INFORMS Conference Awards

IDS Department, Bapna Shine at INFORMS Conference Awards

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

When Ravi Bapna describes the Carlson School’s Information and Decision Sciences Department, he sees it as a galaxy of stars. Every professor, no matter what they study, has the chance to operate in their own orbit and shine bright at what they do.

Nowhere was that more apparent than at the annual INFORMS Conference on Information Systems and Technology (CIST) this past weekend when the IDS Department took home six total awards, including two major award wins for Bapna.

Bapna was recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the INFORMS Information Systems Society, one of the highest honors in the field of Information Systems. He also won the Best Information Systems Paper Award in the major journal, Management Science. Associate Professor Brad Greenwood took the society’s Sandy Slaughter Early Career Award, while Mochen Yang, a 2018 PhD graduate from the Carlson School and now first-year assistant professor at the University of Indiana, won the society’s Nunamaker-Chen Dissertation Award for best PhD dissertation. Assistant Professor Yicheng Song and PhD student Scott Schanke were also lead authors on papers that received honors for their conference papers.

“I am so proud of the IDS Department and everything they’ve accomplished this year and beyond,” says Sri Zaheer, Carlson School dean and Elmer L. Andersen Chair in Global Corporate Social Responsibility. “Our faculty are truly some of the best in the world, and this goes a long way toward establishing the Carlson School as one of the most influential business schools.”

The CIST conference presented by INFORMS Information Systems Society is one of the most prestigious conferences for the Management Information Systems discipline. INFORMS, or Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, is the largest international association of operations research, management sciences, and analytics professionals and students, having 12,500 members from nearly 90 countries and serving as an umbrella institution for a number of disciplinary societies.

Top honors such as those won this weekend are nothing new for the department. Department Chair Gedas Adomavicius and Associate Dean Alok Gupta are prior recipients of the INFORMS ISS Distinguished Fellow Award, and so is Emeritus Professor Gordon Davis, who is also known as the father of the management information systems (MIS) discipline. The Carlson School’s IDS Department is consistently ranked in the top five in the nation for MIS education, including being ranked No. 3 by U.S. News & World Report.

“I think all of this is a testament to the quality of research that is done here at the Carlson School,” Adomavicius says. “This is one of the top conferences and to be honored with a bunch of awards is really amazing.”

Bapna wins top honors

In what amounts to a lifetime achievement award for excellence in his field, Bapna says he was humbled to win the society’s Distinguished Fellow Award.

“There is nothing better than being honored and recognized by your community,” he says.

The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding intellectual contributions to the information systems discipline. Winners are judged on scholarly contributions, their impact in the field, leadership, and the mentoring of doctoral students and young researchers.

Bapna is the Curtis L. Carlson Chair in Business Analytics and Information Systems, the associate dean for Executive Education, and the academic director for the Carlson Analytics Lab.

Bapna also received the Best Information Systems Paper Award from the Management Science journal for a paper he co-wrote with former IDS Assistant Professor Akhmed Umyarov. The paper, titled “Do Your Online Friends Make You Pay? A Randomized Field Experiment on Peer Influence in Online Social Networks,” explores how likely influence from friends gets users to upgrade from free social and digital platforms, such as Spotify, to premium levels.

Greenwood honored with another early career award

Greenwood’s early career award is the second such award he has won in the past few months. He also took home the Past Division Chairs’ Emerging Scholar Award from the Technology and Innovation Management Division at the Academy of Management (AOM) annual conference.

The Sandra A. Slaughter Early Career Award recognizes early career individuals who are on a path toward making outstanding intellectual contributions to the information systems discipline.

Greenwood’s research interests are in information availability, innovation and entrepreneurship, public health, healthcare economics, and information systems economics. His recent paper, “Patient-Physician Gender Concordance and Increased Mortality among Female Heart Attack Patients (PNAS 2018),” was picked up by more than 120 media outlets, including The Atlantic, CNN, USA Today, and Scientific American.

He credits mentors such as Bapna, Adomavicius, and Gupta for fostering diversity and allowing groups to learn from each other.

“I did not win this award on my own,” Greenwood says. “This speaks to the nature of the group, the way leadership has allowed each of the junior researchers to grow, and all of the help I had along the way from co-authors to mentors.”

Others earn prizes

Yang, a 2018 PhD graduate from the Carlson School and now first-year assistant professor at the University of Indiana, won the society’s Nunamaker-Chen Dissertation Award for best PhD dissertation.  His dissertation investigates the relationship between digital content and engagement behaviors on social media brand pages, and the resulting challenges and opportunities for associated firms.

Song, a second-year assistant professor, with several co-authors from other institutions, received the Best Paper Award from the INFORMS CIST conference.

Scott Schanke, a third-year PhD student, with co-authors Associate Professor and McKnight Presidential Fellow Gordon Burtch and Associate Professor Gautam Ray, was the second runner-up for the Best Conference Paper Award.