TUM – Technical University of Munich Menü

Prof. Dr. Ali Ünlü

Academic Career and Research Areas

The research interests of Professor Ünlü include mathematical and statistical methods in the modeling, measurement and visualization of information in the quantitative behavioral sciences, in empirical educational research and large scale assessment. His research mainly focuses on generalized latent variable models and their applications to the measurement of knowledge and competence.

Having earned a first degree in mathematics (TU Darmstadt, 2000) Professor Ünlü completed his doctoral studies in the field of psychometrics and mathematical psychology (Institute of Mathe­matics, TU Graz, and Department of Psychology, University of Graz, 2004). Subsequently he worked as a visiting professor (University of Graz) and junior specialist (UC Irvine and Purdue University). He later assumed the position of assistant professor and acquired his postdoctoral teaching qualification (habilitation) (Department of Statistics at the University of Augsburg, 2009). After this he became an associate professor (TU Dortmund, 2009). From December 2011 to December 2016 he was holder of a BMBF (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and KMK (Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs) endowed chair at the Centre for International Student Assessment (ZIB). Since 2011 he has been a full professor of empirical methods in education research at TUM.


  • Winner Memorial Guest (Purdue University, Indiana, 2005)

Key Publications (all publications)

Ünlü A: “A note on the connection between knowledge structures and latent class models”. Methodology: European Journal of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences. 2011, 7(2): 63-67.


Ünlü A, Sargin A: “DAKS: An R package for data analysis methods in knowledge space theory”. Journal of Statistical Software. 2010; 37(2), 1-31.


Sargin A, Ünlü A: “Inductive item tree analysis: Corrections, improvements, and comparisons”. Mathematical Social Sciences. 2009; 58(3), 376-392.


Ünlü A: “A note on monotone likelihood ratio of the total score variable in unidimensional item response theory”. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology. 2008; 61, 179-187.


Ünlü A: “Nonparametric item response theory axioms and properties under nonlinearity and their exemplification with knowledge space theory”. Journal of Mathematical Psychology. 2007; 51(6), 383-400.