Les Perelman received a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts.
After a three-year post doctoral fellowship in Rhetoric and Linguistics at the University of Southern California, Dr. Perelman moved to Tulane University where he served as an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, Linguistics, and Writing, Director of First Year Writing, Director of the Writing Center, and a Member of the Graduate Faculty.
For the next twenty-six years Dr. Perelman was Director of Writing Across the Curriculum in Comparative Media Studies / Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Associate Dean in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education. He was Project Director and co-Principal Investigator for a grant to MIT from the NSF to develop a model Communication-Intensive Undergraduate Program in Science and Engineering. He served as Principal Investigator for the development of the iMOAT Online Assessment Tool funded by the MIT / Microsoft iCampus Alliance. He currently serves as President of the Consortium for Research and Evaluation of Writing, a non-profit Massachusetts corporation that oversees the use and ongoing development of the iMOAT Online Essay Evaluation Service by the member colleges and universities in the iMOAT Consortium. Dr. Perelman also Recently served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the post-secondary organization of the National Council of Teachers of English and co-chaired its Committee on the Assessment of Writing.
Dr. Perelman has been a consultant to over twenty colleges and universities on the assessment of writing, program evaluation, and writing-across-the-curriculum. Dr. Perelman has served as a consultant for writing program assessment and development for the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education of the U. S. Department of Education and for the Modern Language Association. In 2012-2013, he served as a consultant to Harvard College and co-principal investigator in a major two-year study assessing the writing abilities of undergraduates at the college.
Dr. Perelman recently co-edited the volume Writing Assessment in the 21st Century and he is the primary author of the first web-based guide to technical writing, The Mayfield Handbook of Technical and Scientific Writing. He has published articles on writing assessment, technical communication, computers and writing, the history of rhetoric, sociolinguistic theory, and medieval literature, and co-edited The Middle English Letter of Alexander to Aristotle. Dr. Perelman’s research was instrumental in the removal of the Writing Section of the SAT, and he is a well-known critic of Automated Essay Scoring.
Les Perelman grew up in Los Angeles, California, where he went to Fairfax High School. He still is in contact with many of his classmates. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, the birthplace of American liberty and the home of Charles Ponzi. Les believes that these two facts are somehow connected but is unsure of their exact relationship. He lives with his wife of 33 years and near their politically active son.
Les supplements his work on writing assessment with active spurts of cooking, baking, and wine collecting. He has four different sourdough starters, makes an excellent cassoulet, even better paellas, and specializes in collecting fine wines that cost less than $15 a bottle. He also walks in the woods near his house and is an active world traveler.