DO&IT Newsletter

Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS)

Operations Management Newsletter


Ritu Agarwal was the keynote speaker at the Taiwan Summer Workshop on Information Management, and the City University of Hong Kong Information Systems Research Workshop.

A healthcare podcast-story featuring Ritu Agarwal was carried by the Washington Post and can be found here.

Ritu Agarwal and Gordon Gao provided commentary on Amy Norton's Healthday piece. The story has been widely picked up -- by news sites that are health-focused (WebMD, Health Magazine, MedicineNet, others) to broad/mainstream (US News and World Report, Yahoo Health, NY Newsday, Philadelphia Inquirer, others).

Joe Bailey will be an Edison Scholar at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the 2014-2015 academic year.  He will be leading a research project investigating the use of natural language processing to review patent applications.

Sean Barnes has recently been named to be a Faculty Affiliate of the newly established Center for Systems Engineering in Health at Johns Hopkins Medicine, which combines the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.

Sean Barnes won Honorable Mention (2nd place) for the Decision Sciences Institute Elwood Buffa Dissertation Award. Sean presented for the competition on Monday, November 18th. There were 23 submissions to the competition and four finalists. Bruce Golden was Sean’s advisor.

Sean Barnes was invited to present his research on hospital-acquired infections during a health panel at the 2013 PROMISE Summer Success Institute in August. PROMISE is an NSF-sponsored program to promote underrepresented minorities in graduate education and academia.

Sean Barnes and Bruce Golden won the Modeling and Simulation Track Best Paper Award at the IIE Annual Conference in Puerto Rico in late May.

Zhi-Long Chen was appointed as a senior editor of the journal "Production and Operations Management".

Zhi-Long Chen’s plenary talk on "Recent Developments in Dynamic Pricing Research" in the 13th International Conference on Information and Management Sciences was held in Zhangjiajie, China, from August 3 to 8, 2014.

A research project completed by Zhi-Long Chen of DO&IT and his collaborators from China and UK recently won the INFORMS Franz Edelman competition finalist award after two rounds of competition. The project transformed operations of Baosteel, the world's thrid largest and China's largest steel producer, and brought significant economic and non-economic benefits to the company. There are six finalist teams to participate in the final round of competition in San Antonio, TX, on April 8, 2013 during the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research.

Gordon Gao has been appointed as an Associate Editor of MISQ (one of top three journals in IS).

Gordon Gao has been appointed as Associate Editor at Management Science.

Bruce Golden has been named to the Scientific Committee for the ODYSSEUS Conference to be held in Ajaccio, Corsica in June, to the International Advisory Committee for the VEROLOG Conference to be held in Vienna in June, to the Program Committee for the Metaheuristics International Conference to be held in Agadir, Morocco in June, and to the Scientific Committee for the 2015 INFORMS TSL Workshop on Recent Advances in Urban Transportation through Optimization and Analytics to be held in Berlin in July. In addition, he has been invited to give two lectures at the EURO Ph.D. School on Routing and Logistics in Brescia, Italy in July.

Bruce Golden served as mentor to a bright high school junior, Sam Reichenthal, this past year or so (with help from Sean Barnes). Sam entered his agent-based modeling project in the Howard County Science Fair and the Baltimore Science Fair. The National Society of Black Engineers gave out 15 distinguished project awards at the Baltimore Science Fair and Sam received one of these.

Bruce Golden presented a Plenary Lecture at the Verolog Conference in Southampton, U.K. in July. While there, he visited Stonehenge.

Zeinab Karake's book The Diffusion of E-Commerce in Developing Economies was chosen to be part of the Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) where it will be provided free of charge to institutions and libraries in 41 emerging and developing countries.

Zeinab Karake was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the International Horizons College (IHC); a Dubai-based accredited college based on the American System of higher education.

Zeinab Karake was voted by undergraduate students as their favorite professor.

On Monday January 12th, Zeinab Karake was interviewed by MBC TV to discuss the issue of CyberSecurity in the aftermath of the FBI arrest of the Algerian hacker Hamza Bendelladj who was arrested in Thailand and extradited to the United States.

A paper, 'Do U.S. Regulators Listen to the Public?...' co-authored by Shawn Mankad, assistant professor of business analytics, is covered in a newly-posted Reuters story: Academics devise formula to gauge how well U.S. regulators listen.

Sunil Mithas gave a talk at National Management and IT Symposium in Netherlands in December 2013.  The event was attended by senior IT professionals and organized by a number of leading IT industry associations in Netherlands.

Sunil Mithas recently gave a keynote address in Mumbai to about 300 Indian CIOs at a highly-publicized conference organized by a leading IT research and media organization. The event and the address were organized around Sunil’s research on the effect of IT investments on firm profits. More details about the event are available at and

Raghu Raghavan testified before the postal regulatory commission in Washington DC. In late 2011 the US Postal Service (USPS) proposed elimination of overnight first class mail service standards beginning August 2012.  Partly based on analysis conducted by Raghu, the postal regulatory commission found that USPS could realize substantial cost savings while preserving most overnight mail delivery. Interim service standards have been adopted by USPS that now preserve overnight First-Class Mail service through January 31, 2014.

