Gordon Burtch (Ph.D., 2013), Assistant Professor of Information and Decision Sciences and Lawrence Fellow, University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management received the 2017 Association for Information Systems – AIS Early Career Award. Gord is one of five recipients worldwide. He also received the 2017 Information Systems Society Sandra A. Slaughter Early Career Award of The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). Gord is a Temple MIS alum who was advised by Dr. Sunil Wattal.
Like many entrepreneurs, Peter Hwang’s idea for what he hopes is the next big thing came to him when he spotted a hole in the market’s offerings: while traveling for work in NYC, he couldn’t find a quick way to find a good meal near his location without scrolling through unhelpful restaurant peer review sites.
People are writing a lot of irrelevant information that doesn’t pertain to the restaurant, like ‘After a long day walking around the city with my boyfriend, we were in the mood for X and we finally found this restaurant…’” says Hwang, who graduated from Temple University with a BBA in Management Information Systems in 2016. “It just came to me, ‘Why aren’t we just reviewing the dish?’ In the end, that’s what we care about.”
From that starting point came Bite, a mobile app that allows users to see how others have reviewed individual restaurant dishes using three criteria — Taste, portion size and final thumb’s up/thumb’s down – and a photo of the dish.
The app – described at swipebites.com and available in the Apple App store and Google Play (Search using “bite review.”) — allows users to search by dish if they need to satisfy a specific craving – Pad Thai, pizza or pierogies – or to determine the most highly recommended dish near their location from Center City Philadelphia to NY’s Soho to Southside Chicago.
It’s like a Tinder for food and when you tell people that they get really excited,” Hwang says. “It’s making the process of choosing what to eat more efficient.”
Hwang is just one recent MIS graduate finding a need and filling it with a new business and, in some cases, new technology. Josh Meth, BBA MIS ’14, is working as a project manager at Ridge Spur Media, a company that develops digital strategies for businesses, while developing Auris, a new technology that can differentiate between sounds and act accordingly – i.e., if it detects glass breaking in a closed business, it can call 911 in case a burglary is in progress.
I’ve found my passion in being the middle man between new technology and business,” says Meth, whose company website is www.ridgespurmedia.com. “Auris is a technology that can be used to understand the audio events like the sound of anger or a door closing. Speech recognition was just stage one.”
Ryan Oliveira, BBA MIS ’13, and Dave Dupell, BBA MIS ’14, have launched AtmosFi – www.atmosfi.com — a service that helps businesses share their offerings with their local community while gaining insights about their customers via WiFi. They’re working with other Temple alum businesses as well, including Brian Linton ‘08’s United by Blue; Izzat Rahman ‘11’s Kayuh Bicycles; Jung Park ‘16’s Cocktail Culture; Scott Pawlowski ‘13’s No Fish; and Neil Patel ‘09’s Denteek Dentist.
We’re converting WiFi traffic into foot traffic,” says Oliveira, who initially thought of the business idea while traveling through Europe and finding himself reliant on business’s free WiFi. “Our strength is our ability to empower businesses to connect directly with customers and other businesses in their community…We’re helping the café, restaurant, gym, salon and bar all work together via cross promotion and collaboration.”
All of the entrepreneurs have used their Fox ties to grow their businesses, seeking guidance from former professors and offering internships to Fox students. They’ve also found that the soft skills they picked up while at Fox are just as important as their course work.
At MIS, we did hands-on prototype work in class and learned to solicit feedback to get it to something that people love and like,” Dupell said. “(But) just understanding how to effectively lead a team and be part of a team are skills you develop in college and they’re very beneficial when you’re developing a company.”
For the sixth year in a row, the Fox School’s Department of Management Information Systems (MIS) Bachelor of Business Administration major in Management Information Systems (BBA MIS) made the US News and World Report Undergraduate Business Specialties national ranking. In the 2018 ranking, which is based on data from 2017, Temple MIS was ranked 14th in the United States. Also for the sixth year in a row, the BBA MIS is the only ranked MIS program among public university’s in the region.
The top 15 undergraduate ranking follows the top 20 (16th in the nation) ranking of the Fox MIS graduate programs by US News and World Report for 2018 including the MS in Information Technology Auditing and Cyber-Security (ITACS), and MS Digital Innovation in Marketing. The program rankings follow the No. 2 in the world research ranking of MIS faculty in 2017.
The Fox BBA in MIS is a STEM major that produces digital business innovators and has achieved 100% placement for the last six years. Fox MIS students are highly sought after because the program emphasizes academics as well as professional development.
