Ken Frank
Associate Professor
Measurement and Quantitative Methods
Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education and Fisheries and Wildlife
Room 462 Erickson Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
517-355-9567 (phone)
517-353-6393 (fax)
Email: kenfrank@msu.edu


I’m an associate professor in Measurement and Quantitative Methods
within Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education
within the College of Education and also in Fisheries and Wildlife
within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University

  • Sept, 1988-Dec 1993 University of Chicago Department of Education, program in Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistical Analysis, Ph.D.
  • My dissertation concerned the use of an iterative partitioning clustering algorithm to identify cliques of actors in a network. Applications include identifying cliques of teachers in high schools, cliques of students in a single grade of high school, and subgroups of schools which exchange many students.
    Chair: Anthony Bryk;
    Committee: Charles Bidwell, Benjamin Wright, Kazuo Yamaguchi, Dan Lortie and
    Bob Dreeben

  • 1986-1988 University of Michigan School of Education, program in Higher and Adult Continuing Education. Masters of Arts.
  • 1981-1985 University of Michigan. Major in Statistics and English, Bachelor of Arts.

Research Interests:

I study the social structures of organizations and systems. How do the structures evolve, how do they affect what an organization does? I often use quantitative methods drawing on social networks and multilevel models . Typically I study small systems, in particular schools as organizations, a topic that is part of the sociology of education. Recently I've been working with the Add Health data.


I am a 1999 National Academy of Education Post-Doctoral Spencer Fellow. My proposal was entitled: "The Emergence of School Community."


I teach a range of courses on quantitative methods in the social sciences:

CEP 991B: Seminar on the Theory and Method of Social Networks . We integrate statistical methods that help address the dependencies inherent in social network data and graphical techniques for representing social structure with theory from organizational studies, communications, social psychology.

CEP 991B: Seminar on Causal Inference and the Diffusion of Innovations .

CEP 935 : Course on multivariate statistics including Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Discriminant Analysis, Factor Analysis, Canonical Correlation, Cluster Analysis and Multidimensional Scaling.

CEP 933 : An introductory course into the general linear model (ANOVA and Regression) featuring SPSS and NELS88 a nationally representative data base). I draw the substantive context from recent examples in the educational literature.

CEP 822 : An introductory research methods course for master’s students in Education. Students learn to interpret statistical analyses in the context of research articles. I design small group discussions including role playing, tutoring, argumentation, etc.

Recent Publications:

  • Frank, K. A., Zhao, Y., and Borman (2004). Social Capital and the Diffusion of Innovations within Organizations: Application to the Implementation of Computer Technology in Schools.”Sociology of Education, 77: 148-171
  • Pan, W., and Frank, K.A. 2004. “An Approximation to the Distribution of the Product of Two Dependent Correlation Coefficients.” Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation, 74, 419-443 .
  • Crosnoe, R., Muller, C. and Frank, K.A. (2004). Interpersonal Context and the Potential Consequences of Adolescent Drinking. Social Problems .
  • Pan, W., and Frank, K.A., 2004. “A probability index of the robustness of a causal inference,” Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 28, 315-337.
  • Frank, K. A. and Zhao, Y. 2004. “Subgroups as a Meso-Level Entity in the Social Organization of Schools.” Chapter 10, pages 279-318. Book honoring Charles Bidwell’s retirement, edited by Larry Hedges and Barbara Schneider. New York: Sage publications.
  • Zhao, Y and Frank, K.A., 2004. “What teachers need to know about technology: framing the question.” To be published in a book for Project Time, Robert Floden editor.
  • Zhao, Y. and Frank, K. A., 2003. “An Ecological Analysis of Factors Affecting Technology Use in Schools.” American Educational Research Journal, , 40(4): 807-840.
  • Krause, A., Frank, K.A., Mason, D.M., Ulanowicz, R.E. and Taylor, W.M. (2003). “Compartments exposed in food-web structure.” Nature 426:282-285
  • Wellman, B.A. and Frank, K.A. 2001. “Network Capital in a Multi-Level World: Getting
    Support from Personal Communities.” in Social Capital: Theory and Research, Nan Lin, Ron Burt and Karen Cook. (Eds.). Chicago: Aldine De Gruyter
  • Frank, K. 2000. “Impact of a Confounding Variable on the Inference of a Regression
    Coefficient.” Sociological Methods and Research, 29(2), 147-194.
  • Herman, S.E., Frank, K.A., Mowbray, C.T., Ribisl, K.M., Davidson, W.S., Bootsmiller, B., Jordan, L., Greenfield, A.L., Loveland, D., Luke, D. A. 2000. “Longitudinal Effects of Integrated Treatment on Alcohol Use for Persons with Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders.” Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research. 27 (3), 286-302.
  • Saunders, J.L., Leahy M.H., and Frank, K.A. 2000. “Improving the Employment Self-Concept of Persons with Disabilities: A Field Based Experiment.” Accepted for publication in Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 43(3), 142-149.

Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability
115 Manly Miles Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
517-432-5025 (phone)
517-432-5066 (fax)