Ran Liu

Assistant Professor


225 Education Building

1000 Bascom Mall

Madison, WI 53706

Liu, Ran


Ran Liu is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies. Her research examines cross-national differences in gender inequality in STEM education, with a particular focus on East Asian societies. More broadly, she studies the intersection of race, gender, class, and immigration status in education and the labor market. She is also interested in survey and statistical methods and applying machine learning models to social science research.

Ran received her PhD in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Deeply concerned with the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields, she founded Women in Kaggle Philly and organized workshops for women who are interested in data science to provide a supportive environment. She also holds a dual M.A. in statistics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S.Sc. in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Before coming to UW-Madison, she worked as a people research scientist at Facebook.

Select Publications

  • Liu, R., Hannum, E., & Alvarado-Urbina, A. (2020). Differences at the Extremes? Gender, National Contexts, and Math Performance in Latin America. American Educational Research Journal
  • Liu, R. (2020). Do Family Privileges Bring Gender Equality? Instrumentalism and (De)Stereotyping of STEM Career Aspirations Among Chinese Adolescents. Social Forces
  • Liu, R., & Chiang, Y. (2019). Who is More Motivated to Learn? The Roles of Family Background and Teacher-Student Interaction in Motivating Student Learning. The Journal of Chinese Sociology
  • Liu, R. (2018). Gender-Math Stereotype, Biased Self-assessment, and Aspiration in STEM Careers: Gender Gap Among Early Adolescents in China. Comparative Education Review, 62(4), 522-541.
  • Hannum, E., Liu, R., & Alvarado-Urbina, A. (2017). Evolving Approaches to the Study of Childhood Poverty and Education. Comparative Education, 53(1), 1-36.