Fall 2011

MIS Newsletter: Fall 2011

Welcome to the Fall 2011 issue of the MIS area newsletter! The Fall semester has been eventful for MIS @ UT Dallas with significant achievements on multiple dimensions. During this semester, we have had the pleasure of welcoming a large number of new students into our MS ITM and BS MIS degree programs and three into our doctoral program. The growing trend in MIS enrollment indicates that students may have finally realized the enormous opportunities a degree in MIS opens up. We continue to align our curriculum with industry needs and developments in technology and business landscape through innovative courses and programs. We have launched a Graduate Certificate in Enterprise Systems in cooperation with the SAP University Alliance. On the research side, two of our professors, Vijay Mookerjee and Radha Mookerjee, were finalists for the prestigious Wagner prize awarded annually by INFORMS, the premier society for management science academics and professionals, for excellence in operations research practice. Separately, these two professors also won the best paper award at the recently concluded CIST 2011 conference. One of the highlights during this semester has been the First Conference of MIS Department Chairs and Program Directors, held at the Naveen Jindal School of Management, UT Dallas, and sponsored by Indiana University, University of Arizona, University of Maryland, and University of Minnesota. The conference brought together those who are responsible for managing MIS programs from more than 50 schools and industry professionals. The theme of the conference was “MIS Programs in a Constantly Changing Technology Landscape”, and participants shared innovative strategies to manage and grow MIS programs. Moving forward, the MIS area will host the Big XII+ MIS Research Symposium in Spring 2012. The symposium will showcase some of the current research being done in MIS departments of the Big XII+ consortium universities. We wish all of you a joyous Holiday Season and a Happy 2012.


UT Dallas Hosts the First MIS Department Chairs and Program Directors Conference

MIS Direcotrs ConferenceThe Naveen Jindal School of Management hosted the first MIS Department Chairs and Program Directors Conference October 19-21. The conference was conceived to provide a forum for those who are responsible for managing MIS programs in universities to exchange ideas about how to deal with numerous challenges faced by these programs. Fast developing technology and lack of awareness and sometimes incorrect perceptions about MIS are some of these challenges. Accordingly, the conference focused on “MIS Programs in a Constantly Changing Technology Landscape.” UT Dallas was joined by Indiana University, University of Arizona, University of Maryland, and University of Minnesota as co-sponsors of the conference. Eighty-two academic and industry professionals participated in the conference. Academic participants came from more than 50 universities throughout the country. The conference opened with a keynote by Brian Bonner, Chief Information Officer, Texas Instruments (TI), who talked about the role of the IT department within TI and the skills TI requires of its IT employees. This was followed by a lively discussion of emerging trends in IT and their implications for MIS programs by an industry panel. Panelists included senior IT professionals from a mix of technology provider firms and technology consumer firms - Chitika (a startup focusing on analytics), IBM, JC Penney, Microsoft, SAP, and UT Southwestern Hospital. Chairs and Directors of leading MIS programs shared innovative strategies to grow enrollment in undergraduate and graduate MIS programs with participants. In an open discussion, leading academics offered their views on the future of MIS programs and how MIS departments can sustain and improve their positions within a business school. In yet another panel, a group of academics and industry recruiters discussed how to create internship and industry collaboration programs. The conference also included sessions on ranking of MIS programs and managing student expectations.

The feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, and many of them wanted to see the conference become an annual event. UT Dallas is committed to form a consortium of universities to make this a reality. For more information about the conference, please visit the conference Wiki: http://utdmispdc.wetpaint.com/.