Two papers by Louiqa Raschid and colleagues on predicting new disease targets for approved drugs (remember the history of Viagra) were showcased as the leading paper and cover for a special issue of the ACM Transactions on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and in the opening session of the International Semantic Web Conference.

Don Riley is Conference Co-chair and Co-chair of Organizing Committee, Chinese American Networking Symposium (CANS 2013), 9-11 September 2013, Hanzghou, China.  CANS Symposium is partially funded by three-year U.S. National Science Foundation grant:  OCI International Research Network Connections Award No. 1239009, “Framework Program for US-China Collaboration in Scientific Research and Education”, Co-PIs A. Hunsinger, D. Riley and S. Wolff.

Ilya Ryzhov has been named as a finalist of this year's INFORMS Junior Faculty Interest Group best paper competition. The work in question, "Optimal learning with non-Gaussian rewards," is joint with Zi Ding, my recently graduated Ph.D. student from AMSC. We look at the theory of information collection in problems where data is collected from unknown, non-normal distributions (applications like this arise in dynamic pricing, e-commerce, and assortment planning). Our results characterize the structure of optimal information collection policies, as well as the 'difficulty' that is added when normality assumptions are removed.

Ilya Ryzhov of DO&IT received the Meritorious Service Award from the journal Operations Research. The award is given to referees who have demonstrated exceptional diligence in their service to the journal in the past year.

Marketing Science Institute Research Award, Fall 2014. "Understanding the Impact of Message Design on Online Social Interactions". Siva Viswanathan and Tianshu Sun.

"Who should be responsible for software security?  A comparative analysis of liability policies in network environments" (2011, Tunay Tunca joint with Terrence August) has been selected as one of the three finalists for the award for Management Science Best Paper published in IS in the past three years. Tunay received a plaque at the ISS reception. 


The CHIDS-led team won the American Public Health Association's Codeathon held in New Orleans this past weekend at APHA's annual conference. The team consisted of MSIS students Keyur Shah, Ishwarya Sethurman, and Tejal Kanase, and MBA student Chun Wong from the Smith School and Deok Gun Park from Computer Science PhD program and Luis Santos from Engineering PhD program, and was mentored by Kenyon Crowley of CHIDS (and iSchool PhD program). The solution leveraged wearable sensor and mhealth app data in combination with geospatial mapping and data vis tools to provide real-time population health analytics. Team won $12,000 in cash and prizes. Click here for more about the win.

CHIDS has won an EARN grant from the Maryland Department of Labor & Licensing (DLLR) to lead development of a mobile health focused health tech Strategic Industry Partnership that will help generate workforce and economic development opportunities aimed at making Maryland an innovation hub for this vital sector. The $150,000 grant program is in partnership with the Maryland HealthTech Coalition, Howard Community College, and the Tech Council of Maryland with additional investment from Cisco and Kloudtrak for a Health Innovation Sandbox.

CHIDS has won a 3-year conference grant of $105,000 from the United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for the Workshop on Health IT & Economics, now in its 5th year. The 5th Workshop is also sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton and the Foundation for the Advancement of Education in the Sciences (FAES).

CHIDS has been selected by the Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County to help lead development of a new information system to support health fairs and community health engagement programs.  CHIDS is working with Google on the design and deployment of the system with funding from the Montgomery County Executive.

Booz Allen Hamilton is CHIDS newest corporate Partner. Thanks go to David VanLone and the DAR team for helping to secure this partnership.  Booz Allen Hamilton is a leading provider of management consulting, technology, and engineering services to the U.S. government in defense, health, intelligence, and civil markets, and to major corporations, institutions, and not-for-profit organizations. Booz Allen Hamilton and CHIDS are exploring research projects in health data analytics, health innovation, and mobile health.

Remain Home Solutions (RHS) has joined CHIDS as a small company Member.  RHS designs and implements alternatives to active adult and assisted-living communities and nursing homes through the use of home modification and technology solutions. CHIDS is collaborating with RHS on the development of their mobile health solution and strategy.

CHIDS has won an EARN Maryland Planning Grant from the State of Maryland to research opportunities for investment in mobile health technologies and to support the development of a Strategic Investment Plan around mobile health for the Baltimore/Washington corridor.

CHIDS is supporting two new classes in Spring 2014: BUDT 499D Advanced Business Topics - Health Information Technology, which will be taught by Barney Corwin with support from Kenyon Crowley; and, for MSIS students, BUDT758L- mobile application development for health, which will be taught by Atif Menom with support from Kenyon Crowley. 

