The Global Pulse: A Coronavirus Video Series

Insights on a pandemic, from logistics to ethics to technology

Apr 17, 2020
Logistics, Business and Public Policy
Management and Organization
Decision, Operations and Information Technologies

SMITH BRAIN TRUST – The coronavirus pandemic is having an impact across industries, sectors and cultures, and prompting people around the world to pose questions and seek answers.

At the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, our experts have been watching developments closely. They’ve been sharing their insights with The Global Pulse, a continuing video series presented by the Center for Global Business. Here is some of what they’ve had to say.


David Kass, clinical professor of finance, shares his insights into two industries that have been impacted by Covid-19 and what it might take for them to recover.


Lemma W. Senbet, William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance, shares his analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the African continent.


Explaining how things are playing out in China and France are Zhi-Long Chen, the Orkand Corporation Professor of Management Science in DOIT, and Judy Frels, a clinical professor of marketing.


Exploring events in India and Taiwan are Kislaya Prasad, research professor of DOIT and academic director of the Center for Global Business, and Woei-Jyh (Adam) Lee, DOIT lecturer.


Explaining what’s happening in Iceland and Romania are Margrét Bjarnadóttir, assistant professor of management science and statistics, and Adina Dabu, associate research professor of management and organization.


Speaking about Brazil and Canada are Paulo Prochno, clinical professor of management and assistant dean of the Part-Time and Online MBA programs, and Martin Dresner, professor and area chair of logistics, business and public policy.


How Public Health IT Systems are Combating COVID-19: Kenyon Crowley, managing director of the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS), describes how public health IT systems are being leveraged in the fight against the coronavirus. Crowley also delves into the potential shortcomings and challenges regarding data quality and information exchange.


The Role of Technology During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Social distancing has unsurprisingly brought its fair share of hardships, but technology and digital innovations have helped to ease the burden. Joseph P. Bailey, associate professor of decision, operations and information technologies, and executive director of the QUEST Honors program, discusses the impact of technology on the global marketplace and explains why it’s more important than ever.


The Ethics Behind Making Big Decisions Surrounding Coronavirus: With mass event cancellations and indefinite stay-at-home mandates in place, some might ask: What are the ethical implications of these decisions? Judy Frels, a clinical professor of marketing, offers insights into the interconnectedness of stakeholders in these decisions and explores how they ultimately must err on the side of caution for public health concerns.


How Culture Shapes the Message About Coronavirus: Using Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory, Mary Beth Furst, associate clinical professor of marketing, examines how cultural values have shaped government messaging about the coronavirus around the world. Furst looks at statements made by Chinese and Japanese leaders, and highlights messaging differences brought about by their respective cultures.


Tourism Industry Takes a Hit from Coronavirus: Margrét Bjarnadóttir, assistant professor of management science and statistics, looks back to previous outbreaks, such as the Zika virus and SARS, to determine what the global tourism industry might expect in terms of economic impact during the pandemic.


The Impact of Coronavirus on Supply Chains: Sandor Boyson, research professor in logistics, business and public policy, examines how modern-day supply chains might have contributed to the spread of the coronavirus. Boyson also reflects lessons learned from the SARS outbreak and how that knowledge can be leveraged to make supply chains part of the solution.




About the Expert(s)

Sandor Boyson

Dr. Sandor Boyson serves as Director, Supply Chain Management Center; and Research Professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park; and holds an affiliate faculty appointment at the Institute Of Systems Research, Clark School Of Engineering, College Park.

Margrét Bjarnadóttir

Margrét Vilborg Bjarnadóttir is an associate professor of management science and statistics in the DO&IT department. Bjarnadóttir graduated from MIT's Operations Research Center in 2008, defending her thesis titled "Data-Driven Approach to Health Care, Application Using Claims Data". Bjarnadóttir specializes in operations research methods using large scale data. Her work spans applications ranging from analyzing nation-wide cross-ownership patterns and systemic risk in finance to drug surveillance and practice patterns in health care. She has consulted with both health care start-ups on risk modeling using health care data as well as governmental agencies such as a central bank on data-driven fraud detection algorithms.

