Remembering Prof. Frank Baker

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our friend and former colleague Prof. Frank Baker. Dr. Baker, who passed in early November at the age of 90, was a professor with the Department’s Quantitative Methods area for more than three decades. He also served a term as Department Chair. Baker did pioneering work in Item Response Theory, which is a paradigm for the design, analysis, and scoring of tests, questionnaires, and other measurements. His work on Item Response Theory and other quantitative issues led to more than 100 research publications throughout his career. He retired from the Department in 1998. Barker Photo Dr. Baker was an avid skier, serving on the ski patrol of nearby ski hills even into his retirement years. He also designed and built model airplanes and was a founding member of the Madison Area Radio Control Club. His interest in flight went far beyond model airplanes. He earned his private pilot’s certificate and rebuilt a badly-damaged Piper Cub airplane, which he flew around the country. In 2004, he published a book on his cross-country flying adventures entitled “”Piper Cub Tales.”” A devoted father, grandfather and husband, Dr. Baker was also a member of the U.S. Air Force, flying some 50 combat missions as a navigator during the Korean War. For his service, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. “Those who knew Frank will remember his candor, high standards, and wry sense of humor,” says current Department Chair Prof. Brad Brown. “He will be greatly missed.” Private memorial services will be held in Minnesota. Read his full obituary here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *