MIS Newsletter - Fall 2013
- Message From the Area Coordinator
- Recent Happenings
- Student Spotlight
- Faculty News
- Research Corner
- Corporate Outreach
- Social Media
Happy Holidays and welcome to our Fall 2013 MIS Newsletter of the Naveen Jindal School of Management at The University of Texas at Dallas!
This fall, both the undergraduate program and the graduate program in MIS have seen dramatic growth in enrollments in comparison to fall 2012. Enrollment in the MS ITM and BS MIS programs increased by about 50 percent and 30 percent, respectively. These numbers attest to the superior quality of our programs and faculty members, and the high value students place on the education they receive at UT Dallas. To support our growth, we are hiring. Please visit UT Dallas Faculty Jobs for details about the positions.
Also this fall, Dr. Ravi Narayan joined the Information Systems area as a clinical professor. He has several years of professional experience in the field of enterprise IT architecture and IT services management. On the research side, our faculty members have continued to be prolific in publishing their research in top MIS and other journals. One of Professor Zhiqiang (Eric) Zheng’s papers has received several mentions in the popular press. Professor Sumit Sarkar, Charles and Nancy Davidson Chair, has been named a Distinguished Fellow of the Information Systems Society (ISS). We are proud to now have three faculty members, Dr. Sarkar, Dean Hasan Pirkul and Dr. Vijay Mookerjee, who are Distinguished Fellows of ISS.
In addition to academic research, our faculty members have been engaged in corporate outreach activities to bring professional experts to campus and to take students on industry visits. Please visit our website to learn more about MIS@UT Dallas. We welcome your comments.
Area Coordinator, Information Systems
Information Systems Programs Growth
Bachelor’s Degree Program
The BS MIS program has shown continued growth. This past year, program enrollment was up by 30 percent from the previous year. This fall, 76 new students enrolled in the program. Of those, 28 were freshmen, and 48 were transfer students. Currently, a total of 342 students are enrolled in the program.
The following table provides a brief student profile:
|Class Statistics||Percentage or Number|
|Students in Program||342|
|Student Classifications||Freshmen: 34
|Full-time/Part-time||Full-Time: 76 %, Part-Time: 24%|
|Gender||Male: 79%, Female: 21%|
22 to 25: 37%
26 to 29: 12%
African American: 11%
* Categories add to 99% due to rounding.
The BS MIS program provides students with both practical and theoretical training in information technology (IT), which has become an integral part of every aspect of business. The objective of the program is to prepare professionals to understand business processes and the information required to support them; have the IT expertise to automate, improve and re-engineer business processes; and develop an ability to keep up with the changing technology and information needs of the business. Completion of the degree requirements will prepare students to seek careers as business analysts, application developers and IT consultants in many industries, including corporations and government agencies.
The following tracks are available to students:
- Business Intelligence Track
- Focuses on the area of business intelligence and business analytics. Emphasizes business analytics, business intelligence tools, and web analytics.
- Enterprise Systems Track
- Focuses on the development and use of information systems at the enterprise level. Emphasizes programming and types of enterprise systems such as enterprise resource planning and enterprise data warehousing.
- Information Security and Assurance Track
- Focuses on information security, confidentiality, integrity, and availability of organizational information resources.
- Systems Development Track
- Focuses on the analysis, design, development and maintenance of information systems. Emphasizes programming and systems analysis and design.
Master’s Degree Program
The MS in Information Technology and Management program prepares students for careers in the field of information technology (IT). World-class faculty, cutting-edge curriculum and proximity to industry-leading organizations are hallmarks of the program and greatly contribute to an exciting and dynamic student experience. The program was recently ranked No. 15 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. While we are proud of our high ranking, we are not standing still. New facilities, faculty, programs and industry partnerships are some of the areas in which we are expanding and growing. Enrollment in the MS ITM program has more than doubled in the past two years, and the fall 2013 incoming class is the largest class welcomed to date.
