Meta-Stat has been under development for a number of years. A prototype was developed in 1989 with Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) funding from the National Institutes of Health. We were able to demonstrate that the system had potential and two years later we were able to secure Phase II SBIR funding. In late 1993, the first commercial system was ready.
Meta-Stat was written in Turbo Pascal 7.0 by Borland International and it incorporates the following toolboxes: Scientific and Engineering Tools by Quinn-Curtis; Turbo Toolkit by Technojock Software; BGI Driver Toolkit by Ryle Design; and PCX Toolkit by Genus Microprogramming. With the arrival of higher speed computers, the well documented timing problem in Turbo Pascal rendered the software unusable. Users would either get erroneous results or they would get a Run-Time Error-200 message and the system would freeze. In 2002, we found a satisfactory patch to repair the problem and decided to make the software readily available thought the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation.
Programming for Meta-Stat was conducted by Lawrence M. Rudner, David L. Evartt, and Patrick J. Emery. The manual was first prepared by Lawrence Rudner and Dana Sohr of Technical Communications, Inc. in Fulton, Maryland with the assistance of Gerald Bracey, Gene Glass, Caroline Bagin, David Evartt, and Pamela Getson. The manual was updated with the help of Laura Chapman, Carol Boston and Jennifer Gellmann.
The system has been through two field trials. Our field testers caught numerous mistakes, incorrect formulas, bugs, and the like. We gratefully acknowledge David Gibson, Science Applications Inc; Robert Bangert-Drowns, State University at Albany; Philip C. Abrami Concordia University; Michael J. Strube, Washington University; James A. Kulik, University of Michigan; Chen-Lin C. Kulik, University of Michigan; Roger E. Millsap, City University of New York; Michael R. Stevensen Ball State University; Herbert C. Rudman, Michigan State University; Peter A. Cohen, Medical College of Georgia; Norman Miller, University of Southern California; Karl White, Utah State University; Larry Leslie, University of Arizona; and Arthur L. White, Ohio State University for their assistance with one or both of the field tests.
We are especially indebted to Professor Gene V Glass. Gene has been a consultant to this project since its inception. Aside from moral support, he provided a large investment of time. He provided a comprehensive testing of the system, suggested different ways to present information on the screens, suggested new features, helped edit the manual (he was very picky and he caught numerous errors) and most importantly reacted to ideas and answered questions. We were often in daily communication.
-- Lawrence M. Rudner