Decision, Operations & Information Technologies

Department Information

Contact Information

Ritu Agarwal
Professor, Robert H. Smith Dean's Chair of Information Systems & Department Chair
Office: 4327 Van Munching Hall
Phone: 301-405-3121 
Email: ragarwal@rhsmith.umd.edu

Yi Xu
Associate Professor of Operations Management & Associate Department Chair
Office: 4317 Van Munching Hall
Phone: 301-405-9676
Email: yxu@rhsmith.umd.edu

Faye Baker
Program Coordinator
Office: 4340 VAn Munching Hall
Phone: 301-405-2206
Fax: 301-405-7719
Email: fbaker@rhsmith.umd.edu

Janet Cavanagh
Coordinator
Office: 4363 Van Munching Hall
Phone: 301-405-4380
Fax: 301-405-7719
Email: jcavanagh@rhsmith.umd.edu 

Lindsey Johnson
Coordinator
Office: 4306 Van Munching Hall
Phone: 301-405-8654
Fax: 301-405-7719
Email: ljohnson@rhsmith.umd.edu

Tony Zhang 

Departmental Technology Coordinator 
Room: 4358 
Phone: 301-405-1890 
Email: Tonyzhang@rhsmith.umd.edu

Directions

Seminars / Conferences

Seminar Series: Spring 2014

When/Where Speaker Faculty Host Presentation
2/7/2014
1:30 - 2:45 p.m.
VMH 1518
Claudia Perlich
Dstillery
Siva Viswanathan Large Scale Automated Machine Learning for Digital Advertising: Challenges and Opportunities
Download Abstract
2/14/2014
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
VMH 1330
Foster Provost
NYU
Shawn Mankad Predictive Modeling for Customer Prospecting via Online Display Advertising
Download Abstract
2/28/2014
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
4568
David Gamarnik
MIT
Ilya Ryzhov A Dynamic Model of Kidney Exchange
Download Abstract
3/7/2014
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
VMH 1330
Laurens Debo
University of Chicago
Yi Xu

Herding in a Queue: Theory and Experiment
Download Abstract

3/14/2014
1:30 - 2:45 p.m.
VMH 1518
Abraham Seidmann
Rochester
Peng Huang Seminar Canceled
3/28/2014
1:30 - 2:45 p.m.
VMH 1518
Eric Zheng
Dallas
Il-Horn Hann The Power of Silence: An Analysis of the Aggregation and Reporting Biases in User-Generated Contents
Download Abstract
4/4/2014
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
VMH 1330
Thibaut Vidal
MIT
Bruce Golden Vehicle routing problems: new variants, unified methods and challenges.
Download Abstract
4/25/2014
1:30 - 2:45 p.m.
VMH 1518
Sulin Ba
University of Connecticut
Gordon Gao  
4/25/2014
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
VMH 1330
Elana Katok
UT Dalls
Wedad Elmaghraby  
5/2/2014
1:30 - 2:45 p.m.
VMH 1518
Karim Lankhani
Harvard
Sunil Mithas  

Seminar Series: Fall 2013

When/Where Speaker Faculty Host Presentation
11/22/2013
1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
VMH 1520
Yong Tan
University of Washington
Peng Huang Effect of Disconfirmation on Online Rating Behaviors
Abstract
11/15/2013
10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
VMH 1505  
Brian Denton
University of Michigan
Sean Barnes Online Scheduling of Outpatient Procedure Centers
Abstract
11/8/2013
1:15 - 2:30 p.m.
VMH 1330  
Ram Chellappa
Emory
Anand Gopal TBA
Abstract
11/1/2013
10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
VMH 1505  
Martijn Mes
University of Twente
Ilya Ryzhov  Dynamic routing of police helicopters, waste trucks, and container vessels
Abstract
10/25/2013
1:15 - 2:30 p.m.
VMH 1520
Barrie Nault
Calgary
Il-Horn Hann The Impact of IT on Productive Capacity and its Utilization Rate
Abstract
10/18/2013
1:15 - 2:30 p.m.
VMH 1520
Ravi Bapna
Minnesota
Gordon Gao Completing the Virtuous Cycle between Payment and Social Engagement in Freemium Social Communities
Abstract
10/11/2013
10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
VMH 1505
Hui Zhao
PSU
Zhi-Long Chen Mitigating US Drug Shortage: Contract Design and Operational Strategies
Abstract
9/27/2013
2:00 - 3:15 p.m.
VMH 1520
Hamsa Balakrishnan
MIT
Michael Ball Pushback Rate Control: The Design and Field-Testing of an Airport Congestion Control Algorithm
Abstract
9/20/2013
10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
VMH 1505
Gad Allon
Northwestern University
Yi Xu Do Delay Announcements Influence Customer Behavior? An Empirical Study
Abstract
9/13/2013
1:15 - 2:30 p.m.
VMH 1520
Rahul Telang
Carnegie Mellon University
Siva Viswanathan The Impact of Likes on the Sales of Movies in Video On-Demand
Abstract | Paper

