Information systems faculty shape research agenda at conferences

By Raghu Santanam

Chair, Department of Information Systems

Welcome back to work for what promises to be a very bright (that’s easy in Phoenix) New Year.

As we ease into 2018, I want to highlight how our faculty shapes the agenda for research through their leadership in academic conferences. The latest research ideas are shared and discussed at academic conferences. Increasingly, these conferences are global in nature and create a venue for academics to showcase their latest work, as well as form new research partnerships with like-minded colleagues from around the world. Taking on leadership roles in conferences is one way to highlight and promote the academic quality of the department. And lately, our faculty has been actively taking on leadership roles in conferences and setting the agenda for the information systems industry in general.

Professors Michael Goul and Zhongju Zhang were mini-track chairs at the recent Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. The mini-track tackled issues about data analytics management, governance, and compliance. Professors Yili (Kevin) Hong, Bin Gu, and Ni (Nina) Huang led the mini-track on crowd-based platforms at the same conference.

I served as the overall program co-chair for the 27th Workshop on Information Technology and Systems (WITS) held this year in Seoul, South Korea. The conference theme explored issues related to artificial intelligence and its effects on the future of work. One of the keynote speakers was Professor Sang Kyun Cha for the School of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Seoul National University. Professor Cha was one of the pioneers to develop in-memory database technology, such as the one used in the SAP HANA platform for processing high volumes of data in real time. A company he founded was acquired by SAP in 2005.

In November, Professors Gu, Hong, and Zhang will co-chair the Informs Conference on Information Systems and Technology (Informs CIST). Around the same time, I’ll co-chair a conference on data science (also under Informs). The Informs main conference will host both of these 2018 conferences in downtown Phoenix — that is, in our backyard.

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