Six years after launching at Temple’s Fox School of Business, the IT Auditing and Cyber Security graduate program (ITACS) is going global. In November, Assistant Professor and ITACS founder Richard Flanagan will teach the first-ever ITACS course in China, part of the new ITACS degree program in partnership with the Beijing National Accounting Institute (BNAI).
“This is an exciting partnership in which Temple will provide expertise and industry depth,” says Director of the Management Information Systems (MIS) Masters Programs Marie-Christine Martin. Meantime, she adds, “ITACS faculty are looking forward to extending their experience in teaching overseas and interacting with talented Chinese professionals.”
The partnership between Fox and BNAI has been a long time coming, Flanagan says. The seed was planted years ago, with a lecture about IT auditing that he gave at the Chinese institution. “They’d described it as a small seminar,” he says. “I got there and there were 300 people.” Not only did the school have no comparable program, he says, but IT auditing as a discipline was essentially nonexistent in the country. Still, the interest was clearly there.
In the years since, international regard for the field has only grown. As companies around the world have gone digital, more people are seeing how vital it is to make sure that, as Flanagan puts it, “the right things are getting done the right way.” And while at the moment, China doesn’t have the same types of compliance laws we see in the U.S., he says, they’re beginning to anticipate the adoption of similar laws. And then? “They’ll need tens of thousands of IT auditors,” he says. “BNAI sees that there’s going to be a huge demand for these professionals, and a need to produce these people. They want to be in the driver’s seat. They’ve seen what we do with ITACS, and they want to do it there.”
Flanagan will teach the first prerequisite course this year; the rest of the courses — taught by a handful of other ITACS adjuncts — will ramp up in January. Unlike the Fox School’s ITACS program, with tracks in both auditing and cyber security, BNAI’s program will focus solely on auditing.
The main attributes of the original ITACS program — ranked 16th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and classes taught by top American industry professionals — will be the same draw for BNAI students as they are for Fox students.
“As an ITACS graduate, I directly benefited from lessons taught by ITACS faculty,” says ITACS Director David Lanter. “I put those lessons to work assuring the security of large-data and applications development projects I directed for federal and regional clients.” Now, Lanter adds, he and the ITACS team are working closely with BNAI to provide students there the same insights into the “the practice and science of protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information and information technology.”
Of course, as Martin pointed out, the students aren’t the only winners here: As Fox extends its reach in the world, the new ITACS program is an opportunity for growth for both the faculty involved and for the global reputation for MIS.
“I think everyone is excited to get the program going,” Flanagan says.
Sezgin Ayabakan (Ph.D., University of Texas, Dallas), JaeHwuen Jung (Ph.D., University of Minnesota), and Konstantin Bauman (Ph.D., Moscow State University) join the MIS department as Assistant Professors in fall 2017.
Dr. Ayabakan, who was previously an Assistant Professor at University of Baltimore and faculty fellow at the Schaefer Center for Public Policy, is researching healthcare by applying analytics to analyze very large data sets from hospitals. He will apply his analytics background and practical experience working with big data to teach the MIS department’s award winning GenEd Data Science course.
Dr. Jung, who recently completed his dissertation, is examining the role of incentive structures in online and mobile forums using field experiments. Dr. Jung will apply his industry experience in the telecomm industry as well as research on social gaming and networks to teach Analytics to majors and minors across the Fox School.
Dr. Bauman, who was previously a research scientist at New York University, is a machine learning expert focusing on researching recommendation systems. Dr. Bauman will apply his extensive technical expertise including industry experience as a software engineer to teach programming in the nationally ranked BBA in MIS program.
The Fox School of Business is excited to welcome Dr. David Schuff as the new chair of the Department of Management Information Systems (MIS). Since joining the faculty in 2000, Schuff has played a major role in elevating the reputation of the department through his exceptional teaching, research, and leadership.
David’s service to Fox and the MIS department has been invaluable since his arrival nearly two decades ago, said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School. His creation of the Temple Analytics Challenge, for example, demonstrates the value he places on interdisciplinary research and experiential learning activities. I am confident the department will continue flourishing under David’s leadership.
Schuff’s research interests include the application of information visualization to decision support systems, tools for self-service business intelligence, and the impact of user generated content on organizations and society. He has published over 40 journal articles, many in top research publications, such as Management Information Systems Quarterly, Decision Sciences, Decision Support Systems, and Information & Management.