Vijay Mookerjee and Radha Mookerjee Among Finalists for 2011 Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research in Practice and Winners of Best Paper Award at CIST 2011 Conference

V. MookerjeeR. MookerjeeThe paper “To Show or Not Show: Using User Profiling to Manage Internet Advertisement Campaigns” by MIS faculty members Vijay Mookerjee and Radha Mookerjee (along with Professor Subodha Kumar of Texas A&M, a UT Dallas School of Management alumnus) was one of the six finalists for the prestigious Harvey M. Wagner prize for excellence in operations research in practice in the recently concluded INFORMS meeting in Charlotte. This prize emphasizes the quality and coherence of the analysis used in practice. Dr. Wagner, one of the pioneers of operations research, strove for strong mathematics applied to practical problems, supported by clear and intelligible writing. This prize recognizes those principles by emphasizing good writing, strong analytical content, and verifiable practice successes.

Professors Vijay Mookerjee and Radha Mookerjee (along with Wael Jabr, a UT Dallas School of Management alumnus) were also the winners of the Best Paper award in the recently concluded Conference on Information Systems and Technology (CIST 2011) for their paper “An Analysis of the Delay in Customer Support Forums: an Analytical and Empirical approach.

MIS Programs See Strong Growth in Enrollment

Both undergraduate and graduate MIS programs at UT Dallas have seen a steady growth in enrollment during the last 5 years. See below.





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The profile of the students that entered the MS ITM program in Fall 2011 is as follows.

Number of Matriculants:   91
International/Domestic:     85% / 15%
Popular Countries Represented:   India and China
% of Students with Work Experience   80
Average Work Experience:  2 years

Popular Undergraduate Majors: IT, Computer Science, Engineering

The trend the MIS enrollment may indicate is that students are finally realizing the enormous opportunities offered by a degree in MIS. Both UT Dallas and national experience indicates that MIS graduates consistently get one of the highest average salaries of any major, and unlike many other disciplines, internship and full-time opportunities in the MIS discipline are plentiful. Visit http://som.utdallas.edu/academicAreas/isom/isPrograms/internshipProgram.php for a listing of companies where UT Dallas MIS students have found internships during the last year.

Graduate Enterprise Systems Certificate Launched

UT Dallas has launched a graduate certificate program in enterprise systems in cooperation with the SAP University Alliance. The certificate program emphasizes theoretical concepts in enterprise resource planning and hands-on experience using the SAP software. It provides broad exposure to various SAP functional modules such as Sales and Distribution, Supply Chain Management, Customer Relationship Management, Procurement, Human Capital Management, Accounting, and Data Warehousing. Furthermore, the certificate program allows students an opportunity to get an in-depth knowledge of two of these modules. At the end of the program, a student will understand and identify the key integration points across various functional areas of large firms, be able to navigate SAP software and complete key business transactions, and acquire deep knowledge in at least two functional and/or technical modules of SAP.

SAP University Alliance will also issue a “SAP Student Recognition Award” to those students who successfully complete the certificate program. Further, students completing this certificate will also be eligible to attend the TERP10 SAP certification program http://som.utdallas.edu/academicAreas/isom/isPrograms/sapConsultant.php conducted at UT Dallas.

The graduate enterprise systems certificate requires the completion of three courses, each with a grade of B or better. For more information, please visit:  http://som.utdallas.edu/academicAreas/isom/isPrograms/gradCertificateInEnterpriseSystems.php

PeopleSoft Academy to Be Launched

Michael SavoieIn conjunction with the UT Dallas PeopleSoft implementation project, Dr. Michael Savoie, Director of the Center for Information Technology & Management, is part of a team that has developed a PeopleSoft academy to train students on the UT Dallas PeopleSoft system with a goal of having them become full-time UT Dallas employees.  The program, which will kick off January 22nd with its first class of 20 students, consists of 8 weeks of classroom and hands-on training on the UT Dallas system, followed by 8 weeks of rotational training within the various PeopleSoft modules.  Students completing the 16 weeks are eligible to apply for a 16-week Mentoring program, where they would be assigned a UT Dallas PeopleSoft lead as their mentor and will work full time on the system.  A second class will begin in September, 2012.