The following table provides a brief student profile:
|Class Statistics||Percentage or Number|
|Students in Program||571|
|Full-time/Part-time||Full-Time: 91%, Part-Time: 9%|
|Gender||Male: 65%, Female: 35%|
|Age||Under 21: 2%
21 to 25: 56%
26 to 30: 30%
Over 30: 11%*
* Categories add to 99% due to rounding.
|Prior Education||Engineering: 63%, Science: 9%, Business and Economics: 7%, Others: 21%|
|Average Prior Work Experience||2.4 years|
|Country of Origin||India: 56%, China: 22%, USA: 18%, Other: 4%|
The features that set the program apart are the breadth and depth of the curriculum, its flexibility and the strong track record of job-placement success. The program offers a large number of IT electives and provides opportunities for students with special interests to concentrate in one or more of the following tracks:
- Business Intelligence and Analytics
- Cybersecurity Management
- Enterprise Systems
- Healthcare Systems
- IT Consulting and Services Management
Students may pursue the program on a part-time or full-time basis and have the option to complete courses either in the classroom or entirely online. More than 80 percent of students in the program work on a paid internship before graduating, and 84 percent of students are gainfully employed within 90 days of graduating.
The best and brightest students from around the world continue to choose UT Dallas as a place to acquire knowledge, uncover new opportunities and develop lifelong relationships.
Sneha Palande MS ITM Intern at Ericsson
Q: When did you join the program and when do you plan to graduate?
I started my master’s in information technology and management at the UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management in fall 2012 and plan to graduate in spring 2014.
Q: What is your undergraduate major and where did you receive the undergraduate degree from?
I received my bachelor’s in electronics engineering from Mumbai University, India.
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.
Two years of experience as a test analyst with British Telecom as client at Tech Mahindra greatly increased my corporate knowledge and professional ethics. Tech Mahindra is one of the leading IT and telecom solution providers. I worked closely with the design and development teams to understand and analyze the business needs and then to generate test plans. In addition, I tested and verified that the client requirements had been met. Also, I enjoyed mentoring the new members in the team to help them understand the overall work process.
Q: What prompted you to choose UT Dallas to pursue your MS ITM degree?
UT Dallas appealed because of its reputation and for recognition of its coursework and overall programs. Another reason was its location; Texas is a telecom hub, and I believed that it would be an added advantage for me while looking for job opportunities in the same industry. In addition, word of mouth from people I know who graduated from UT Dallas substantiated my decision to choose UT Dallas to pursue my master’s.
Q: What do you like about the MIS program at UT Dallas?
The overall infrastructure of the program is well-designed. The most appealing feature is the flexibility offered to students to choose the courses as per their interests. Also, the various certifications offered by the school add to the value of the entire program.
Q: Have you done or are you currently doing an internship? If yes, what is the name of the company?
In summer 2013, I joined Ericsson as a data analyst intern, and [the internship] was extended until I graduate. Ericsson is a leader in the telecom equipment industry.
Q: Briefly describe your job duties and responsibilities as an intern.
I am responsible for assuring quality by creating scorecards and reports for the executive management team [to] help them in decision making. I am also engaged in another project — a Six Sigma project on a commercial engagement model that focuses on improving the AS-IS process and reducing the cost spent on third-party suppliers.
Q: Describe your typical day at work as an intern.
There is no typical day. There are ad-hoc requests for reports, analysis results from my manager and team. What makes every day exciting, in addition to daily work, is I get to learn something new from the organization, team, colleagues and people around me. It improves my overall experience at work.
Q: What did/do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the experience here. I feel like a full-time employee, not just because of the significant work I do but also because of the overall involvement with the team and colleagues. Fortunately, I am part of a team with several years’ experience. Gaining knowledge and experience from them is something I will cherish …throughout my career.
Q: What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time?
For two years, I have had lessons in Indian classical dancing. I am involved with a couple of student organizations, which keep me occupied during my free time. I enjoy working out at the gym, and I am also a foodie, so I keep experimenting with cooking as time permits.
Q: Is there anything else you want us to highlight about you?
I have been fortunate enough to have good teams and colleagues to work with and learn from. Because of this, I received the Best Performance Award at Tech Mahindra. And the trend continued with Ericsson when I was nominated as Intern of the Week.
The Power of Silence
Consumer Reports and Time Magazine cited the working paper of IS faculty member Dr. Zhiqiang (Eric) Zheng’s, “The Power of Silence: The Underreporting Bias in Online Reviews.” See The truth about Angie’s List, Yelp, and more and Guess Who’s Getting Some Pretty Awful Reviews: User Review Sites.
