Decision, Operations & Information Technologies

You Can Catch a Cold From Your Coworkers — And Obesity

Can you catch bad health habits from your peers? How about from your subordinates or even your boss? Yes, according to new work from the Smith School. To answer the question, Maj. Vickee Wolcott, who completed a Ph.D. in August, took advantage of a unique aspect of military life. Soldiers are re-assigned to new units every few years, plunging them into new social worlds, and new health cultures. Those new cultures influenced soldiers' weight, their drinking and their smoking, Wolcott found. Read more...

18-F Team Innovative Fellows

After a three-year test run, President Barack Obama signed an executive order August 19th, 2015 making the Presidential Innovation Fellows a permanent part of the federal government.

The program brings people with proven experience and creative mindsets to government for one-year terms of service, spurring innovation on old problems with an injection of new thinking.

November 19, 2015 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm

Computers Match Doctors in Predicting Patient Discharges

A computer can do as good a job of predicting how many patients will be discharged from a hospital unit on a given day as doctors and nurses can, according to new research from Smith School professor Sean Barnes. In some cases, the computer does even better. Accurate estimates of patient discharges are an important component of keeping costs down because they allow hospitals to make the most efficient use of resources — namely, hospital beds. Read more...

In Defense of the Unpopular Health Care 'Cadillac Tax'

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday aligned herself with a growing political movement: People who seek repeal of the Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac Tax," a surcharge on the most generous plans offered by employers. Many businesses have opposed the tax, but so have unions and other advocates for employees — not the usual anti-Obamacare coalition. Smith School senior associate dean for faculty and research Ritu Agarwal takes the opposite view. She says the tax has upsides that many critics overlook. Read more...

What Your Facebook Friends Say About Your Credit Worthiness

Joining a social network means trading privacy for information. Criminal investigators and advertisers are increasingly inventive in the ways they use Facebook to mine data. Add creditors to this mix. Facebook, last month, received approval for a patent for a mobile payment system that could be used to evaluate a loan applicant’s credit worthiness based on that person’s Facebook friends. Smith School professor Siva Viswanathan discusses the implications. Read more...


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