Forthcoming Conference

Big XII+ Research Symposium, April 2012

UT Dallas will host the Tenth Annual Big XII+ Research Symposium in April 2012. The symposium provides an informal setting for networking and will center around research presentations by junior faculty members and PhD students. Prominent researchers from Big XII+ IS programs will attend the meetings and participate in both panels and general discussions. Details will be posted on our website soon.


John Holt Shares His Thoughts About the BS in MIS Degree Program

John HoltQ: Are you a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior?  When do you plan to graduate?

I am a Senior. I will graduate in May!

Q. What do you like about the MIS program at UT Dallas?

I like the diversity of the subject matter. Students can decide if they want to specialize in one specific area, for example SAP, BI, information security, etc., or get a broad foundation of IT by taking courses from various specializations. I chose the latter and am thrilled with the comprehensive knowledge I have gained.

Q: What prompted you to major in MIS?

I have always had a passion for business, but I wanted to do something that was more dynamic than general business.  I think it is important to have hard skills coming out of college. I wanted solid skills that would land me a job. MIS offered the perfect mix of business and technology, two areas that are in high demand by employers.

Q: Have you done or are you currently doing an internship? If yes, what is the name of the company?

Yes, I had the pleasure of doing an internship this past summer at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Q: Briefly describe your job duties and responsibilities as an intern.

I did a lot of work in Excel and PowerPoint preparing reports for my manager. I also spent my time reviewing documents, updating operating procedures and filing documents.

Q: Describe your typical day at work as an intern.

In the morning upon arriving at the office, I would generally work on projects that my manager would give me. In the afternoon, when the stock market closes we would get really busy, which is when it got fun! This is when I would pretty much review documents non-stop. It was a great environment to work in because teamwork was crucial; everyone relied on each other to get their work done.  

There were also a lot of fun events for interns throughout the summer. We had intern lunches, volunteer opportunities, and went to a RoughRiders game. Every week there was a Senior Speaker Event where management would speak to all the interns about their experiences in business. I always left the Senior Speaker Events having learned something new and feeling inspired to succeed.

Q: What do/did you enjoy most about your job?

The internship experience was incredible! I definitely learned things that I could never learn in a classroom. The best thing about my job was the people that I worked with. My manager was the best manager any intern could ever ask for, my co-workers were extremely patient and helpful, and the relationships with my fellow interns made the experience enjoyable and less intimidating.

Q: What are some things that you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy watching/playing sports, jogging, singing, playing guitar, studying and smiling.

Q:  Is there anything else you want us to highlight about you?

I have accepted an offer to work at JPMorgan Chase in their Technology Analyst Development Program after I graduate. I am also the Vice President of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, UT Dallas chapter.

Nikhil Manekar on the MS ITM Program at UT Dallas

Nikhil ManekarQ: When did you join the program and when do you plan to graduate? 
I joined UT Dallas School of Management in Fall 2010 in the MS ITM Program. I am planning to graduate in Spring, 2012.

Q: What is your undergraduate major and from where did you receive the undergraduate degree? 

I completed my undergraduate (Bachelor of Engineering) from University of Pune, India. My major was Information Technology.

Q: Did you have any professional experience before joining the MS program? If yes, briefly describe the company you worked for and the nature of the job. 

Before joining UT Dallas, I was working with Accenture, a global management consulting firm, as SAP HR ABAP consultant. As a part of Accenture, we were managing the biggest SAP implementations around the world for companies like AT&T, Cargill, BHPB, etc.

Q: What prompted you to choose UT Dallas to pursue your MS ITM degree? 

I was trained as an IT professional. While working with Accenture, I realized that to proceed further in my professional life, I could not restrict myself only to IT or software subjects. I needed the knowledge of other areas like Operations Management, Marketing Management and Supply Chain, etc. After researching the curriculum of MS ITM at UT Dallas, I thought that the program would give me the right exposure and knowledge to understand the business and IT collectively as a whole.

The MS ITM program, offered by University of Texas Dallas, seemed to be the ideal next step in my career growth. Additionally, the SAP ERP related courses offered by the School of Management were very much in line with my personal passion for SAP. Hence, I decided to join UT Dallas.

Q: What do you like about the MIS program at UT Dallas? 

The first thing I like about this program is the perfect blend of IT and management courses in the syllabus.  I totally believe in the fact that in today’s competitive world, an IT professional must know the business and business processes. The NJSOM’s MS ITM course is a good combination of IT and management needed for the job market.

The second thing I like about this program is the collection of knowledgeable faculty. We have Prof. Lou Thompson, Prof. Judd Bradbury, Prof. Kannan Ramanathan. All of these people were always there for me whenever I wanted any career advice. The faculty in NJSOM not only delivers the course structure without equivocation but also take care of the fact that students are updated about the current industry trends.

Q: Have you done or are you currently doing an internship? If yes, what is the name of the company? 

I have done two internships during my Masters. The first one was in summer 2011 with a telecommunication giant, Qualcomm. The second one is with a software company called Mitchell International. I am still pursuing my internship with Mitchell International.

Q: Briefly describe your job duties and responsibilities as an intern. 

With Qualcomm, I was working as a Business Process Analyst. As a part of this team, I was a bridge between the Supply Chain Management team and the IT team.

With Mitchell International, I am working in their ERP team on a CRM module using the Salesforce.com platform.

Q: Describe your typical day at work as an intern. 

As a Business Process Analyst at Qualcomm, I typically used to get requirements from the SCM team and we used to fulfill them either ourselves or with the help of the IT team. The technologies I was working in on a daily basis included SharePoint, Qlikview dashboarding tool, ASP.net, Oracle, etc.

As a Business System Analyst at Mitchell International, I typically get the requirement from the user about the configuration changes they expect in the CRM system. My job is to evaluate these changes, analyze the impact on the overall ERP structure and then implement the changes in the system.

Q: What did/do you enjoy most about your job? 

In both of the internships, what I enjoyed the most is the chance to implement the knowledge that I have gained in my coursework.

The day-to-day interactions I used to have with the business team directly were also helpful. I came to know about the actual perspective a user carries in mind about ERP Information Systems. 

Q: What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time? 

I watch a lot of movies. Into the Wild and 127 Hours are some of my favorites. I also follow Harvard Business Review and The Wall Street Journal.

Q: Is there anything else you want us to highlight about you? 

Since the day I joined UT Dallas, I started working with SAP Users Group. The faculty advisor, Prof. Thompson, has been very resourceful and excited about helping me to implement my new ideas about the group. I have been heavily involved with conducting SAP related workshops called “SUG Playground.” 


Naveed Meghani, Recent Graduate From the BS MIS Program, Provides Insights About His Work

Naveed MeghaniQ: What is the name of the company you currently work for and how long have you been working for this company?

I am currently working for Deloitte Consulting as an Analyst and I have been at Deloitte for 9 months.

Q: How did you find the opportunity?    

Deloitte Consulting was recruiting on campus during my Senior year and I applied through the Career Center.

Q: Briefly describe your job duties and responsibilities

The typical day in the life of an Analyst entails various duties and responsibilities. That is the best part of what I do. I have played over 4 different roles in the last 9 months and have enjoyed all of them. Currently, I am a Functional Analyst focusing on gathering business requirements, leading Joint Application Design sessions and Design Validation sessions, building process flows and creating Functional Design Documents.

Q: Describe your typical day at work. 

I view my days more so in the form of weeks. My week typically begins on Monday mornings at 6:30 AM at DFW airport where I take a flight to a client’s site and am at the client’s site until Thursday evening which is when I return back to Dallas. During these four days, I have a variety of roles and responsibilities I play as mentioned above. Consulting isn’t like a typical 8 to 5 job where you arrive at the same time and leave at the same time every day. There are moments I have left the office at 8 PM and sometimes at 2 AM. Nevertheless, there is never a dull day as a Consultant.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?

The best part about being a Consultant is the excitement and the “on the job” learning opportunities. I can truly say that there has never been a moment since joining Deloitte that I have been bored. Working at Deloitte Consulting has presented me with a challenge every day and it has allowed me to realize my true potential.

Q: How did your education and experience at UT Dallas prepare you for your job?

Classes such as Systems Analysis & Design and Web Systems Design & Development provided true hands-on learning experience. Also my previous internships with Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan Chase were experiences that provided a holistic view of what Corporate America really entails.

Q: What advice will you give to current students to make the most of their time at UT Dallas

My biggest piece of advice would be to step out of your comfort zone and truly challenge yourself.  There are a lot of bright individuals out there, and in order to set yourself apart from them, you MUST continuously challenge yourself in order to achieve success.

Q: What are some things you enjoy doing in your time away from work?

When I am not working, I enjoy taking advantage of Deloitte’s Alternative Travel policy which allows me to travel all over the US, if not the world.


A Conversation with the Chief Technology Officer of PepsiCo

Javed HussainOn Friday, October 14, the Center for Information Technology and Management hosted “An Afternoon With…” Javed Hussain, CTO and Director Enterprise Architecture and SAP Optimization, PepsiCo, Inc.  The presentation, entitled Developing Technology Solutions for Global Implementation, consisted of an hour discussion on the various aspects of technology integration and strategy employed by PepsiCo around the world.  This was followed by 30 minutes of question and answer with the audience.  You can watch a webcast of the event at http://citm.utdallas.edu/ and clicking on the link “An Afternoon with Javed Hussain…” then on “See High Resolution Video”.  

“An Afternoon with…” is a recent initiative launched by the MIS area in which a leading industry professional spends an afternoon at UT Dallas discussing the developments in IT and their impact on business and society in a conversational style and engaging with the students. Please visit http://citm.utdallas.edu/speaker/speakerList.html to know more about this program.

“True Confessions of a Design Therapist”

Norn CoxThe UT Dallas student chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals was pleased to welcome Mr. Norm Cox as distinguished speaker to its November meeting.  Mr. Cox was at the center of the birth of the PC as an employee of the famed Xerox Palo Alto Research Lab.  He shared many insights and humorous stories in his talk titled “True Confessions of a Design Therapist”.  Discussion topics spanned the entire range of his more than 40-year career highlighting the creation of the first graphical user interface, the legal battle between Microsoft and Apple for control of intellectual property related to the graphical user interface, and his current work at Samsung helping guide and shape design and user experience of Samsung’s products.  He also provided advice to the large student audience in attendance suggesting they avoid being too one-dimensional and acquire knowledge in a number of areas to complement the knowledge in their area of expertise, as valuable insights often occur when combining detailed expertise with a broad knowledge base.  We would like to thank Mr. Cox for taking the time to speak to the AITP UT Dallas student chapter.


Michael Savoie Recognized

Michael SavoieOn November 3 at the UT Dallas Inventor Recognition Luncheon hosted by The Office Of Technology Commercialization, Dr. Michael Savoie was recognized for his work at commercializing research and projects conducted at the university. Dr. Savoie is the Director of the Center of Information Technology and Management (see http://citm.utdallas.edu/) that carries out significant projects for the local industry. The students gain valuable real-life experience through these projects.

New Faculty: Jianqing Chen

Jianqing ChenJianqing Chen joined the MIS area last summer as an assistant professor. He was an assistant professor at the University of Calgary before coming to UT Dallas. Prior to that, Dr. Chen earned his PhD in information systems from UT Austin. Professor Jianqing Chen’s current research focuses on online advertising and pricing, auctions, and ecommerce. He received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Scholar in 2009 from the University of Calgary, and his research has been funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Dr. Chen serves as an associate editor of the journal Decision Support Systems.

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