In addition to teaching in the MIS department, Schuff has taught in the BBA, MBA, and Executive MBA programs at the Fox School’s campuses in Colombia and Japan; and he was the founding academic director of the Executive Doctorate of Business Administration program. His course topics include data analytics and information systems strategy, and he has won numerous awards, including the Musser Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the MIS department’s teaching award. (He won the latter 13 times—more times than any other faculty member.)
Dr. Schuff’s accomplishments as a founding faculty member—and especially his commitment to teaching excellence—make him extremely well qualified to take on this role, said Dr. Munir Mandviwalla, who preceded Schuff as MIS department chair. I am confident he will take the department to even higher levels. It has been a privilege serving the department since its founding in 2000. I look forward to concentrating on leading the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT) to further enhance industry engagement.
Schuff’s impressive history with the Fox School gives him a unique ability to lead the MIS department into the future.
I am proud to serve as chair of the MIS department, said Schuff. Together we’ve built an amazing foundation of highly ranked undergraduate and graduate programs with a vibrant faculty of excellent teachers and top-tier researchers. It will be exciting to see where the future takes us as we create new academic programs, explore new areas of boundary-spanning research, and continue to grow as a leading department.
The new Yusuf G. Mandviwalla endowed scholarship fund will provide financial support to undergraduate students majoring in MIS who have both financial need and high academic performance. The $50,000 endowment, which includes a match from the Fox School, was created by Munir and Nazneen Mandviwalla in memory of Munir’s father Yusuf G. Mandviwalla.
According to Dr. Mandviwalla “my father was a successful entrepreneur who believed in providing educational opportunity regardless of background or means, and supported many young people during his lifetime in Pakistan.”
“I am pleased to create this scholarship in his memory to give back to the MIS community,” said Mandviwalla, who is the outgoing chair of the Department of Management Information Systems, which he founded in 2000.
In addition, an anonymous donor has made a generous gift to establish an endowed scholarship which, when fully funded, and matched by the Dean’s special matching gift program, will endow another MIS specific scholarship fund of $60,000.
After years of hard work and study, MIS seniors always have a lot to show off at the Fox School of Business Management Information Systems Capstone Project Showcase. The most recent Showcase, held at the end of April, was no exception: The 17 teams of seniors that gathered to present their final projects unveiled everything from a medical app designed to help doctors track elderly patients’ health regimens to a personalized news aggregation service to an improved search function on Temple’s course database.
The MIS Showcase is a unique opportunity for students to combine all of what they have learned in class with their own entrepreneurial skills, says Fox IT Advisory Board Chairman Bruce Fadem, who oversees the Mentoring program for IBIT. “This year’s teams showcased a wide range of exciting ideas and demonstrated the value of their education with professional business plans and excellent presentations.”
The winning team, selected by a panel of judges, designed an app that tackles the problem of evaluating the maintenance needs of bridges. “On average,” the team notes, “it takes an expert three to six weeks to properly assess a bridge’s structural needs and report these findings to the local government.” Their solution, the app they call Floating Bridges, combines 3D mapping drones, bridge-assessment algorithms and augmented reality to provide local governments with a more efficient, less expensive way to survey and prioritize problem bridges “on a yearly or even monthly basis.”
The team, which included Alexandra Iacovetti, Nicholas Rivera, Bridget Silk and Benjamin Sulaiman, won $500 for coming in first place — though the entire Capstone process has been rewarding in itself, Silk says. “We really benefited from bouncing ideas off each other,” she adds. “It was an awesome experience to end the year with.”
The Capstone projects are often cited by students as one of the highlights of the MIS experience. The opportunity to put so many skills and practices to the test (not to mention the chance to flex their creative muscles) in a competitive setting is both fun and helpful in terms of prepping for life outside of the Fox School.
“The project created an opportunity to fully develop and pitch a real, live platform that addresses a problem,” says Kate Morrison, whose team, District One Sports, created a one-stop digital resource for high school sports stats. “Going through this process end to end created more passion, teamwork and ownership than any other group project I’ve worked on, and it was a beneficial transition from the teaching/learning environment into the professional workplace.”
The full roster of projects presented at the April event included:
Solutions to Medical Non-Adherence
A digital solution for health-care providers, pharmacies and patients to insure that patients are taking their medication consistently and following correct procedures after leaving the hospital.
Team: Michael Ingram, Heather Makwinski, Joshua Michalik, Samantha Talarico
Mentor: Dale Danilewitz
Documed: Improving Patient Engagement
Real-time access for doctors to patients’ medical records to help improve diagnosis and treatment.
