Barbara Lepidus Carlson has expertise in statistical sampling and weighting and survey research. She has used her strong statistical sampling skills on numerous projects, predominantly surveys in the fields of health care and early childhood education, including studies of Head Start.
As lead sampling statistician and task leader, Carlson is responsible for designing and implementing samples, creating sampling and analysis weights, calculating response rates, estimating design effects, conducting power analysis, and ensuring overall data quality. She documents the methodology using language understandable by nonstatisticians, and she is well versed in complex sample designs, including the use of variance estimation techniques. In addition to her expertise in sampling and weighting survey data, Carlson has directed a number of survey projects, including the large-scale Health Tracking Household Survey (formerly the Community Tracking Study Household Survey) conducted in communities across the country, and the Evaluation of the Cash and Counseling Demonstration. The latter was an award-winning randomized study in which frail Medicaid enrollees, or those with disabilities, received a monthly cash allowance to purchase personal assistance services and related goods, with the goal of increasing consumers’ control over their personal care.
Carlson, who joined Mathematica in 1993, has authored and presented many technical, methodological, and subject-matter papers at the annual Joint Statistical Meetings as well as other conferences. She conducts seminars for nonstatisticians on topics such as weighting, response rates, and power analysis both in-house and as an invited speaker. She sat on the National Academies’ Committee on National Statistics Expert Panel to Review the Design of the National Children’s Study. Carlson has an M.A. in mathematics with a concentration in statistics from Boston University.