What's New in Causal Inference: From Propensity Scores and Mediation to External Validity and Surrogate Endpoints

RAND Statistics Seminar Series

What's New in Causal Inference: From Propensity Scores and Mediation to External Validity and Surrogate Endpoints

Judea Pearl—University of California, Los Angeles

Thursday, March 24th, 2011
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PT / 1:30pm – 3:00pm ET
Conference Room 1226/1228
RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA

Please contact Denise Miller if you would like to attend this seminar.


The talk will discuss recent advances in causal inference, including: 1) The logical equivalence of structural and potential outcome frameworks - what it tell us, and where the differences are; 2) What predictors should and should not be used in propensity score analyses -- the strange episode of instrumental variables; 3) The Mediation Formula, what it tells us about how and why treatments work, and about percentages "owed-to" and "explained-by" mediation; 4) What mathematics can tell us about "external validity" or "generalizing from experiments", what must be assumed to legitimize generalization and, once assumed, what need to be measured for the generalization to be valid.

Speaker Bio

Judea Pearl is a professor of computer science and statistics at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the Technion, Israel, and has joined the faculty of UCLA in 1970, where he currently directs the Cognitive Systems Laboratory and conducts research in artificial intelligence, causal inference and philosophy of science. He has authored three books: Heuristics (1984), Probabilistic Reasoning (1988), and Causality (2000). A member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a Founding Fellow the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), Judea Pearl is the recipient of the London School of Economics Lakatos Award for 2001 and the ACM Alan Newell Award for 2004. In 2008, he received the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Computer and Cognitive Science from the Franklin Institute. He is this year's recipient of the David Rumelhart Prize from the Cognitive Science Society.

Attending a Seminar

Other Locations/Times:
Washington, D.C. Conf. Rm. 4128: 1:30 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh Conf. Rm. 6202: 1:30 p.m. ET

RAND visitors are welcome to attend and must RSVP at least one day prior to the seminar. To ensure your attendance please contact Denise Miller at dmiller@rand.org with your name, company (or university) affiliation, and national citizenship (for security purposes).

For parking and directions to RAND's Santa Monica office, please see: http://www.rand.org/about/locations/santa-monica.html.

For parking and directions to RAND's Pittsburgh office, please see: http://www.rand.org/about/locations/pittsburgh.html.

For further information and to be added to the mailing list contact Denise Miller at dmiller@rand.org.