for University of Chicago’s Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship. My research on gender diversity in STEM spans more than a decade.

My passion for STEM education research started as a physics major at Harvey Mudd College, wanting to better understand the varied ways of how students learn scientific concepts and come to identify as scientists. After earning my B.S. in Mathematical Physics, I pursued science education research through two years as a graduate student researcher at University of California at Berkeley’s Technology Enhanced Learning in Science (TELS) Center. I then earned my Ph.D. in psychology at Northwestern University with a doctoral dissertation that analyzed nationally representative longitudinal datasets to study transitions into and out of STEM.

Media attention

My research (Google Scholar profile) has been covered by national and international news outlets including ABC News, BBC News, Chicago Tribune, CNN, Nature, New York Times, Science, Smithsonian, TIME, The Atlantic, The Guardian, U.S. News, Washington Post, and Yahoo News. I have also been interviewed twice on radio for BBC World Service.

My own popular press writing has also appeared in outlets such as Associated Press, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Inside Higher Ed, Quartz, Scientific American, and U.S. News. While a graduate student at Northwestern, I reached over 200,000 readers as a contributing writer for The Conversation, an outlet where content is written by academics, edited by journalists, and republished by other media outlets.


My writings on my blog or popular press outlets solely represent my own personal opinions. These writings do not represent the views of American Institutes for Research.

Contact me

Email: dimiller@air.org

Twitter: @davidimiller