Team: Johnathan Holland, Jeremy A. John, Alan Kim, George Raymond
Mentor: Matt Winter
An application designed to motivate people to make exercise a priority, using social tools, games, geolocation and goal suggestions.
Team: John Kerin, Matthew Leaver, Sara Monahan, Thompson Nguyen
Mentor: Ben Hasan
An application that measures the core body temperatures and heart rates of elderly patients, aiming to help doctors track their patients’ regimens.
Team: Leor Capunitan, Thomas Lee, Chris Park
Mentor: Jeff Hamilton
Social Academic Studying Solution
A web-based solution for connecting students who have similar courses and curriculums, aimed at enabling collaborative studying, as well as helping students manage deadlines and study hours.
Team: Evan Chiao, Kin Lee, Connor Gawlik, Mike Dennis
Mentor: Satbir Bedi
District One Sports: Simplifying High School Sports Statistics
A one-stop digital resource for reporting and viewing high school sports scores and statistics.
Team: Rob Higgins, Kate Morrison, Rhea Prabhu, Ben Shaffer
Mentor: Sondra Barbour
A digital platform providing airline passengers with in-air and terminal entertainment and gaming options.
Team: Stephanie Cheng, Tyler Gaber, Kevin Santoni, Dario Trabucco
Mentor: Sunil Misra
An analytics tool to help provide employees with information and insights about the connection between their wellness and their productivity, helping them balance health habits with performance at work.
Team: Derek Gibbs, Eric Koeck, Erika Nixon, David Yastremsky
Mentor: Paul Amorello
A visual-recognition application that harnesses unstructured data hidden within images, videos. and gifs uploaded onto social media and/or the Internet, and helps structure it into meaningful ideas.
Team: Dominick Falco, Alex Korjeski, Alex Meyer, Louisa Carleton
Mentor: Niraj Patel
A platform that connects travelers with personalized, low-cost tour itineraries.
Team: Phil Tocci, Kevin Vong, Anthony Vu, Brian Wallace
Mentor: Bruce Fadem
An application that combines 3D mapping drones, bridge-assessment algorithms and augmented reality to give experts a cost-effective way to assess a bridge’s structural needs.
Team: Alexandra Iacovetti, Nicholas Rivera, Bridget Silk, Benjamin Sulaiman
Mentor: Joe Spagnoletti
A system for aggregating multiple news sources and customizing them in a fashion that fits into each user’s lifestyle and preferences.
Team: William Agentowicz, Brandan Mackowsky, Eugene Tartaglione, Adama Traore
Mentor: Sukumar Narayanan
An application that allows gamers across all platforms (Xbox, Playstation and PC) to find one another and form teams based upon their respective skill levels.
Team: Andrew Fiss, Tyler Urquhart, Elijah Jamison, Kyle Domsohn
Mentor: Shariq Khan
A ride-sharing application in the vein of Uber/Lyft that helps users avoid driving while intoxicated, while providing a way for the user to get his or her car home safely.
Team: Rob Lesnik, Kyle Matusik, Jonathan Plugaru, Casid Sohou
Mentor: Andrew Porter
Esperanza Database Consolidation
A database-consolidation tool for merging and centralizing data from the non-profit Esperanza to allow for better and more streamlined marketing and communication efforts.
Team: Danielle Buerger, Kevin Hamilton, Leeya Ressom
Mentor: Jon Scott
An application aimed at third-grade students within the School District of Philadelphia, focused on improving reading skills via online competition, incentives and reading comprehension quizzes. Teachers are able to track students’ improvements.
Team: Andi Agolli, Jeffrey Craskey, Mohit Patel, Urvesh Patel
Mentor: Andrea Anania
A search function that allows Temple students to look for any class in the Temple database based on keywords/categories that pertain to class topics or subtopics.
Team: Quy Le, Kevin Diem, Darpan Patel, Michael Black
Mentor: Chris Cera
Two MIS student teams won big at the Eighth Annual Association for Information Systems (AIS), Student Chapter Leadership Conference and Competition, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, April 13-15, 2017.
1st Place – AmerisourceBergen Analytics Challenge (Analysis Track)
2nd Place – Security Case Study
The above two competitions included two phases. In the first phase, student teams submitted entries virtually. The finalists were chosen from the virtual entries and invited to present their work for another round of judging at the above conference. Other finalists included University of Georgia, Roger Williams University, University of Cincinnati, University of Michigan, Florida International University, Brigham Young University, and others.