Ran Xu

Assistant Professor


Allied Health Sciences

Research Interests

I am a quantitative methodologist and my research focuses on social networks and systems science, with applications in health behavior and health policy. I have extensive experience applying data science, social network analysis, and natural language processing to analyze behavioral, administrative, and social media data. Example projects I’m currently involved with include developing new social network and sensitivity analysis methods that can study social interactions or support stronger causal inferences in health-related studies, understanding the spread of health misinformation, studying the development of health science workforce. I plan to be involved with various activities and interest groups at inCHIP, including the mhealth center, food policy center, and center of school and children’s health.


PhD in Measurement and Quantitative Methods, Michigan State University, 2016

Recent Publications

1. Xu, R., Frank, K. A., Maroulis, S., Rosenberg, J. M. (Forthcoming). KONFOUND: Stata module to quantify robustness of causal inferences. The STATA Journal.

2. Kim, S., Wallsworth, G., Xu, R., Frank, K. A., Schneider, B., Jacob, B., Dynarski, S. (2019). The Impact of the Michigan Merit Curriculum on High School Math Course Taking. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 0162373719834067.

3. Xu, R., Deshon, R. P., Deshop, C. (2019). Challenges and Opportunities in the Estimation of Dynamic Models. Organizational Research Methods.

4. Ghaffarzadegan, N.*, & Xu, R.* (2019). Effects of Late Retirement on Aging of US Science and Engineering Professors. PLOS ONE, 13(12), e0208411. * Co-equal first authors.

5. Xu, R., Ghaffarzadegan, N. (2018). Neuroscience bridging scientific disciplines in health: who builds the bridge, who pays for it? Scientometrics, 117(2), 1183-1204.

6. Ghaffarzadegan, N., Xu, R., Larson, R. C., Hawley, J. D. (2018). Symptoms vs. Root Causes: A Needed Structural Shift in Academia to Help Early Careers. BioScience, 68(10), 744-745.

7. Frank, K. A.*, & Xu, R.*, Penuel, W. R. (2018). Implementation of Evidence Based Practice in Human Service Organizations: Implications from Agent-Based Models. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 37(4), 867-895. * Co-equal first authors.

8. Xu, R. (2018). Alternative Estimation Methods for Identifying Contagion Effects using Longitudinal Social Network Data: A Latent-Space Adjusted Approach. Social Networks, 54, 101-117.

9. Song, Y., Xu, R. (2018). Affective Ties that Bind: Investigating the Affordances of Social Networking Sites for Commemoration of Traumatic Events. Social Science Computer Review, 0894439318770960.

10. Ghaffarzadegan, N., Rad, A. A., Xu, R., Middlebrooks, S. E., Mostafavi, S., Shepherd, M., Chambers, L., Boyum, T. (2018). Dell’s SupportAssist Customer Adoption Model: Enhancing the Next Generation of Data-Intensive Support Services. System Dynamics Review, 33(3-4), 219-253.

11. Xu, R., Frank, K. A. (2016). The Implications for Network Structure of Dynamic Feedback between Influence and Selection. Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, and Prediction. Springer International Publishing.

12. Moore, J. A., Xu, R., Frank, K. A., Draheim, H., & Scribner, K. T. (2015). Social network analysis of mating patterns in American black bears (Ursus americanus). Molecular Ecology, 24(15), 4010-4022.

Contact Information
Phone(517) 802-7167
Mailing AddressRm 212, Koons Hall Storrs, CT 06269 United States