Kim Horner, a communications manager on JSOM’s external affairs and media team, wrote the following story about Zheng’s research:
Movie rental customers are five times more likely to post an online review if they liked the movie than if they didn’t like it, according to research by a UT Dallas associate professor of information systems. Dr. Zhiqiang (Eric) Zheng’s research with two alumni co-authors provides new insight into the reliability of online reviews for movies, books and other products. The co-authors are Dr. Yasin Ceran, a recent PhD graduate who now teaches at Santa Clara University, and Dr. Hongyu Chen, an alumnus now teaching at California State University, Long Beach.
“You only see the reviews by people who express their opinion,” Zheng said. “For every single reviewer, there are 10 others who didn’t write reviews. People who had a so-so experience don’t tend to comment.”
Zheng and co-authors wanted to know what customers who do not post reviews think. “We wanted to see if there’s a way to get the opinions of ‘silent users,’ ” Zheng said. “The difficulty is you don’t know who they are.”
The researchers studied those silent users thanks to access to 200,000 Blockbuster customers’ online rental transactions and reviews for about 70,000 movies rented between October 2009 and February 2010. Their paper, “The Power of Silence: An Analysis of the Aggregation and Reporting Biases in User-Generated Contents,” was posted online and already has been cited in Time and Consumer Reports articles. Zheng presented his research in June at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, where he earned a master’s degree.
The researchers examined each customer’s review history and rental transactions, which included movies the customer did not review. Blockbuster.com customers rate movies on a scale of 5 to 50, with 50 being the best. The data showed that people who write online reviews tend to be the happiest customers.
Only 6 percent of people who did not like the movie posted an online review. For indifferent customers, the number was 23 percent. And 32 percent of customers who liked the movie wrote reviews.
The paper recommends ways for companies to adjust their online reviewing platforms to reduce the bias. “The inflated ratings lessens credibility and thus usability of online reviews, eventually dampening readers’ trust of the entire review system,” the paper states.
For now, consumers should be leery of overly positive reviews. “Don’t simply trust what those users say,” Zheng said. Consumers can evaluate a reviewer’s credibility by considering the reviewer’s previous comments. He said that users are more likely to trust a bad review, for example, from someone who typically posts positive reviews than from someone who always posts negative reviews. If there is no additional data on users’ purchasing and review behavior, there is no hope of correcting the biases, Zheng said.
Sumit Sarkar Named INFORMS Information Systems Society Distinguished Fellow
At the recent meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), Sumit Sarkar, Charles and Nancy Davidson Chair of Information Systems, was named a Distinguished Fellow of the Information Systems Society. The primary aim of the ISS Distinguished Fellow Award is to recognize individuals who have made outstanding intellectual contributions to the information systems discipline. The information systems area boasts two other ISS Distinguished Fellows, Dean Hasan Pirkul and Professor Vijay Mookerjee, who were named fellows in the last two years.
Best Paper Nomination at CIST Conference
The paper “User-Generated Content and Product Design of Competing Firms,” co-authored by Information Systems faculty members Dr. Jianqing Chen and Dr. Srinivasan Raghunathan, and Dr. Young Kwark, a JSOM alumnus who now teaches at the University of Florida, was nominated for the best paper award at the 2013 Conference on Information Systems and Technology.
Dr. Ravi Narayan Joins the IS Faculty
Ravishankar Narayan is a new clinical assistant professor at the Naveen Jindal School of Management. His diverse academic background includes a PhD in instructional technology from The University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in computer systems from Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Bangalore University, India. Dr. Narayan’s research interests are in the areas of IT-enabled governance, risk and compliance, game-based experiential learning in business contexts, and private-public partnerships for digital equity.
Narayan has more than 18 years of wide-ranging consulting experiences in healthcare, energy utility, high-tech, startup and government sectors. During the past seven years, his focus has been on the use of best practices and standards relating to IT service management, governance and architecture to address security, risk and compliance challenges.
He has previously worked on developing technical solutions in the CRM and BI arenas as well. He says he is looking forward to utilizing his academic and professional experiences to develop meaningful learning experiences for students in our undergraduate, graduate and executive programs.
Listed below are papers published or accepted for publication in journals and conference proceedings from some of our IS faculty for the summer and fall of 2013. Interested readers can contact the authors for a copy of forthcoming papers.
Fichman, Robert G., Brian L. Dos Santos, and Zhiqiang Zheng, “Digital Innovation as a Fundamental and Powerful Concept in the Information Systems Curriculum,” forthcoming, MIS Quarterly.
Jabr, Wael and Zhiqiang Zheng, “Know Yourself and Know Your Enemy: An Analysis of Firm Recommendations and Consumer Reviews in a Competitive Environment,” forthcoming, MIS Quarterly.
Koh B., B.P.S. Murthi and S. Raghunathan, “Note on Shift in Demand for Music: Online Music Piracy, Physical Music, and Digital Music Sales,” forthcoming, Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce.
Kwark, Y., J. Chen and S. Raghunathan, “Online Product Reviews: Implications for Retailers and Competing Manufacturers,” forthcoming, Information Systems Research.
Kwark, Y., J. Chen and S. Raghunathan, “User-Generated Content and Product design of Competing Firms. Conference on Systems and Technology,” 2013 Conference on Information Systems and Technology, Minneapolis, Oct. 2013. Best Paper Award nominee.
Li, X. S. Raghunathan, “Pricing and Disseminating Customer Data with Privacy Awareness,” forthcoming, Decision Support Systems.
The IT Department of Tomorrow
What will future IT departments be like? Local technology leaders got together recently for a panel discussion advising IT professionals how IT departments should handle future challenges. Guest panelists were Brian Bonner, CIO of Texas Instruments, Baron Concors, CIO of Yum! Restaurants International, and Jeff Meier, senior vice president and CIO of Fujitsu Network Communications.
Hosted by the Center for Information Technology and Management (CITM), the panel session brought together about 60 people, including JSOM’s Information Systems Industry Advisory Board members, faculty and students.
Traditionally a service area of a firm, IT now plays a more key role in corporate strategy and decision-making, Kevin Christ said.
Read the full article online.
For more information about the IS Advisory Board, please contact CITM Director Kelly Slaughter.
City of Dallas Tour
Not a tour of Dallas but an SAP Users Group student visit to Dallas City Hall November 8 for a tour of the City of Dallas’ Water Utilities department and its SAP facilities. City of Dallas employees Janet Grabinski and Sindhu Menon, also a UT Dallas MBA student and member of UT Dallas’ Information Systems Industry Advisory Board, assisted in the tour.
The department gave an overview to the group on its billing and other operations, including the enterprise resource planning meter-to-cash process and incident-management process. The SAP system for billing and collection had been installed to replace a 20-year-old legacy mainframe system. Following the presentation, the department allowed the students to interface and network with various employees. Top management executives talked to the students over lunch.
The City of Dallas was impressed with the UT Dallas students and their knowledge of SAP, Menon and Grabinski told IS faculty member Lou Thompson who led the students. Presently, the Water Utilities department is considering setting up a student internship program and is working with UT Dallas IS faculty member Judd Bradbury. Department managers also directed the group to a website where qualified students could apply for full-time jobs.
According to Professor Thompson, the department is looking for a long-term working relationship with UT Dallas and is working with Professor Bradbury and him to collaborate in such activities as ongoing tours of their facilities, inviting department executives to serve as guest speakers at UT Dallas, and offering students employment. Student feedback after the tour was enthusiastic and indicated it would be a good place to work. Respondents expressed hope that an internship program is established. The students thanked Ms. Menon, Ms. Grabinski, Professor Thompson and IS staff member Marjorie Wu for making the tour possible.
MIS students visited City of Dallas’ Water Utilities November 8 to view its SAP system. Professor Thompson, wearing sunglasses, is in the center.
SUG Students Raise Funds for Hospital
Several SAP Users Group students saw a compelling need back in their home country of India to assist an organization that is building a hospital in an impoverished rural area near the city of Varanasi (also known as Benares) in the northeastern state of Uttar Pradesh. The area lacks even the most basic medical facility, according to SUG students familiar with Varanasi. The local residents cannot afford to travel to other facilities. The SUG students volunteered to raise funds by participating in the 5K ”Walk to Help Walk-A-Thon” November 17 at Spring Trail Park in Irving, Texas, organized by Ananda Marga Dallas Region, a charitable service organization working in conjunction with Abha Seva Sadan Health Services. A similar walk was held December 14. The SUG students thanked Dr. Lou Thompson for making this opportunity available to them.
SUG Students (left to right) Prachi Sahoo, Divya Anand, Thiagarajan (Theo) Sugavanam and Atul Nagar on a volunteer Walk to Help Walk-A-Thon, November 17, at Spring Trail Park in Irving, Texas, raised money for Abha Seva Sadan Charitable Hospital in northeastern India.