Howard Frank

June 4, 1941 – May 1, 2017

Brief Biography

Howard Frank is a former dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Frank studied electrical engineering at the University of Miami prior to pursuing graduate work at Northwestern. He received a PhD in 1965. His dissertation dealt with probabilistic graphs and some of their applications. Frank’s research and publications have largely remained focused on this subject and network design. In 1971, he co-authored a textbook on communication, transmission, and transportation networks.

Prior to becoming Dean at the Smith School of Business, Frank led an accomplished career in the private and public sectors. He served as Director of the Information Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). In this capacity, he managed an annual budget of over three hundred million dollars and administered research contracts totaling to over one billion dollars. For his contributions made during his four years at DARPA, he received the Distinguished Service Medal from the Secretary of Defense. Frank additionally served as the Founding Director of the Department of Defense's Advanced Information Technology Services Joint Program office, overseeing the integration of advanced technology into operational defense systems.

Frank was a member of the committee on information, computing, and communications of the National Science and Technology Council of the White House. He has been a visiting consultant within the President’s Executive Office, charged with its network analysis activities. Frank is a member of the Strategy Council of the Washington Board of Trade and of the Federal Advisory Committee of the National institute of Standards and Technology’s Advanced Technology Program.

Just as distinguished in the private sector, Frank was the founder, chairman and chief executive office of Network Management, Incorporated. His other executive positions included the same posts at Network Analysis Corporation and CEO of Contel Information Systems (a subsidiary of Contel Corporation).

Frank was an elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering and an inaugural Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). Prior to Maryland, he held an adjunct professorial position in decision sciences at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and was an Associate Professor of electrical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Frank and his wife are globally known for their extensive collection of fantasy and science fiction art, having published two books which showcase their collection.

Other Biographies

Baltimore Sun (1997) UM's new business dean has vision of technology college: Howard Frank, who helped build an early version of the Internet, wants to build the first technology-oriented business school in the nation. June 20. (link)


University of Miami, BSEE

Northwestern University, MS

Northwestern University, PhD 1965 (Mathematics Genealogy)


Academic Affiliations
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Miami
Non-Academic Affiliations
  • Contel Information Systems
  • Defense Advanced Research Project Agency
  • Department of Defense
  • Network Analysis Corporation
  • Network Management Inc.
  • White House National Science and Technology Council

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas

Oral Histories

Speaking of Books: Howard Frank, "Adventures of a Dean." You Tube video posted November 26, 2013.  Accessed December 22, 2016 (link)

Memoirs and Autobiographies


Frank, Howard (2013) Adventures of a Dean: A Primer on Business School Management. ISBN 9781621315292.  Cognella, San Diego. 


Howard Frank (2017. Washington Post, June 11, 2017.  Accessed at November 15, 2018 (link

Awards and Honors

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Fellow 1978

IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award 1999

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow 2002

National Academy of Engineering 2002

Selected Publications

Frank H. (1966) Optimum locations on a graph with probabilistic demands. Operations Research,14(3): 409-421.

Frank H. (1967) Letter to the editor - optimum locations on graphs with correlated normal demands. Operations Research, 15(3):

Frank H. (1969) Shortest paths in probabilistic graphs. Operations Research, 17(4): 583-599.

Frank H. & Frisch I. T. (1970) Analysis and design of survivable networks. IEEE Transactions on Communication Technology, 18(5): 501-519.

Frank H. & Frish I. T. (1971) Communication, Transmission, and Transportation Networks. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company: New York.

Chou W. & Frank H. (1972) Topological optimization of computer networks. Proceedings of the IEEE, 60(11): 1385-1397.

Boorstyn R. R. & Frank H. (1977) Large-scale network topological optimization. IEEE Transactions on Communications, 25(1): 29-47.

Additional Resources

Frank H. & Frank J. (2003) Great Fantasy Art Themes from the Frank Collection. Paper Tiger: London.