Mary Beth Furst

Mary Beth Furst is an associate clinical professor in marketing at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. She teaches foundational marketing classes at the undergraduate and MBA level.

Joseph P. Bailey's research and teaching interests span issues in telecommunications, economics, and public policy with an emphasis on the economics of the Internet. This area includes an identification of the existing public policies, technologies, and market opportunities that promote the benefits of interoperability. Bailey is currently studying issues related to the economics of electronic commerce and how the Internet changes competition and supply chain management.

Paulo Prochno

Paulo Prochno is a Clinical Professor at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, and the Faculty Director for the DC evening MBA program. From 2010 to 2014, Paulo was the associate chair of the department. Prior to joining the Smith School faculty in the Fall of 2007, he had appointments at Fundação Dom Cabral, a top-ranked school from Brazil focused on executive education, and Ibmec Business School, where he coordinated open enrollment executive programs.

Martin Dresner

Martin Dresner received his Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on two broad areas, air transport policy and logistics management. Professionally, he is President of the Air Transport Research Society (ATRS) and a past president of the Transportation and Public Utilities Group (TPUG) of the Allied Social Sciences Association and of the Transportation Research Forum (TRF). 

Dr. Prasad is a Research Professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. He received his Ph.D. in Economics and M.S. in Computer Science from Syracuse University. Previous positions include Professor of Economics at Florida State University and Research Officer at the University of Cambridge. His principal research focus is on the computability and complexity of individual decisions and economic equilibrium, innovation and diffusion of technology, and social influences on economic behavior.

Woei-jyh (Adam) Lee

Dr. Adam Lee received his BSE degree from the National Taiwan University, his MS degree from the Courant Institute at the New York University, and his PhD degree from the University of Maryland at College Park (UMD). He worked on distributed objects and fault tolerance at the AT&T Labs - Research in 1997. He focused on network software and management at the Bell Laboratories Research from 1998 to 2000. He visited the University of Southern California specializing in continuous media streaming and multimedia networking from 2002 to 2003.


Dr. Chen received his PhD degree in Operations Research from Princeton University in 1997. He is currently Orkand Corporation Professor of Management Science at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Prior to joining the Smith School in 2001, Dr. Chen worked as an assistant professor of systems engineering at University of Pennsylvania for four years. His research interests cover supply chain scheduling, production and transportation operations, dynamic pricing, and optimization. Dr. Chen has conducted several NSF funded research projects on integrated production and distribution operations, coordination of dynamic pricing and scheduling, and transportation capacity planning.

Lemma W. Senbet

Lemma W. Senbet is the William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance at the Smith School of the University of Maryland and the founding director of the school's Center for Financial Policy. He is also former Executive Director/CEO of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), the largest and oldest economic and research network in Africa, 2013-2020, and currently a member of the Distinguished Advisory Board of Brookings Africa Growth Initiative. Professor Senbet was Chair of the Finance Department, 1998-2006, and his tenure saw rapid transformation of the department into world class.

David Kass

Dr. David Kass has published articles in corporate finance, industrial organization, and health economics. He currently teaches Advanced Financial Management and Business Finance, and is the Faculty Champion for the Sophomore Finance Fellows. Prior to joining the faculty of the Smith School in 2004, he held senior positions with the Federal Government (Federal Trade Commission, General Accounting Office, Department of Defense, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis). Dr. Kass has recently appeared on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, PBS Nightly Business Report, Maryland Public Television, Business News Network TV (Canada), FOX TV, Bloomberg Radio, Wharton Business Radio, KCBS Radio, American Public Media's Marketplace Radio, and WYPR Radio (Baltimore), and has been quoted on numerous occasions by The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, The New York Times and The Washington Post, where he has primarily discussed Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, the economy, and the stock market. 

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