CHIDS has won a $200,000 grant to advance public health and primary care integration and coordination through improved information systems, with a focus on behavioral health – in partnership with Montgomery County Health & Human Services, Montgomery Primary Care Coalition for Underserved and the Maryland statewide health information exchange.

CHIDS has a new $100,000 corporate partnership with CNSI to study predictive modeling of Medicaid claims transactions to improve appropriate payments.

Smith's Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) sponsored an interdisciplinary UMD team in capturing first place in the 2013 American Public Health Association's (APHA) Codeathon aimed at helping to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The team developed a solution to help the underserved understand, access and use preventive services under the ACA and is planned for rollout in Maryland in Illinois.

CHIDS Director Ritu Agarwal has been named a Dr. Theo und Friedl Schoeller Senior Fellow for 2013 by the Dr. Theo and Friedl Schöller Research Center at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. The Center aims at contributing to responsible leadership in business and society and has the key purpose to foster current thinking within an international context in the field of “Creating Cohesion–Designing Change Realizing Innovation”.  More at

Gordon Gao, CHIDS Co-Director, has won a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award with a grant of more than $400,000 based on his proposal for improving quality transparency in healthcare and informing consumer choice. The NSF CAREER Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research. Congratulations Gordon!

The Information Systems Society of Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) has named Ritu Agarwal of the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business a 2013 Distinguished Fellow for her outstanding intellectual contributions to the information systems field. She is also reappointed as Editor-in-Chief for ISR for a second term (2014-2016).

CHIDS partner MITRE recently won a $1 billion contract to develop and support a new Federally Funded Research Development Center for CMS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  CHIDS was a partner in this proposal and looks forward to supporting innovative research with CMS on improving critical health care programs that benefit so many Americans.


InformationWeek published an article about the panel and Digital Innovation Forum, which occurred on Friday, January 31st at the Ronald Reagan Building. The DIGITS Center and the Smith School is prominently featured in the write-up. Il-Horn Hann and Siva Viswanathan were the faculty champions of this event.

DIGITS, the Center for Digital Innovation Technology and Strategy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland and Smartronix hosted The DC Forum on Digital Innovation on October 11th at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. Government, corporate, and student guests were invited to participate in a stimulating discussion about how strong and innovative leadership can turn around a large services organization and drive growth in times of financial challenges and technological changes through digital innovation. This event featured a distinguished key note speaker, Administrator Dan Tangherlini of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), and a panel of faculty members and industry thought leaders to share their experience and expertise.

PhD Students

Three of the DOIT PhD graduates - Corey, Jason, and Animesh - have all received word of a positive tenure decision at Notre Dame, RPI, and McGill, respectively.  These were their first jobs after graduation. (Ritu Agarwal)

Brad Greenwood received a Distinguished Reviewer Award with the Entrepreneurship Division of The Academy of Management. Also, Brad graduated this May from the DOIT IS PhD program and will start with DOIT this fall as a Visiting Assistant Professor.

The paper “Does Crowdfunding Democratize Access to Capital? A Geographical Analysis” by Keongtae Kim and Il-Horn Hann has won the CIST Best Paper Award.  Five out of 52 accepted papers for the conference were nominated.  The paper is one of Keongtae’s dissertation chapters and his job talk paper.

IS PhD student Shannon Lantzy won the 2013/2014 Alumni Association Graduate Scholarship Award from the University of Maryland. Also, Shannon was awarded the Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship for summer 2013.

Jorge Mejia's paper co-authored with Anand Gopal and Michael Trusov (Deal or No Deal? Merchant Characteristics and Competition in the Effect of Online Deals on Consumer Quality Perceptions) won two awards at the Conference on Information Systems and Technology (CIST)

  • Best Research Video Award - Second Place.  Video is available on YouTube
  • Best Poster Paper Award - Third Place.

Ali Pilehvar, a recent OM PhD graduate, won the Best Student Paper finalist award at this year's Academy of Management Conference. Ali's faculty co-authors are Anand Gopal and Wedad Elmaghraby.

IS doctoral student Tianshu Sun's paper “Understanding the Effects of Message Design on Firm-Mediated Online Social Interactions: A Randomized Field Experiment” won Third Place at the 2014 INFORMS Service Science Best Paper Award Competition at the Service Science section of INFORMS. (Siva Viswanathan)

In the spring, Tianshu Sun was selected by Soros Foundation and Institute of New Economic Thinking as "Global Young Scholar". The selection process is based on Research Proposal and Academic Achievement. A few scholars are chosen from more than 600 Phd applicants (most in Economics). Tianshu was invited to attend INET and Soros Foundation Annual Meeting in HK in April and had the chance to communicate with Nobel Laureates like Michael Spence and Jim Heckman, as well as George Soros. Tianshu briefly presented his recent work there in student sections and was provided with financial support.

Undergraduate Programs

Our department's undergraduate minor in Business Analytics was approved in November 2013 and are recruiting students now. It is open to all undergraduate students on campus. Frank Alt is the Program Director.