I would like to thank my advisor, Neal Kingston, for his mentorship, guidance, support, and limitless optimism. I’ve been extremely lucky to have an advisor that has opened the door to so many opportunities for me to grow. Thank you for teaching me to always strive for the ideal, rather than settling for what seems possible at the time.

I would also like to thank the rest of my committee: Jonathan Templin, Billy Skorupski, Paul Johnson, and Brooke Nash. Jonathan, thank you for introducing me to diagnostic models and sharing your knowledge with me. I am incredibly appreciative for all the time you have spent answering my questions, not just about DCMs, but also sports models and any other project I email you about. Billy, thank you for teaching me how to think about psychometrics. Without your guidance and willingness to share your expertise I would not be the psychometrician I am today. Paul, thank you for teaching me how to be a better programmer and software developer. This simulation study would not have been nearly as efficient without your guidance. Brooke, thank you for keeping me grounded in the real-world impact of my work when I start to get too high in the ivory tower. Thank you also for constantly being a sounding board for me to talk through issues with as I take over your white board.

I am also thankful to Accessible Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Systems for financial and computing resources that supported this project. Even more so, I am thankful to the rest of the Dynamic Learning Maps psychometric, specifically Amy Clark and Meagan Karvonen, for the mentorship and support that has contributed to both my professional and personal growth.

None of this would have been possible without my family who have provided nonstop encouragement and support. I would not be who I am today without my parents’ unquestioning belief in me. I am so very grateful for the seemingly unending amount of patience they have given me during my years in graduate school in addition to their unconditional love and support. I promise to call and visit more!

I also must thank my Kansas City family and friends. To my in-laws, thank you for welcoming me into your family and your home, taking care of Larry when our schedules get busy, and always giving me a laugh and a distraction. Thank you also to my close friend and former cube-mate Jennifer Brussow, who is always ready to talk through any issue or question that pops into my head, no matter the subject. And to my dog Larry, who can’t read this but spent many late nights and early mornings on the couch with me as I worked on this project: thank you for filling my life with warm snuggles, breadsticks, and cold licks.

Finally, I would like to thank my wonderful wife Julia. Without you none of this would have been possible. Out of everything I’m thankful for, you are by far the top of the list. Thank you for always supporting me and listening to me rant about my latest programming challenges. This is as much your accomplishment as it is mine. Thank you for everything. I love you!