Summer 2012

We are pleased to present the Summer 2012 Management Information Systems Newsletter from the Information Systems area of UT Dallas. In May, the results of Bloomberg Businessweek’s survey of undergraduate business students were released, and the MIS and various other business programs at UT Dallas placed high in the rankings. Our MS students continue to be very successful in getting internships. Mehmet Ayvaci, who recently completed his doctoral degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has joined us as a faculty member. Two of our PhD students graduated and began their academic faculty careers. We continue to receive success stories from our alumni, and we continue to engage in corporate outreach activities. We are pleased to announce that the second annual MIS academic leadership conference, which was launched in 2011 at UT Dallas, will be hosted by Temple University in November. Conference program details will be announced soon. Please visit our website to learn more about MIS@UT Dallas. We welcome your comments.

Students Rank Jindal School’s Management Information Systems Undergraduate Program 15th in the Nation

The management information systems undergraduate program at the Naveen Jindal School of Management ranked 15th in a nationwide survey by Bloomberg Businessweek of graduating seniors at 124 universities. Several other undergraduate programs at the school were ranked in the top 25 in the same survey. In all, the school placed in the top 25 in 10 of the 14 subjects included in the publication’s 2012 specialty area rankings:

  • No. 4 in operations management
  • No. 14 in macro economics
  • No. 15 in information systems
  • No. 17 in business law
  • No. 19 in micro economics
  • No. 20 in marketing
  • No. 21 in corporate strategy
  • No. 21 in sustainability
  • No. 25 in accounting
  • No. 25 in quantitative methods

The results are based on Bloomberg Businessweek‘s annual survey of more than 85,000 seniors at 124 business schools. The online survey had a 32 percent response rate.
Information systems is a new specialty area, added to the survey this year. It takes the place of calculus, which was removed from the rankings survey.

See Students Give Jindal School Top Marks in 10 Subjects for details.

MS Students Excel at Getting Internships

MS in Information Technology and Management students continue to enjoy significant success in obtaining internships with reputable companies throughout the U.S. MS ITM students qualified for more than 200 internships during the fall, spring and summer semesters of the 2011-2012 academic year. Their average salary was more than $20 an hour, and the interns worked an average of 37 hours a week. The internships came from a wide variety of businesses, but consulting, telecom, and computer/software industries accounted for more than half. Internships often are extended for more than a term, and several result in full-time positions for students. This fact sheet provides more specific information about the 2011-12 internships.

India Enterprise Forum Launched

Prominent leaders from international business, government, academia and law gathered May 15 at the India Enterprise Forum at the UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management. Visit the forum website for more information.

SAP Certification Program Popular Among Students

The MIS area conducted its fourth 10-day intensive SAP TERP10 certificate program in May. Forty-four students enrolled this year. In each of the past three years, the program attracted about 28 students. Of those, 85 percent passed the exam and obtained the SAP Certified Consultant certificate. This year, there were two concurrent sections of 22 students each. The professors were Srinivasan Raghunathan and Lou Thompson. The SAP TERP10 tab on the Information Systems Certificate Programs website has enrollment details.

Facebook Application Development Contest

The Information Systems area in the Naveen Jindal School of Management sponsored a Facebook application development contest for high school students this summer. Students from around the country participated over a 45-day period to develop and promote a Facebook app. Sunena Dahlvani received the most “Likes” and won the contest for her app called ThinkTee , a socially responsible app for selling T-shirts. The app receiving the second-largest number of “Likes” was Click the Pen, developed by Owen Cook, who learned “how quickly things can go viral if one is able to spread it to enough social circles.” Ross McNulty and Daniel Kline finished in third by combining their technical and business skills to build and promote the UT Dallas Web App, an app providing information about UT Dallas. To recognize their significant accomplishments, the top three participants received prize money of $1,000, $500 and $250.

MIS Academic Leadership Conference, November 1-3

The UT Dallas Jindal School of Management hosted the inaugural conference for such MIS academic leaders as department chairs and program directors in October 2011. This year, the conference will be held at the Fox School of Business, Temple University, Philadelphia. Conference sponsors are Indiana University, University of Arizona, University of Minnesota, Temple University, and The University of Texas at Dallas. Please contact Mark Thouin,, or Munir Mandviwala, , for additional conference information..

MS ITM Student Amit Maheska Receives Leadership Awards

maheska-amit.pngAmit Maheska, who graduated from the Naveen Jindal School of Management in May with an MS in ITM degree, says he had the best two years of his life at UT Dallas.

“Not only did I get the right environment to excel in my studies, but I also got a chance to enhance my other soft skills and network with the world outside the university,” he says.

While attending UT Dallas, Maheska volunteered for several student organizations, including the Indian Students Association, serving as president in 2011-2012. He received the campus Student Leader of the Year Award for the 2011-2012 academic year. Receiving the award is a distinction he now shares with Naveen Jindal, the JSOM 1992 MBA alumnus in whose honor the school is named.

Q: Where did you receive your undergraduate degree? What was your major?
I received my undergraduate [degree] in computer engineering from the University of Mumbai, India.

Q: What prompted you to choose UT Dallas to pursue your MS ITM degree?
The coursework, scholarship opportunities and the location were all factors, and the university offers the Business Intelligence and Analytics track, along with a good mix of business courses.

Q: What do you like about the MIS program at UT Dallas?
I like the flexibility in the coursework, the option of taking online courses and the certifications offered.

Q: Have you done an internship?
I interned at Ericsson Inc. for two years, first as a product management analyst and then I worked in market intelligence.

Q: Your internship experience and your degree have since led you to a new job at Capital One in Dallas. Describe your typical day at work there.
As a senior data analyst, I support the Home Loans Originations team with business intelligence and operational reporting. A typical day is meeting with the business side of the company to understand the processes and challenges they face, determine the requirements for the reports they need and develop them accordingly.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
The tremendous energy at the workplace and the fact that not only do I get to solve the problems that the business faces on a day-to-day basis, but I also act as a consultant in improving the overall system.

Maria Bazan Builds IT Skills and People Skills at Amdocs

Maria BazanQ: What company do you work for, and how long have you been working there?
I am employed by Amdocs, Inc, a provider of software and services for billing, customer-relationship management (CRM), operations support systems (OSS), and [I] have been with Amdocs since May 2006. I began my career with Amdocs as an IT consultant after graduating with my MBA in December 2005. During the dip in the economy, I took my own advice and continued my education while still working for Amdocs. In December 2010, I obtained my MS in Information Technology Management. In July of 2011, I was promoted to my current position, program manager for the eCommerce Division.

Q: How did you find the opportunity?
In a word…networking. A fellow student in the MBA program worked for Amdocs and submitted my résumé. She recognized my soft skills (people skills), and Amdocs was hiring at the time. Despite my lack of telecom/consulting experience, my colleague assured Amdocs that it was a risk worth taking based on my education, work ethic and ability to learn quickly. A few tweaks to my résumé and three interviews later (during which I utilized the negotiations skills I learned at UT Dallas), I was hired!

Q: Briefly describe your job duties and responsibilities.
My primary job duties entail overseeing the eCommerce Development and Testing organizations by monitoring risks and issues while also maintaining a pulse on potential new areas of business within the division.

Q: Describe your typical day at work.
My typical day at work involves meetings during which we are solving problems, improving processes, meeting with clients to build relationships or tracking the financial aspect of the division.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really enjoy relationship building and problem solving. Throughout my career at Amdocs, I have often found myself relying on skills I learned in the past, not only with previous employers, but also on a day-to-day basis with my peers and utilizing the knowledge I gained in the university.

Q: How did your education and experience at UT Dallas prepare you for your job?
Without attending UT Dallas, I would not have made the relationship connection that led me to my job at Amdocs. I honestly believe that, aside from the education, my career at UT Dallas yielded the opportunity to create many long-lasting and influential relationships.

Q: What advice do you have for students to make the most of their time at UT Dallas?
My advice is to ensure that you develop good relationships not only with other students that are currently in the industry that you are looking to get into, but also develop relationships with your professors. I have several professors that I can still count on that can help answer questions, and it is an amazing feeling to know that they are always responsive and ready to assist.

Q: What are some things you enjoy doing in your time away from work?
I enjoy working out, the social media, gadgets and new technologies, spending time with family and friends, learning new things and keeping up with the fashion industry!! :)

Two PhD Graduates Begin Faculty Careers

Hongyu ChenChulho Lee

Congratulations to the following two graduates who successfully completed their doctoral degrees in information systems this summer. Hongyu Chen will join California State University, Long Beach. Chulho Lee will join Xavier University, Cincinnati. We wish them the best as they begin their new faculty careers.

Mehmet Ayvaci Joins the MIS Area Faculty

Mehmet AyvaciMehmet Ayvaci received his PhD from the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, MS from the Department of Management Science and Engineering at  Stanford University and BS from the Department of Industrial Engineering at Texas A&M University.

Before starting his PhD, he worked as a project manager at the Center for Operations Excellence, an operational consulting firm based in Vancouver, Canada. While working on his doctorate, he mainly studied healthcare applications of operations research, with an emphasis on the effect of cost, risk attitude and aging on breast cancer diagnostic decisions.

In addition, he has worked on the use of expected utility and information theory in breast cancer diagnosis, computer-aided diagnostic models, computational assessment of linear programming in solving MDPs, and cost effectiveness of adjuvant chemotherapy.

In conducting these studies, Ayvaci has collaborated with experts from computational optimization, radiology, biostatistics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. He is a member of INFORMS, SMDM, RSNA and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. He recently received the Best Student Paper Award at the Decision Analysis Society of INFORMS.

His primary areas of research broadly focus on healthcare applications of decision sciences and information systems, in particular, breast cancer diagnosis following mammography. He is motivated by research topics that address theoretical questions with good empirical support in subjects that lie at the intersection of decision science, information systems and healthcare. He is a strong believer in interdisciplinary research and has closely collaborated with researchers from various disciplines, including radiology, computer science, bioinformatics, and internal medicine.

Jianqing Chen Wins Best Paper Award

Mehmet AyvaciThe paper of MIS faculty member Jianqing Chen’s paper entitled, “Advertising versus Brokerage Model for Online Trading Platforms” (co-authored with Ming Fan and Mingzhi Li) won the Best Paper Award at The Sixth China Summer Workshop on Information Management, June 30-July 1, 2012, Beijing, China.

“An Afternoon With…” Anita Foster, American Red Cross Dallas Chapter

Anita FosterIn the wake of the devastating Haiti earthquake in 2010, social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook quickly became lifelines connecting loved ones abroad to victims, while others were using high-tech channels to raise money for relief efforts.

Technology undoubtedly came to the rescue in Haiti after the quake destroyed the country and killed more than 200,000 people.

Technology also is the focus of the monthly speaker series, “An Afternoon With …,” a free forum that brings innovation leaders from business, healthcare, technology, higher education and philanthropy to share their insights with students, faculty, staff, business leaders and the public at the UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management.

The speaker series, which began in the spring of 2011, is sponsored by the Jindal School’s Center for Information Technology and Management (CITM) and hosted by CITM Director Michael Savoie.

One of the earlier — and, as it turns out, most popular — topics was the March 2011 afternoon devoted to technology and philanthropy. Anita Foster, chief communications officer of the American Red Cross Dallas chapter, spoke about the organization’s first mobile fundraising campaign. That campaign set off a scramble among nonprofits to figure out ways to replicate its success.

The stage for “An Afternoon With …” is set up to look personal: a coffee table, two chairs, for an hour long relaxed conversation between the speaker and Savoie. The audience does step in, however, during the 30-minute Q&A session and tends to follow with many questions, Savoie says.

All the programs are held in the Davidson Auditorium in the Jindal School of Management and are webcast.


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