Seminar Series: Spring 2013

When/Where Speaker Faculty Host Presentation
5/03/2013
2:00-3:30pm
VMH 1333
Balaji Padmanabhan
University of South Florida,
USA
   
4/26/2013
10:30-12:00pm
VMH 3330 H
Vishal Gaur
Cornell University,
USA
Wedad Elmaghraby  
4/12/2013
11:30-12:30pm
VMH 2511
Brenda Dietrich
IBM Research,
USA
Michael Ball Abstract
4/12/2013
2:00-3:30pm
VMH 1333
Paulo Goes
University of Arizona,
USA
  Abstract
4/05/2013
10:30-12:00pm
VMH 1505
Roman Kapuscinski
University of Michigan,
USA
Michael Fu  
3/29/2013
2:00-3:30pm
VMH 1333
Paul Pavlou
Temple University,
USA
Peng Huang Abstract
3/15/2013
10:30-12:00pm
VMH 1505
Sanmay Das
Virginia Tech,
USA
Ilya Ryzhov  
3/08/2013
2:00-3:30pm
VMH 1333
Alessandro Acquisti
Carnegie Mellon,
USA
Anand Gopal Abstract
2/04/2013
11:00-12:15pm
VMH 2515
Elena Zheleva
University of Maryland,
USA
Louiqa Raschid Abstract
Website
1/30/2013
11:00-12:15pm
VMH 2509
Robert Batt
University of Pennsylvania,
USA
Tunay Tunca Abstract
1/28/2013
11:00-12:15pm
VMH 2509
Joline Uichanco
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
USA
Raghu Raghavan Business analytics for flexible resource allocation under random emergencies
Abstract
Paper: Business analytics for flexible resource allocation under random emergencies
1/23/2013
11:00-12:15pm
VMH 2509
Jing Wang
New York University,
USA
Il-Horn Hann Quality-Based Pricing for Crowdsourced Workers
Abstract
1/15/2013
11:00-12:15pm
VMH 1505
Shawn Mankad
University of Michigan,
USA
Raghu Raghavan Analytics for Higher Order and Dynamic Network Data with Application to Financial Markets
Abstract
Paper: Visualization
Paper: Smooth NMF
1/14/2013
11:00-12:15pm
VMH 1505
Yan Huang
Carnegie Mellon University,
USA
Siva Viswanathan Crowdsourcing New Product Ideas under Consumer Learning
Abstract
Paper

PhD Program Overview

The general objective of the PhD Program in Decision, Operations and Information Technologies is to produce outstanding scholars who are well prepared for careers in research and teaching in leading academic institutions or for research-oriented careers in industry or government. For more information on research in DO&IT and the Smith School, please see the Smith Research Network page.

There are two majors offered in the PhD program in Decision Operations and Information Technologies. These are the Information Systems (IS) major, and the Operations Management/Management Science (OM/MS) major.

General Information About Our Application Process

Thank you for your interest in our department and in the topics of our research. There are many creative and important projects in progress in our department, and we are delighted that some of our own excitement has come to you through our brochures and website.

If you have not yet applied for admission, you may request application materials from our PhD Program Office.

If you have already applied for admission, you have done all that is required to gain full consideration for admission and financial support.

It is not possible for faculty to provide an individual assessment of your chances of admission to our department. The volume of such requests makes such assessments impractical for us, and our department's admission procedure makes them irrelevant. In our department, a faculty Admissions Committee reviews all applications, ranks the applicants by overall merit, and makes decisions on admission and financial support based on the application material submitted. Your chances of gaining admission depend on the quality of the applicant pool and on the quality of your application.

In particular, students are not admitted to the department by research project directors, so contacting individual faculty has no effect on your chances of being admitted.

The Department is usually able to offer financial support to admitted students in the form of teaching or research assistantships or fellowships. If you are admitted, you will be notified in your admission letter whether you are being offered financial support and what form that support will take.

Admission to the department is not initially tied to any research project. Final assignments of students to research or teaching assistant positions are made just before each semester begins, after students and faculty have had an opportunity to meet and hold interviews. Similarly, Ph.D. advisor-advisee relationships are established by mutual consent, usually after the student has completed a year of coursework and has passed the PhD Qualifying Examination.

Admission to our program is highly competitive. We get as many as 600 applications for about 60 admission slots. It is hard to say "no" to many of the excellent candidates who apply here. In the Fall of 2004 we received a total of 134 applications for the DIT area, 92 for IS and 42 for MS.

Thank you for your interest in our department, and best wishes in the admission process.

Minor in MS for AMSC Students

Minor in MS for AMSC Students details the requirements for doctoral students from the AMSC Program to minor in Management Science, including comprehensive exam requirements.

Master of Science in Business: Information Systems

Information systems is a strategic asset to any organization. How information is organized, managed and made available to decision makers can be the key to gaining a competitive advantage. And the systems that capture, support and analyze a firm’s information can be the difference between a firm that survives and a firm that soars.

The Smith Master of Science in Business: Information Systems program prepares you to lead in the ongoing technology revolution. Throughout the curriculum, the emphasis is on helping you understand how organizations can best manage technology to extract maximum strategic and tactical value. Accordingly, you’ll learn how to manage enterprises by effectively leveraging technology in every aspect of the business process. You’ll develop the latest technical skills and be well-positioned to work for a variety of organizations in exciting roles that are literally changing the world.

You’ll learn from the best minds in information systems today. Smith Faculty members are among the finest IS minds in the world. They serve as top consultants and advisors to Fortune 500 and multinational corporations. They are acknowledged thought leaders in Web 2.0 technologies, project management, transformational and disruptive technologies, and the impact and management of technology in organizations.

And, you’ll learn in one of the strongest IT regions in the world. Classes are held at the University of Maryland’s College Park campus, a short distance from Washington, D.C. Spanning from Baltimore to Northern Virginia, the Washington, D.C. region is one of the strongest IT regions in the world—a choice, sophisticated area in which to learn, work and network in the IS profession. 

Click here to learn more about the MS in Business: Information Systems.

MBA

Program Overview

There are three MBA foci:

MBA Course Descriptions

PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENTS

A great deal of knowledge work performed in today’s organizations is project-based. Consequently, project management skills are crucial to the performance of most managers. While project management techniques are well established, the turbulent environment faced by many projects presents unique challenges to the project manager. Tools and frameworks for managing these challenges are explored via real-world projects.

GAMES OF STRATEGY

Will your sales increase if you decrease your price? Not necessarily, if your competitors also decrease their prices. Strategic situations (where your payoff depends on your own decision and also on another decision-maker) are characterized by competition, but also hold the possibility of cooperation, and more generally, coordination. Using analytical tools from the field of game theory, we will analyze strategic decision-making in pricing, capacity, entry/exit decisions, product differentiation, deterrence, proliferation, bundling, and convergence of standards.

In studying these decisions, we will explore the analytical basis of seemingly fuzzy ideas such as reputation, commitment, credibility, and trust.

The elective Incentives and Contracts is strongly recommended as a (follow-up) companion course to this course.

INCENTIVES & CONTRACTS

How can a firm incentivize its employees to share risk and undertake the “right” kind of effort? How can a firm incentivize its retailers to share demand information and develop stocking policies that are beneficial to the firm and to the retailer? In raising capital, what are a firm’s incentives to issue more equity as opposed to more debt? Knowing this, how should investors respond?

All of the above strategic situations are characterized by information asymmetry. Tools for analyzing such decisions include the principal-agent framework and models for screening and signaling. In this course, we learn and apply these tools to a diverse set of decisions: incentivizing employees; incentives in supply chains; auctions as screening mechanisms; signaling in recruiting; agency issues in capital structure; agency issues in corporate governance.

While there is no official pre-requisite for this course, students are strongly urged to take Games of Strategy before taking this course.

DATA MINING FOR BUSINESS (3 credits/14 weeks)

This course details contemporary methods and processes for extracting information from large databases in support of tactical and strategic business decisions. Applications in areas such as customer relationship management, direct marketing, e-commerce, financial services, and retailing.

FINANCIAL FORECASTING

Forecasting is commonly used with time-series data. Some of the topics to be explored include: choosing a forecasting technique, naïve forecasting, smoothing methods including moving averages and exponential smoothing, multiplicative and additive decomposition, the Box-Jenkins methodology for non-seasonal and seasonal models, intervention models, growth models and managing the forecasting process.

The application of statistical software, specifically SAS and Minitab, for insightful and extensive statistical analysis is an integral part of the course.

OPERATIONS AND SUPPLYCHAIN STRATEGY

In the 90s, Blockbuster could not stock enough tapes to satisfy the rental demand for movies because of the high prices charged by the studios, such as MGM, for the movie tapes. Blockbuster and a MGM restructured the terms of the contract: MGM sold the movie tape to Blockbuster at a much lower price in exchange for a share of the rental revenues. Consequently, Blockbuster stocked many more tapes: Customers were happy since they could rent the movie, Blockbuster was happy as it resulted in increased rental revenues, and MGM was happy since they could offset the low selling price by a share of the rental revenues. By merely restructuring the terms of the contract, all parties were made better-off.

Benetton found it incredibly difficult to accurately predict demand for specific colors of sweaters. The production process involved dying the wool with the specific colors and then knitting the sweaters. Since knitting took a long time, Benetton had to start the knitting well in advance of the selling season, when demand information was still fuzzy. The inaccuracy of the forecasted demand information resulted in a mismatch between supply and demand. Benetton remedied the situation by reversing the sequence of steps: Knitting before dying. Since dying took a much shorter time than knitting, this allowed the company to knit uncolored sweaters and then dye them closer to the selling season when better demand information was available. Hence, Benetton could better align supply with demand, not by investing in better forecasting mechanisms, but by reversing a key step in their manufacturing process.

The course looks at strategies that firms can leverage to better match supply and demand, a key source of competitive advantage for firms. These include redesigning products and processes, managing information flows in supply chains, leveraging the online channel, aligning incentives within members of the supply chain, etc. Methodology includes models, cases and in-class games.

PRICING AND REVENUE MANAGEMENT

Have you ever wondered why airlines sell similar seats at different prices? Or why prices increase as one gets closer to the departure date? Have you ever agonized as to how far in advance should you book a hotel room? Firms in many industries, such as hotels and airlines, employ such “smart pricing”, to maximize their revenues. Indeed, setting the “right price” is one of the most fundamental but challenging business decisions that a firm makes. The course introduces you to the tools and techniques of Revenue Management – pricing smart to maximize revenues. The topics covered include economics of pricing, strategy and tactics of PRM, pricing optimization, differentiated pricing, dynamic pricing, mark-down pricing, legal and ethical issues in pricing, B2B pricing and applications of PRM in various industries.

OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT FOR HEALTH SERVICES

This course focuses on improving the operations of health services organizations and, more generally, on managing health care organizations. In particular, we will discuss the application of ideas and practical techniques from focused operations management to the study of hospitals and

health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Of course, these tools can also be applied to other nonprofit and for-profit organizations both within and outside of the health care sector.

Three fundamental and related questions that plague hospital administrators are: How can we increase throughput? How can we identify and remove bottlenecks? How can we do more with current resources?

In this course, we will introduce a variety of tools that have been used to increase throughput, reduce response time, and create value in the health care sector. Leaders and decision makers from the University of Maryland Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine will be invited to speak with the class.

STRATEGIC & TRANSFORMATIONAL IT

The music recording industry has been in turmoil since Napster appeared on the scene.

Why did this industry fight the technology so long? How did the managers at Kodak respond to the invention of digital photography? This course examines how to identify transformational technologies and develop strategies to take advantage of them.

Beyond transformation, a 21st Century manager will make decisions about information technology no matter where he or she works. These decisions include how to incorporate IT with strategy, how to decide when to upgrade legacy systems, and what enterprise applications the

firm should implement. In addition managers have to be concerned about how to evaluate investments in IT and how to assign priorities to proposed IT projects. The technology also enables new organization forms: how will management be different in networked firms?

This course does not assume any particular student background. It is focused on management issues and is suitable for the student with no IT experience as well as for students with technical backgrounds who want to understand how to manage IT in the firm.

MANAGING DIGITAL BUSINESSES

This course examines how firms exploit the unique opportunities that are appearing online and simultaneously respond to the online threats to their existing business model. Topics include: economics of new information products, online shopping, one-on-one marketing, electronic distribution, net-enabled transactions, supply chain integration, and electronic communities. Course also provides an overview of the technological infrastructure that enables e-commerce.

MANAGAING EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

How can managers use emerging technologies? Such technologies can create an advantage that is hard to replicate (e.g., Microsoft) or to curb (e.g., Google, WiFi/3G). This course focuses on understanding (a) the nature of new and exciting emerging technologies, (b) their value propositions for specific organizations, and (c) how these technologies will shape value creation, value capture and competition in the future.

Topics include:

  • Social Computing
  • Emerging Telecom – Wireless, LBS, 3G Telephony, Next-Gen Voice Networks
  • Outsourcing/Off-shoring
  • Open Source Software
  • Intelligent Devices and Applications
  • Software Engineering and Procurement
  • Technology and Privacy/Ethics
  • IT and Security

TECHNOLOGY & INDUSTRY TRANSFORMATION

Wireless and telecom technologies have transformed the music and entertainment industry: Who will produce the content? How will it be delivered? This course focuses on the role of technology in transforming an entire industry. We use frameworks from economics and strategy to understand the changing nature of competition and markets in various industries.

Topics include:

  • IT in The Service Sector
  • IT and Healthcare
  • IT and the Financial Services
  • IT and Government/Non-Profit Management
  • IT in the Defense Sector
  • Telecommunications and Networks
  • IT and the Entertainment Industry

BUSINESS PROCESS ANALYSIS FOR INFORMATION SYSTEM DESIGN

Concepts, processes, tools, and techniques needed in systems development. Topics covered include process and data modeling, requirement analysis, object oriented design, user interface design, ERP and package implementation, and designing for the Web.

Undergraduate

Undergraduate Majors

Information Systems

Computer-based information systems are an integral part of nearly all businesses, large and small. Information Systems provides the information technology skills, the managerial and organizational skills, and the analytical skills required to design and manage business information processing systems. This program gives the student a firm basis in the business functional areas: Marketing, Finance, Production, and Accounting. In addition, it provides an in-depth knowledge of information processing technology, information processing implementation techniques, and Management Science and Statistics. There are many diverse employment opportunities available to graduates of this program. The typical job areas include application programmer/analyst, systems analyst, and computer system marketing analyst. Such positions are available in both large and small corporations, management consulting firms, and government agencies.

Operations Management

Operations Management involves the management of resources for the production of goods and services. This includes such functions as work force planning, inventory management, logistics management, production planning and control, resource allocation; and emphasizes total quality management principles. Operations managers deal with people, materials, technology and deadlines. Career opportunities exist in manufacturing, retailing, service organizations and government.

 

Please click here for more information about the Smith undergraduate majors.

Programs

DO&IT offers undergraduate, MS and PhD degrees in Information Systems, undergraduate degrees in Operations Management and PhDs in Operations Management/Management Science.

Computer-based information systems are an integral part of nearly all businesses, large and small. Information Systems provides the information technology skills, the managerial and organizational skills, and the analytical skills required to design and manage business information processing systems.

In the Master of Science in Business in Information Systems program, the emphasis is on helping you understand how organizations can best manage technology to extract maximum strategic and tactical value. Accordingly, you’ll learn how to manage enterprises by effectively leveraging technology in every aspect of the business process. You’ll develop the latest technical skills and be well positioned to work for a variety of organizations in exciting roles that are literally changing the world.

Operations Management involves the management of resources for the production of goods and services. This includes such functions as work force planning, inventory management, logistics management, production planning and control, resource allocation; and emphasizes total quality management principles. Operations managers deal with people, materials, technology and deadlines.

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