Latest IS news: Rankings, research, inspiration, and encouragement

Cutting-edge research and high-quality studies have landed the W. P. Carey Department of Information Systems in the top 10 in new research rankings and are attracting the brightest and best minds to visit and learn from one another. Faculty and Department of Information Systems Club (DISC) members are also holding workshops to lead and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and IS students.

IS department ranks high in research

The Department of Information Systems has been placed in the top 10 worldwide in two new research listings. The school was ranked seventh in the AIS/ listing and 10th in the University of Texas at Dallas listing.

"Publications are the gold standard by which university research is measured. The high placement of the IS department in these publication rankings is an affirmation of the high-quality research conducted by our faculty,” says Professor Raghu Santanam, chair of the Department of Information Systems. “More importantly, our faculty are addressing problems of high relevance and significance to businesses as we head toward a digital society."

Top minds from across the country come together

The second annual Arizona State University Information Systems Research Workshop took place February 23 to 25 at Tempe Mission Palms and brought out several top institutions in the United States, including the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Arizona, among others. Speakers presented cutting-edge research topics, such as big data analytics, recommender systems, cybersecurity, and deception detection, says Professor Santanam. W. P. Carey faculty presented the following:

Other topics shared at the workshop included the influence of social media on the bitcoin market and inferring emotion through human-computer interaction devices. A consistent theme throughout the workshop was that IS researchers are now engaging with corporations to develop and conduct field experiments, Santanam explains.

“Field experiments are an effective way to discover and identify causal relationships between variables of interest in business contexts,” he says. “This research trend is making information systems research even more relevant to business decision-makers.”

W. P. Carey expert inspires entrepreneurs

Recognized technology authority and Lecturer Phil Simon, gave a talk to up-and-coming entrepreneurs at Live @ Generator Labs last month. He focused on his book, “The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business." Readers learn how the business world has changed drastically in the past 10 years and how many companies are rethinking how they do business, thanks to the success of the four powerhouse companies highlighted in the book.

Simon is a frequent keynote speaker, contributor, and award-winning author of seven management books, including Message Not Received and Too Big to Ignore: The Business Case for Big Data.

Live @ Generator Labs is an event held every Thursday at the Engineering Center G-Wing 101. Successful entrepreneurs and startup CEOs speak to students to help them build their venture team and set them on their path to entrepreneurship.

Nurturing the next generation of the IT workforce

What is full of holes but still holds water? It’s a sponge. What can run but can’t walk? If you guessed a drop of water, you’re right. What belongs to you but other people use it more? It’s your name, of course.

These are just a few of the brain teasers that kicked off The Secret Code of Business workshop hosted by DISC members on March 18. Groups of middle school students played brain games with DISC volunteers, as other groups of them checked in and finished campus tours. One participant student shared a brain teaser that stumped everyone, “What’s green, white, and red and babies are inside?” He ended up sharing the answer when no DISC volunteer or peer could guess it, “It’s a watermelon. The seeds are the babies.”

Once all 25 middle school participants settled in, they were asked to plan their dream vacation with fellow pupils sitting at the same computer station. They had unlimited money to use on the hypothetical dream vacation, as well as computers and the web at their disposal. While brain games are a fun way to develop and demonstrate problem-solving skills necessary for IT work, what does planning a dream vacation have to do with computer information systems (CIS) and business data analytics (BDA)?

“What we try to do with the dream vacation project is give all the resources these digital natives have grown up using. Then, at the end of the project, we ask them how they’d do it without the internet,” says Shashank Rajani, CIS student and DISC vice president of community services. “We want them to see how complicated it was to do the same project 10 to 15 years ago without computers and the web. And if they want to be ahead and enjoy the power of technology, CIS and BDA are the stepping stones to their future.”

As The Secret Code of Business workshop progressed, the participants played animated games to develop their understanding of how to interpret and apply data from two-way frequency tables, develop their probabilistic reasoning skills, begin to understand concepts for interpreting data from a linear model that relates the distance of the target, and execute code.

“It’s about growing the awareness of the importance of coding and data analytics in technology today and tomorrow,” says Elizabeth Baxter, a CIS first-year student and DISC member who volunteered at the fifth, triannual workshop since its inception in October 2015.

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