Top News / June 19, 2024

The High Five: June 2024

The High Five: March 2024
This summer, the Smith School launched a new AI center, expanded business training, and saw record student achievements. Notable highlights include new programs, faculty, and advisory board members, driving continued growth and innovation.

It’s summer, but we’re not taking a break at the Smith School. We recently launched the Center for Artificial Intelligence in Business, headed up by Balaji Padmanabhan. We’ve already got a lot going on in this area – from robust research and exciting new faculty hires, to new curriculum and hands-on learning, to community-wide programs. This summer, we’re working with Prince George’s County, home of the University of Maryland, to offer a first-of-its-kind AI training program to local small-business owners.

Our students finished the school year strong. A record number competed in our fifth annual Datathon, which we expanded this year to include American University students. Others showed off their portfolio management skills, with the largest return yet for our student-run asset funds, enabling a nearly $438,000 grant to the Smith School.

We are also excited to welcome Steve Schanwald ’77, a former vice president of the Chicago Bulls, to our Sports Management Program advisory board. He’s just one of the many industry all-stars helping us figure out the best way to serve students through innovative programs. These types of programs are exactly what students want. The Sports Management Program saw a 100% increase in student interest for fall 2024, and our computational finance minor for computer science majors saw an 80% increase in interest.

We’re continuously striving to engage more students and innovate, and we’re keeping up our momentum for the months ahead.

Happy summer!

Prabhudev C. Konana
Dean, Robert H. Smith School of Business



Smith School Announces Center for AI in Business

The Smith School has launched the Center for Artificial Intelligence in Business to be the hub for AI research and outreach, working in conjunction with UMD’s new Artificial Intelligence interdisciplinary Institute at Maryland. Balaji Padmanabhan leads the center, along with an advisory board of industry professionals and faculty members. The center’s mission is to facilitate the creation of amazing and safe products and services through intentional design and governance. READ MORE.

Chicago Bulls Marketing Trailblazer Joins Sports Management Advisory Board

Steve Schanwald ’77, former executive vice president of business operations with the Chicago Bulls, spent over 28 years building the organization into a world-class brand through the Michael Jordan era and beyond. Now he’s bringing his expertise to the Sports Management Program advisory board. The board includes a number of alumni who are leaders in the industry from college sports, the WNBA, the NHL, the NFL, MLB and ESPN. The Smith School runs the 12-credit undergraduate program with UMD’s School of Public Health and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. READ MORE.

Student Fund Managers Deliver Record Returns

Undergraduate, MBA and MS Smith students learn about stock selection, asset management and equity analysis by managing three portfolio funds with more than $11.5 million through the Smith School Foundation. This spring, the fund managers were so successful that they returned a $437,860 check to the school – the largest distribution from the program to date. READ MORE.

The 5th Annual Datathon Breaks a New Record

The Smith Analytics Consortium's fifth annual Datathon had a record 370 students across 53 teams competing in the 15-day event. For the first time, students from American University's Kogod School of Business joined University of Maryland students in the competition. Teams in the competition used data visualization and problem-solving analytics to recommend the best cities for new NBA teams. READ MORE.

Smith Trains Local Small Businesses to Use AI

Smith’s Office of Executive Education is teaming up with the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation to teach small business owners how to use AI. Professors Tejwansh Anand and Balaji Padmanabhan lead the new program, which has 50 participants (selected from 250 applicants). The cohort has online coursework, then comes to College Park to learn to harness AI to run their businesses more efficiently and gain competitive advantage. READ MORE.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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