Picture of Ali Ünlü

Prof. Dr. techn. Ali Ünlü

Technical University of Munich

Chair of Methods in Empirical Educational Research (Prof. Ünlü)

Postal address

Arcisstr. 21
80333 München

Curriculum Vitae

married,  3 children


  • 04/2007 – 05/2009: Habilitation [Postdoctoral University Degree with Lecture Qualification] in Mathematics at the Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, University of Augsburg, Germany, Dr. habil. in Mathematics
  • 10/2001 – 12/2004: Doctoral study in Technical Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, Graz University of Technology; in cooperation with Cognitive Science Section, Department of Psychology, University of Graz, Austria, Dr.techn. [Doctor of Technical Sciences] (mit Auszeichnung)
  • 10/1993 – 09/2000: Studies in Mathematics, Experimental and Theoretical Physics, University of Technology Darmstadt, Germany, Dipl.-Math. [Diplom (M.S.) in Mathematics]
  • 08/1984 – 06/1993: High School, Worms, Germany
  • 1980 – 1984: Elementary School, Worms

Professional Experience

  • since 12/2011: Full Professor for Methods in Empirical Educational Research, University of Technology Munich, Germany
  • 12/2011 - 12/2016  Endowed chair at the Centre for International Student Assessment (ZIB) cofunded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK)
  • 10/2009 – 11/2011: Associate Professor for Statistical Methods in the Social and Educational Sciences, University of Technology Dortmund, Germany
  • 05/2009 – 08/2010: Scientific Consultant in US NSF funded project granted to Prof. Dr. Ehtibar N. Dzhafarov, Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, Indiana, USA
  • 12/2006 – 10/2009: University Assistant (Assistant Professor) at the Institute of Mathematics, University of Augsburg
  • 05/2004 – 10/2006: Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the Department of Psychology, University of Graz
  • 2004 – 2006: Lecturer at the Department of Psychology, University of Graz
  • 06/2002 – 04/2004: Postgraduate Research Assistant at the Department of Psychology, University of Graz
  • 03/2002 – 06/2002: Junior Specialist at the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, University of California, Irvine
  • 08/2001 – 12/2001: Visiting Professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Graz
  • 12/2000 – 08/2001: Postgraduate Research Assistant at the Department of Psychology, University of Graz
  • 10/2000 – 12/2000: Visiting Professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Graz
  • 07/2000 – 10/2000: Postgraduate Research Assistant at the Department of Psychology, University of Graz

>> For my profile as teaching staff of the TUM please refer to this web site.

Fields of Research Interest

Mathematical Educational Research, Methods in Large Scale Assessment, Psychometrics, Mathematical Psychology, Scaling Methods in Psychophysics, Adaptive Testing in Discrete Structures, Nonparametric and Multidimensional Item Response Theory, Knowledge and Learning Space Theory, Educational Data Mining, Motivation and Self-Determination Theory

Selected Publications and Talks

>> For further publications see main page.

Dzhafarov, E.N., Ünlü, A., Trendtel, M., & Colonius, H. (2011). Matrices with a given number of violations of regular minimality. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 55, 240–250.

Ünlü, A. (2011). A note on the connection between knowledge structures and latent class models. Methodology: European Journal of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 7, 63–67.

Ünlü, A., & Sargin, A. (2010). DAKS: An R package for data analysis methods in knowledge space theory. Journal of Statistical Software, 37(2), 1–31. URL http://www.jstatsoft.org/v37/i02.

Sargin, A., & Ünlü, A. (2009). Inductive item tree analysis: Corrections, improvements, and comparisons. Mathematical Social Sciences, 58, 376–392.

Ünlü, A. (2008). A note on monotone likelihood ratio of the total score variable in unidimensional item response theory. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 61, 179–187.

Ünlü, A. (2007). Nonparametric item response theory axioms and properties under nonlinearity and their exemplification with knowledge space theory. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 51, 383–400.

Ünlü, A. (2006). Estimation of careless error and lucky guess probabilities for dichotomous test items: A psychometric application of a biometric latent class model with random effects. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 50, 309–328.

>> For further talks see main page.

Ünlü, A. (2011, September). Datenanalytische Verfahren zur Ableitung von Lösbarkeitshierarchien zwischen Testitems [Data-analytic methods for the derivation of solvability hierarchies among test items]. Talk at the Sektionstagung Baustelle Lehrerbildung of the Arbeitsgruppe für Empirische Pädagogische Forschung (AEPF 2011), Klagenfurt, Austria.

Ünlü, A. (2010, February). Eine Einführung in die nichtparametrische Item-Response-Theorie, mit Fokus auf stochastischen Ordnungseigenschaften [An introduction to nonparametric item response theory, with an emphasis on stochastic ordering properties]. Invited talk at the Department of Statistics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany.

Ünlü, A. (2009, August). Mosaic visualization for knowledge space theory. Talk at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Mathematical Psychology (SMP) and the 40th Annual Conference of the European Mathematical Psychology Group (EMPG), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Ünlü, A., & Malik, W. A. (2009, July). Interactive graphical exploration of psychometric multivariate data using glyph representations. Talk at the 16th International Meeting of the Psychometric Society (IMPS), Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Ünlü, A. (2008, March). Stochastic ordering in psychometrics. Talk at the 8th International Conference on Ordered Statistical Data and Its Applications, Aachen, Germany.

Ünlü, A. (2007, March). Misclassified response data in psychometrics. Talk at the 1st Joint Statistical Meeting of the German Working Group on Statistics, Bielefeld, Germany.

Ünlü, A. (2006, January). Multi-parameter models, estimation, identifiability, and model selection. Invited talk at the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany.