Decision, Operations & Information Technologies

Smith Business Close-Up: Surviving Disruptive Technologies

Thursday, June 21, 2012, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, June 24, 2012, 7:30 a.m.

Companies must make an early move to either adopt a new business model, or morph the existing model to take advantage of disruptive innovation – or suffer the same death of one-time industry leaders Kodak, Blockbuster and Borders.

In this edition of Smith Business Close-Up with the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, Henry Lucas talks how and why innovative technology can threaten the survival of many companies today.

UMD Business Experts Discuss Newspaper Industry Shifts

Media Alert: Aug. 13, 2013
Attention: Business Reporters

COLLEGE PARK, Md. Experts in the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business are available to discuss the current state of the print news industry. Their analysis follow the recent Washington Post acquisition by Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos, the Boston Globe sale to Red Sox owner John Henry, plus other recent sales and spinoffs of newspapers across the United States.

Courses in Business Analytics

BUDT 725 Models and Applications in Operations Research

Credit will be granted for only one of the following: BMGT 735 or BUDT 725. Formerly BMGT 735.

Introduction to commonly encountered models and applications in Operations Research. Formulation and interpretation of solutions of linear optimization and network models, special structures and applications. First course in the OR MS and PhD concentration as well as an introduction to non OR-majors of these important and practical topics.

BUDT 732 Decision Modeling with Spreadsheets

Prerequisites: BUSI 620 and BUSI 671. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: BMGT 732 or BUDT 732. Formerly BMGT 732. 

The applicability and use of decision and management science models have increased dramatically in recent years due to the extraordinary improvements in computer, information and communication technologies. These developments in hardware and user interfaces such as spreadsheets have been complemented by the availability of large volumes of data, such as the automatic capture of point-of-sale information, and easy access to large databases. Personal computers and friendly interfaces have become effective "delivery vehicles" for powerful decision models that were once the exclusive province of experts. In this course, we will examine ways in which complex managerial problems can be tackled with decision models using spreadsheets. Includes linear and nonlinear optimization models, decision making under uncertainty and simulation models.

BUDT 733 Data Mining for Business

Prerequisite: BUSI 630. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: BMGT 733 or BUDT 733. Formerly BMGT 733. 

A second level course managerial decision-making using contemporary methods of data analysis. Specific techniques covered in this course include [1] time series forecasting (e.g., for forecasting sales; financial series), [2] classification methods (e.g., for credit rating; in consumer behavior), [3] clustering methods (e.g., for market segmenting; for industry analysis), and [4] methods for visualization of multidimensional data sets (such as financial or customer databases). Theoretical issues will be either avoided or minimized. The emphasis is on understanding the applications of these techniques to specific decision-making situations encountered in consulting, marketing, finance, management and strategy. Upon successful completion of the course, a student should possess practical analytical skills that will provide him or her with a competitive edge in almost any contemporary managerial workplace.

BUDT 736 Data Mining

Prerequisite: BUSI 630. Recommended: BUDT 704.

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.

BUDT 758x Games of Strategy

Pre-requisites: BUSI 681, BUSI 690. 

Course draws on insights from the field of game theory to explore decision making in a competitive (or interactive) environment. Topics and applications include: sequential and simultaneous games; pricing and promotions in oligopolies; preemptive capacity decisions; entry/exit decisions; signaling; contracts and alignment of incentives in compensation design, corporate governance and in supply chains; the role of credibility.

BUDT 758x Pricing and Revenue Management

Revenue (or yield) management (RM) first emerged in the post-deregulation US airline industry, and hit the jackpot in the mid 90's with American Airlines RM scoring $1 billion annual incremental revenues (almost 100% profit). The business strategy reformed the entire transportation and tourism industry, as well as telecommunications, broadcasting, ticketing, healthcare, fashion, manufacturing etc. Recently RM evolved to a new dimension with internet companies practicing dynamic and targeted pricing or auctions for products, services or advertisement slots. The WSJ identifies RM as "The number one emerging business strategy, a practice poised to explode"; the internet stands as a stimulating environment behind this explosion. Any business that has a fixed capacity and a perishable product or service is a candidate for revenue management, as long as customers vary in their willingness to pay. A specialized course on dynamic pricing and revenue management is meant to provide you with the right bundle of tools and principles, drawn from several disciplines (Operations, Microeconomics, Decision Modeling, Statistics, Marketing, IS) in order to maximize profits. The RM solution integrates pricing with sales and inventory management strategies. The first part of the course addresses pricing issues (pricing under various constraints, non-linear pricing, markdown pricing), from a combined economics and marketing perspective. The second part of the course provides tools and methods for combined pricing and capacity management decisions from an operational perspective.

Courses in Operations Management

BUDT 724 Operations Management

Prerequisites: BUSI 630. Credit will be granted for one of the following: BUSI 724 or BMGT 734. Formerly BMGT 734. 

This course covers concepts of operations management applied to both manufacturing and services, and can be divided into two broad areas. The first area includes operations strategy, process analysis and design, which include analysis of process flows and bottlenecks, waiting time models, and statistical quality control. The second is supply-chain management, which includes forecasting, JIT, linear programming, and advanced topics in inventory management.

BUDT 732 Decision Modeling with Spreadsheets

Prerequisites: BUSI 620 and BUSI 671. Credit will be granted for one of the following: BUSI 732 or BMGT 732. Formerly BMGT 732. 

The applicability and use of decision and management science models have increased dramatically in recent years due to the extraordinary improvements in computer, information and communication technologies. These developments in hardware and user interfaces such as spreadsheets have been complemented by the availability of large volumes of data, such as the automatic capture of point-of-sale information, and easy access to large databases. Personal computers and friendly interfaces have become effective "delivery vehicles" for powerful decision models that were once the exclusive province of experts. In this course, we will examine ways in which complex managerial problems can be tackled with decision models using spreadsheets. Includes linear and nonlinear optimization models, decision making under uncertainty and simulation models.

BUDT 758x Pricing and Revenue Management

Prerequisite: BUSI 630 and BUSI 650.

Revenue (or yield) management (RM) first emerged in the post-deregulation US airline industry, and hit the jackpot in the mid 90's with American Airlines RM scoring $1 billion annual incremental revenues (almost 100% profit). The business strategy reformed the entire transportation and tourism industry, as well as telecommunications, broadcasting, ticketing, healthcare, fashion, manufacturing etc. Recently RM evolved to a new dimension with internet companies practicing dynamic and targeted pricing or auctions for products, services or advertisement slots. The WSJ identifies RM as "The number one emerging business strategy, a practice poised to explode"; the internet stands as a stimulating environment behind this explosion. Any business that has a fixed capacity and a perishable product or service is a candidate for revenue management, as long as customers vary in their willingness to pay. 

A specialized course on dynamic pricing and revenue management is meant to provide you with the right bundle of tools and principles, drawn from several disciplines (Operations, Microeconomics, Decision Modeling, Statistics, Marketing, IS) in order to maximize profits. The RM solution integrates pricing with sales and inventory management strategies. The first part of the course addresses pricing issues (pricing under various constraints, non-linear pricing, markdown pricing), from a combined economics and marketing perspective. The second part of the course provides tools and methods for combined pricing and capacity management decisions from an operational perspective.

BUDT 758x Project Management in Dynamic Environments

A great deal of knowledge work performed in today's organizations is project-based. thus 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.

This course teaches the basics of project management as codified in the Project Management Institute's (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). Covering the PMBOK facilitates preparation for PMI certification. In addition to the PMBOK, the course examines how this knowledge may be applied to technology-related projects. Participants also gain experience using project management tools and managing projects using a project management simulation.

Although no significant technology background is required for the class (a small amount of class time will be devoted to relevant technology), students will be expected to be proficient in quantitative models and oral presentations. During the course, teams will be running a web-based project management simulation; the simulator is integrated with Microsoft Project.

Topics Include:

  • Project organization
  • Time and cost estimation
  •  Managing quality and risks
  •  Project Staffing
  •  Challenges of managing IT projects
  •  Project Management tools

BUDT 758x Six Sigma

Six Sigma's DMAIC (define-measure-analyze-improve-control) breakthrough improvement strategy and methods are addressed with the intent of providing both understanding and applications level knowledge. Target level of content mastery upon course completion is comparable to 'Six Sigma Black Belt' and requirements include completion of a project that is 'six sigma greenbelt' level.

BUSI 790 Management of Technology

Prerequisite: None. 

Students are introduced to a variety of strategic and operational issues that arise when managing in the presence of technological innovation, and provide techniques to approach these issues. Topics include the formulation of innovation strategies, technology diffusion and forecasting, the process of developing new products and services, productivity measurement, and the implementation of process technologies aimed at improving productivity (manufacturing and services)

 

 

 

Courses in Information Systems

BUDT 703 Modeling and Designing IT Systems

Co-requisite: BUSI 620. For BMGT majors only. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: BUDT 703 or BMGT 725. Formerly BMGT 725.

Provides a solid foundation in the 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.

BUDT 704 Data Management Systems

Co-requisite: BUSI 620. For BMGT majors only. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: BUDT 704 or BMGT 721. Formerly BMGT 721.

Provides fundamental concepts and skills necessary for designing, building, and managing business applications which incorporate database management systems as their foundation. Topics covered include the fundamentals of database management (DBMS) technology, alternative methods for modeling organizational data, the application of delivering data through Web-based and other graphical interfaces.

BUDT 705 Telecommunications and the Internet

Co-requisite: BUSI 620. For BMGT majors only. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: BUDT 705 or BMGT 726. Formerly BMGT 726. 

Course focuses on helping the IT professional understand the technological, organizational, and managerial issues related to effective use of distributed computer networks such as the Internet. Topics include the evaluations of technologies for specific contexts and how to make investment recommendations. Also examines the economic factors that drive convergence and the powerful economic effects of open standard and connectivity.

BUDT 710 Information Technology & Corporate Transformation

Co-requisite: BUSI 620.

The impact and the enabling role of information technologies (IT) in transforming business and work group and individual processes. Topics include gaining competitive advantage through IT applications; identifying high pay-off IT applications, and leading the process of IT-induced change process.

BUDT 713 Security and Control of Information Systems

Co-requisite: BUSI 620. For BMGT majors only. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: BUDT 713 or BMGT 727. Formerly BMGT 727.

The information control risks faced by corporations. Techniques for enhancing the security and integrity of corporate information resources. The auditing and control procedures for corporate information systems. Actual case studies.

BUDT 736 Data Mining

Co-requisite: BUSI 620. Recommended: BUDT 704.

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.

BUDT 758 Project Management in Dynamic Environments

A great deal of knowledge work performed in today's organizations is project-based. Thus 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. 

This course teaches the basics of project management as codified in the Project Management Institute's (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). Covering the PMBOK facilitates preparation for PMI certification. In addition to the PMBOK, the course examines how this knowledge may be applied to technology-related projects. Participants also gain experience using project management tools and managing projects using a project management simulation.Although no significant technology background is required for the class (a small amount of class time will be devoted to relevant technology), students will be expected to be proficient in quantitative models and oral presentations. During the course, teams will be running a web-based project management simulation; the simulator is integrated with Microsoft Project. Topics Include:

  • Project organization
  • Time and cost estimation
  • Managing quality and risks
  • Project Staffing
  • Challenges of managing IT projects
  • Project Management tools

BUDT 780 Digital Business Models and Technology

Prerequisite: BUSI 620.

Course examines how today's firms must 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 electronic commerce.

BUSI 790 Management of Technology

Prerequisite: None.

Students are introduced to a variety of strategic and operational issues that arise when managing in the presence of technological innovation, and provide techniques to approach these issues. Topics include the formulation of innovation strategies, technology diffusion and forecasting, the process of developing new products and services, productivity measurement, and the implementation of process technologies aimed at improving productivity (manufacturing and services)

Short Descriptions of Current DO&IT Research Projects

Revenue Management

Professors Ball, Elmaghraby, Chen, Karaesmen and Kumar

How should airlines control seat inventory given limited information?  Airlines face uncertainty in the number and sequence of seat requests, and on whether or not a passenger will actually show up for a flight.  How should the airline make overbooking decisions and control seat inventory?

Retail sales are great for the shopper, but tend to be a nightmare for the retailer.  This research is developing analytic models to determine when and how much to discount merchandise for sales.  The approach is to use a game-theoretic model to study the ramifications of a policy that allows customers to reserve goods before the markdown or sale period.

Outsourcing and Offshoring

Professors Agarwal, Gao, Mithas and Gopal

The first part of this research is focused on the type of service to be outsourced or sent offshore.  The outsourcing of information technology services has received the most attention, but there is a range of services that can be outsourced, from low-end activities like a call center to high-end knowledge work.  The research also looks at the characteristics of an outsourcing arrangement, for example, by comparing the vendor and client capabilities, experience and skills.  What is the performance of outsourcing vendors?  What kind of contracts are most effective in outsourcing?  How should the vendor and client manage and coordinate services?

Data Mining and Statistics

Professors Alt, Jank, Kumar, Shmueli

Data mining is the non-trivial extraction of implicit, previously unknown and potentially useful information from data.  The world is collecting data at a furious pace, with far too much data for manual analysis.  AT&T handles billions of calls per day.  Europe had a project with 16 telescopes that collected 1 gigabit/second of data over a 25-day observation session.  Data mining helps Google refine its search algorithm and AT&T detect fraud.

Other research examines prediction markets which are speculative markets created for the purpose of making predictions.  An asset’s final cash value is tied to an event, such as who will be the next president.  The Iowa prediction market is famous for estimating the results of political races, but there are many other markets, including some used in business to predict product sales and success.

Business Value of IT

Professors Agarwal, Bailey, Gao, Lucas, and Mithas

Over 50% of capital spending in the U.S. is for information technology.  How do organizations know they are getting a return from this investment?  Business value looks at individuals, organizations and industries to estimate a return from investments in IT.  One objective of this research is to understand how to manage IT to maximize its contribution to the organization.  An example of this kind of research is a project that looks at the relationship between product innovations and value compared to IT investments.

Other research on business value has examined how IT spending affects firm performance and how systems affect customer satisfaction.

Transformational IT

Professors Lucas, Viswanathan, Gao, Bailey and Mithas

Technology is enabling the transformation of organizations, markets and industries.  This stream of research seeks to understand the nature of these transformations to offer guidance on how to know that one is coming.  It has resulted in a book and a documentary The Transformation Age, which has appeared on over 200 public televisions stations in the U.S.

A specific example of research on transformation is a project looking at the impact of the Internet on newspapers in the U.S. and on where and how Internet users are getting their news. 

Open Source

Professor Stewart

Open source is a major force in technology; it refers to software and applications that are distributed freely on the Internet and that are developed largely by volunteers.  This research looks at how one measures and evaluates success in open source projects, especially smaller projects rather than well known open source products like Linux.

Auctions

Professors Ball, Dellarocas, Elmaghraby, Jank, Raghavan, Shmueli and Viswanathan

The faculty in DO&IT approaches auctions from several different perspectives.  Those with interests in statistics use empirical tools to explore and model auction dynamics and characteristics, such as bidder and seller behavior.  The management science approach is to model an auction as a non-trivial optimization problem where the challenge is to design a practical and computationally efficient auction.  The economic approach looks at an auction through the lens of game theory:  bidders report their costs/valuations and the auctioneer determines the allocation of payments as a function of the reported information.

Allocating Airport Access Rights

Professor Ball

This research uses market-based mechanisms for reduce airport congestion and flight delays.  The research is sponsored by the Federal Aviation Agency and involves a consortium of faculty from different Universities including Maryland, George Mason, Harvard, MIT and Berkeley.  The FAA used the results of this research as a part of its efforts to allocate landing slots at LaGuardia and JFK airports.

Supply Chain Management

Professors Ball, Chen, Elmaghraby, Fu, Goyal , Karaesmen, Souza

Supply chains include suppliers who provide material, organizations that transform material into output, distribution of the output to retailers, and finally sales to customers.  Research on supply chain looks at how to manage material and information flows.  Supply chain errors and malfunctions have a serious negative effect on firm performance.

One study looks at order promising and fulfillment in an environment in which a manufacturer assembles products based on orders.  Another project is concerned with integrated production and distribution operations as well as schedule conflict and cooperation in a supply chain.  Faculty are also studying closed-loop supply chains where there are flows of products (for example defective units) back to the manufacturer.

How to Save Healthcare

Professors Agarwal, Gao, Golden, Prasad, Raschid, Shmueli, Souza

Healthcare is in a crisis state in the U.S.; costs are rising faster than inflation and even faster than college tuition.  At the same time the quality of healthcare in the U.S. is uneven at best.  Research on healthcare focuses on how to use information technology to improve both the efficiency and quality of health services.  How can we design technology for these purposes that various workers in the industry will adopt?  Research focuses on electronic medical records: their adoption, diffusion and use.

One project in healthcare is to encourage lean management in the industry, which is all about reducing waste.  Research on patient flow is designed to help hospitals manage their resources more effectively, for example, to obtain greater utilization of operating rooms.

An ongoing stream of research is concerned with biosurveillance or the early detection of disease outbreaks.  Are there ways to use new sources of data to alert medical authorities to the outbreak of a disease faster than traditional approaches which use lab and physician reports?  For example, could one use school absenteeism data to spot the outbreak of a disease?

Optimization and Applications

Professors Ball, Chen, Fu, Golden, Jank, Karaesmen, Raghavan

The goal of this research is to create models for decision making through optimization and applied probability and simulation techniques.  The application areas include transportation, manufacturing, supply chain management, financial engineering and telecommunications.  For example, one study looks at the time-sharing of jet aircraft for on-demand air travel. Another project is concerned with scheduling a series of orders to minimize cost or maximize profit or service.  Efficient vehicle routing is another application.

Online Information, Communities and Search

Professors Dellarocas, Gao, Goyal, Raghavan, Viswanathan and Wang

This research studies some of the new phenomenon created around the Internet like social networks.  There are many new business models, information intermediaries and new business processes.  The Internet encouraged the development of search engines, which have evolved into powerful advertising vehicles with sponsored search. The technology has resulted in new, online information intermediaries such as those found in auto-retailing, financial services, real estate, insurance and healthcare.  Research projects seek to understand the impact of these intermediaries and their role in different industries. 

The Internet has made online reviews a fixture for retailing.  Research examines how these reviews influence and predict sales.  Other projects look at reputation mechanisms and how the degree of anonymity provided for a review influences one’s willingness to participate honestly.

Research Impact

Zhi-Long Chen

I have been doing research in the following application areas of Operations Management and Management Science: (i) Scheduling; (ii) Logistics and Transportation; (iii) Supply Chain Operations; (iv) Pricing. These areas cover a wide variety of operational, tactical and strategic managerial decision making problems faced by most manufacturing and service enterprises. Optimal or at least near-optimal solutions to such problems are of paramount importance because often times 1% of improvement over an existing solution to such problems means millions of dollars of cost savings to companies. My research mainly develops mathematical models and solution algorithms for finding optimal or near optimal solutions to these problems using optimization techniques such as dynamic programming, integer programming, and stochastic programming. I also design fast heuristics for NP-hard problems and analyze performance of heuristics in terms of worst-case and/or asymptotic behavior. Applications of my work to date in each of these areas are summarized in the following.

(i) Scheduling
Scheduling problems are commonly encountered in manufacturing and service industries. They are concerned about efficient allocation of resources (machines, manpower, utility) to tasks (jobs, customer orders) to achieve a desired performance of the tasks subject to resource availability. Optimal or near optimal solutions to these problems often play a critical role in achieving low cost and high resource utilization. One class of problems that I have worked on are production scheduling problems that arise in just-in-time manufacturing. In a JIT environment, both earliness and tardiness are not encouraged, and hence it is desired that a job be completed processing at a time as close as possible to its due date. A typical scheduling problem in such an environment is to schedule a set of jobs with a minimum total (weighted) earliness and (weighted) tardiness.

(ii) Logistics and Transportation 
I have worked on a number of real-world logistics and transportation problems. One of the problems involves optimal dispatching of trucks commonly encountered by logistics service providers in practice. Issues such as DOT rules, multiple time windows, crossdocking, and dynamic order arrivals are addressed in conjunction with classical vehicle routing decisions. Large-scale optimization techniques (column generation coupled with fast heuristics) are developed. Other practical problems that I have worked on involve food distribution, container vessel operations, and truck loading operations.

(iii) Supply Chain Operation 
I have worked on a class of so-called supply chain scheduling problems which address scheduling issues that cross multiple stages or multiple functional areas of a supply chain. One set of the problems that I studied involve integrating production and distribution operations at the tactical and scheduling levels. Such problems often occur in supply chains for time-sensitive, perishable, or make-to-order products. Examples include PC manufacturing and distribution, food preparation and delivery, newspaper printing and delivery, and concrete paste mixing and delivery, etc. In such applications, production operations are closely linked with outbound distribution operations without much finished product inventory in the middle. Hence it is critical to consider production scheduling and delivery routing and scheduling jointly. I have developed a number of models and solution algorithms.

(iv) Pricing 
I have been working with companies for several years on some practical markdown pricing problems involving multiple retail stores. Large retail chains frequently use markdown schemes to sell their products and it is important to develop a good markdown scheme by fully utilizing available data and analytical tools. In the markdown pricing literature, almost all existing papers consider problems with a single store. In the problem we studied, there are many stores (50 to 100) and the pricing decisions for different stores are coupled by a number of business rules. We developed an optimization based approach to generate a near-optimal inventory allocation across the stores and a markdown scheme for each store. Our solution outperforms all commonly used techniques in practice.

Hank Lucas

Computer and communications technologies have transformed businesses ranging from recorded music to securities markets. How did managers in the firms that have been dramatically impacted by technology transformations miss what was happening? From the stories of Merrill Lynch's first response to new entrants in the brokerage business offering online trade execution, it is clear that there was a wide-spread lack of awareness about transformational IT at the very highest levels of the organization. One of the many CEOS of Kodak in the 1990s, George Fisher, described in an interview how he was unable to change middle management to a digital mindset, instead of a focus on chemistry and film. Executives in firms that produce and distribute video content are struggling with the threats and opportunities of Internet delivery, just as music industry managers have been searching for more than five years for a business model that can co-exist with peer-to-peer file sharing technology.

My research is focused on IT-enabled transformations and on how we can meet their challenges and opportunities. We have looked at organizations as diverse as the New York Stock Exchange and Kodak, and are currently studying the impact of the Web on the newspaper industry and on where we learn about news. In all of these cases, managers have been unprepared for dramatic changes in their organizations.

Figure 1 describes the process by through which technology potentially transforms an organization.

figure 1
Figure 1

The first task for managers is to recognize that an enabling technology will have an impact on her business. The manager can choose to adopt the technology voluntarily, or it can be forced on her by competitors. In either case, the end result requires massive changes in the organization and in the cognitions of managers in that organization. Our studies of the NYSE and Kodak found that these changes were very difficult to make, and it ended up taking traumatic shocks to bring about change. Figure 1 suggests that there is a high probability of failure in adopting transformational technologies because of these organizational and managerial challenges.

The bottom line is that managers have to recognize a transformational technology and then they have to manage the adoption process, a process that is likely to require major organizational and managerial change. My book Inside the Future: Surviving the Technology Revolution, which accompanies a PBS documentary co-produced by the Smith School and Maryland Public Television (www.transfromationage.org) offers advice for managers and individuals on how to cope with the significant changes technology enables in government, industry, organizations and our daily lives.

Louiqa Raschid

Mining the Annotated Biomedical Web
Louiqa Raschid
Funded by the NSF

The biomedical research enterprise has created a rich, publicly accessible Web of hyperlinked and curated data. In parallel, the healthcare enterprise (hospital systems, physician offices, insurers), the NIH, and individuals, are creating personal health information (PHI), and specialized portals (dbGaP, eMERGE) are emerging, to provide restricted access to de-identified data. In order to improve interoperability, these communities have created a number of ontologies such as GO, MeSH, SNOMED-CT and UMLS. Data entries (records) in these resources are typically annotated with concepts or controlled vocabulary (CV) terms from one or more of these ontologies. The data entries are often hyperlinked to entries in other repositories, creating a richly curated Web of semantic knowledge comprising this annotated and hyperlinked data. We are developing a set of tools exploiting techniques from data management, information retrieval, optimization approaches and approximation algorithms, data mining and visualization to help the scientist better understand and explore this wealth of knowledge. Results of this research may lead scientists to formulate interesting hypotheses relating genes, diseases, individuals and their response to treatments. This can lead to personalized treatments and can empower an individual to contribute personal knowledge.

GeoNets: A Semantic Dataspace for Humanitarian Assistance
Louiqa Raschid
Funded by the NSF

Access to up-to-date and quality information can have a significant impact on the humanitarian relief community as they coordinate relief efforts. In addition to data that is created and curated by experts, there is a vast volunteer community who are empowered by the social Web to blog and generate community curated content. Our research will explore the following challenges in setting up the GeoNets semantic dataspace for humanitarian assistance: GeoNets Semantic Dataspace: GoNets will leverage methodologies for event detection, document clustering, query answering, ranking and personalization to create a GeoNets semantic dataspace. A front end intuitive user language will be defined for users to specify their profiles and express their queries. A combination of techniques from query answering, ranking and optimization will be developed to provide relevant and important answers efficiently. GeoNets Quality Assessment:
We will develop a methodology to involve users in evaluating the quality of results to their queries. Quality criteria may include timeliness, accuracy, popularity and relevance. The feedback may be explicitly obtained from users or it may be implicit, e.g., popular content. User profiles and ranking will also be used to assess and improve the quality of the retrieved answers.

Monitoring, Sensing and Effective Retrieval from the Social Web
Louiqa Raschid

The social Web as captured by blogs and tweets represents a digital slice of thoughts and actions of Netizens. While the preponderance of this data is only of interest to the creator and a small social network, the social Web has the potential to track the emergence of information about disasters and diseases, to follow social trends or commodity price fluctuations, to serve as a vast database for validation of queries, etc. Research challenges include methods to answer the following questions: When did topic A emerge? Who is most likely to blog about topic A or who is most likely to follow topic A? Has the conversation about topic A reached a critical mass and then did that occur? The computational challenges include document similarity and clustering, maintaining social networks and blogger profiles, personalized ranking, and optimal monitoring strategies.

PhD Course Descriptions (OM/MS)

Operations Management / Management Science (OM/MS)

PhD students in OM/MS are required to take at least 14 courses, as outlined in the requirements. Below is a list of courses offered by the DO&IT department in the OM/MS area: 

BMGT 830: Operations Research: Linear Programming
BMGT 831: Operations Research: Extension of Linear Programming and Network Analysis
BMGT 832: Operations Research: Optimization and Nonlinear Programming
BMGT 833: Operations Research: Integer Programming
BMGT 834: Operations Research: Probabilistic Models
BMGT 835: Simulation of Discrete-Event Systems
BMGT 882: Applied Multivariate Analysis I
BMGT 883: Applied Multivariate Analysis II
BMGT 898: Seminar in Operations Management


Courses

BMGT808I Information Systems Research
Offered every Fall semester
This is an introductory seminar in information systems research for doctoral students. Its objective is to introduce participants to some major streams of research in information systems and to help seminar participants understand the role of research in an academic community and the methods of social science research. Sample Syllabus [PDF]

BMGT808I Research Methods in Information Technology
Offered every Spring semester
The purpose of this seminar is to introduce students to the broad range of research methods used by Information Technology researchers. The course makes frequent use of guest lecturers to lead discussions on areas of their research expertise. An emphasis is placed on applying research methods in the development of each student's own individual research interests. For doctoral students with an Information Systems major the culminating project in this course serves as the basis for their first year summer project. Sample syllabus [DOC]

BMGT808L Technology Artifact in Information Systems Research
Offered in the Fall of odd-numbered years (e.g., 2003, 2005, 2007)
Sample Syllabus [PDF]

BMGT808 Current Topics in IS research
Survey of literature in selected research areas in information research. Topics change every semester.

BMGT 808 Research in Decision, Operations, & Information Technologies
One credit. The course includes attendance at a series of seminars on topics related to  research in Decision, Operations, & Information Technologies.

BMGT808D Strategic Management of Information Technology
Offered in the Spring of even-numbered years (e.g., 2004, 2006, 2008)
The goal of this seminar is to provide an understanding of the issues related to the adoption and use of information technologies in organizations, the leverage of value from information technologies, and the management of information technologies in organizations. Students will read and discuss various theories, conceptual issues, and empirical papers pertaining to research on these topics of inquiry.
Sample Syllabus [PDF]

BMGT808D Information Systems Economics
Offered in the Fall of even-numbered years (e.g., 2004, 2006, 2008)
This is a research-oriented doctoral seminar on IS Economics. Its primary objective is to familiarize seminar participants with the applications of microeconomic theories and modeling techniques to IS research problems. The seminar is also intended to motivate participants to explore the use of mathematical models to analyze a research question in their domain of interest. Seminar participants are expected to have adequate familiarity with calculus and simple optimization techniques.
Sample Syllabus [PDF]

BMGT808A E-Commerce and Supply Chain Management
Offered in the Spring of odd-numbered years (e.g., 2003, 2005, 2007)
Sample Syllabus [PDF]

BMGT808X Applied Regression
Offered every Fall semester
The main course objectives are 1. To learn about a wide variety of regression techniques; to understand when to use what technique; to understand the limitations of a particular technique; 2. To generate a basic understanding of the methodological principles underlying these regression techniques in order to become a critical user; 3. To learn the powerful statistical software R; and to implement these regression techniques using this software. Sample Syllabus [PDF]

BMGT882 Applied Multivariate Analysis I
Offered every Fall semester
Multivariate statistical methods and their use in empirical research. Topics include summarization and visualization of multivariate data, multivariate paired comparisons and repeated-measures designs, multivariate analysis of variance, discriminant analysis, and canonical correlation. An important component of the course is analysis of data using contemporary software. Each student will complete a project that applies at least two of the methods covered in the course to a data set of his/her choice.
Sample Syllabus [PDF]

BMGT883 Applied Multivariate Analysis II
Offered every Spring semester
A continuation of BMGT 882. Topics include generalized least squares, seemingly unrelated regressions, simultaneous-equations models, principal components, factor analysis, structural-equations models with latent variables (covariance structure analysis), and specification testing. Sample Syllabus [PDF]

BMGT 830 Operations Research: Linear Programming (3)
Prerequisites: MATH 240 or equivalent; or permission of department.
Concepts and applications of linear programming models, theoretical development of the simplex algorithm, and primal-dual problems and theory.

BMGT 831 Operations Research: Extension of Linear Programming and Network Analysis (3)
Prerequisite: BMGT 830 or equivalent; or permission of department.
Concepts and applications of network and graph theory in linear and combinatorial models with emphasis on computational algorithms.

BMGT 832 Operations Research: Optimization and Nonlinear Programming (3)
Prerequisites: {BMGT 830; and MATH 241; or equivalent}; or permission of department.
Theory and applications of algorithmic approaches to solving unconstrained and constrained non-linear optimization problems. The Kuhn Tucker conditions, Lagrangian and Duality Theory, types of convexity, and convergence criteria. Feasible direction procedures, penalty and barrier techniques, and cutting plane procedures.

BMGT 833 Operations Research: Integer Programming (3)
Prerequisites: {BMGT 830; and MATH 241 or equivalent}; or permission of department.
Theory, applications, and computational methods of integer optimization. Zero-one implicit enumeration, branch and bound methods, and cutting plane methods.

BMGT 834 Operations Research: Probabilistic Models (3)
Prerequisites: {MATH 241; and STAT 400 or equivalent} or permission of department. Theoretical foundations for the construction, optimization, and applications of probabilistic models. Queuing theory, inventory theory, Markov processes, renewal theory, and stochastic linear programming.

BMGT 835 Simulation of Discrete-Event Systems (3)
Prerequisites: Knowledge of Fortran, Basic, C, or Pascal; and BMGT 630 or equivalent. Simulation modeling and analysis of stochastic discrete-event systems such as manufacturing systems, inventory control systems, and computer/ communications networks.

BMGT 898 Seminar in Operations Management (3)
This seminar reviews recent research in operations management. Examples of topics include supply chain management, revenue management, operations strategy, production planning, new product development.

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