Month: October 2016

A Demonstration in 3D Printing


The Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department held a 3D Printing Workshop on Friday, October 28th. This was the second in a series of technology workshops held by the department throughout the semester.

The 3D Printing workshop went into depth about the different technologies available in the OPIM Department Gladstein Lab. Students and faculty were able to preview these technologies at the MIS Welcome Party at the beginning of the semester. The workshop was designed for those who may be new to 3D Printing technolgy or experienced users who would like to learn more about the resources available to them in the OPIM Department.

During Friday’s workshop, The OPIM Department explained how 3D Printing technology works, what it is being used for, and how it was developed. Students in attendance were given a detailed presentation on the 3D printing technology, while observing the technology in action. The goal of the workshop was to inform interested students and faculty about these technologies and to demonstrate how they operate.

The workshop featured the Maker-Bot Replicator 2X and Maker-Bot Replicator Z18 systems. The Department demonstrated the printers by taking a photo of a pumpkin and printing it into a three-dimensional object.


In his presentation, Chris Buckridge (BUSN IT) explained some ways that 3D Printing is currently being utilized, such as radio prototyping, healthcare products, education, recreation and architecture.

There were over 20 students and faculty present at the workshop. Due to limited space, registration was available online prior to the workshop. All of the available spots were filled with additional walk-in attendees.

The next workshop will be about exploring real time data analytics using the Splunk platform. That workshop will be held on Friday, November 11th at 1 p.m. in the Gladstein Lab. Interested individuals can register here to guarantee a spot in the workshop.

Student Spotlight – Jenny Tang (IMA Secretary)

18cf955A junior at the University of Connecticut, Jenny Tang serves as the Information Management Association (IMA) Secretary. As Secretary, Jenny does a lot work behind the scenes for IMA by organizing the group’s information.

Jenny told me about her journey to becoming a Business major, the reason she became involved in IMA, her involvement at UConn, and her future plans for her senior year and beyond.

Jenny started out at UConn as a Computer Science major and she is now in the process of pursuing a Management Information Systems major. She said she is working on creating her own individualized major that combines MIS, Computer Science and Communications Technologies.

This individualized major includes classes based in the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) and Communication Technology departments. Her reasoning for pursuing a specialized major is to understand human interaction with technology and how people design and develop systems, as a result.

After hearing about IMA at the Involvement Fair and speaking with members, Jenny decided to join. At the time, Jenny was a Computer Science major, which is not in the School of Business. Jenny encourages any students, business majors or not, to join IMA. She said that the meetings and events held by IMA apply to anybody that is interested in technology.

Jenny noted that the recruitment events held by IMA are especially beneficial for Computer Science and MIS majors. On the other hand, the workshops held by the OPIM Department throughout the semester appeal to anybody that is interested in technology.

When asked about the best part about being involved in IMA, Jenny said it is the people. She said she has met a variety of people in your classes that she never got the chance to meet before IMA. She said it is a great place to meet and network with people that have similar interests.

Jenny said that she wants to continue to be involved in IMA next year, whether it is with the same position or a different position. She said she does not care so much about what position she has, she just wants to help IMA grow by spreading awareness about the organization and the MIS major.

In addition to her position in IMA, Jenny is on the executive board of Kids and UConn Bridging Education (KUBE), where she mentors elementary and middle school students one Saturday a month.

Beyond her time at UConn, Jenny hopes to pursue a career in Information Technology. She said she is not sure what field of IT she wants to specialize in exactly, but she hopes to start out in a rotation program where she can figure out what area of IT she wants to focus on for the majority of her career.

Annual CIMBA Industry Panel


Over 250 students in the University of Connecticut School of Business attended the annual CIMBA (Careers in Information Management and Business Analytics) Industry panel discussion. The event was held in UConn’s Rome Ballroom on Wednesday, October 19th. Many senior IT executives and recent UConn graduates made up the panel this year.

The purpose of holding this event each year is to spread awareness to undergraduate students about career opportunities in Management Information Systems (MIS) and Business Analytics.

All students in the Business Information Systems (OPIM 3103) course were required to attend the forum as part of their grade. This is a course that is required for all students in the School of Business meant to build a understanding of  information systems across all majors.  Instructors of the course were in attendance to answer questions and provide guiding questions.

MIS Professor Jon Moore said that this event allows students to learn from UConn MIS alumni and to see how they got to where they are today.

The Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Assistant Department Head, Ramesh Shankar said that many students have switched to the MIS major after being exposed to this event in the past.

In addition to its benefits for Business students, this event is an important community outreach activity, Shankar said. A group of high school students and their instructor for Pathways to Technology Magnet School in Hartford were in attendance.



Faculty Spotlight – Ramesh Shankar


Ramesh Shankar is an Associate Professor and the Assistant Department Head of the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department at the University of Connecticut School of Business. With a Ph.D. from NYU Stern School of Business, Shankar began his work at UConn in 2004.

Aside from teaching at UConn, Shankar is constantly conducting technology research. His current research focuses on Big Data analytics, social media, strategic analysis of digital goods such as software, music and video games, and the impact of information systems on business processes and the structure of firms.

The area of technology that Shankar is most interested in is Business Analytics, which is being enabled by other emerging technology trends – such as, internet of things, mobile devices and big data technology.

Shankar said that he became interested in teaching because it is an environment that allows him to constantly be exposed to new ideas and learning new things. He said that teaching gives him a broader perspective and leads him to explore things in greater detail than he maybe would have thought to do on his own.

As for advice, Shankar tells MIS students to, “Be curious!” He encourages students to try out new technologies as they become available. He thinks it is important for MIS students to learn about how new technologies work to ultimately think about how these technologies could change how we function as a society.

In regards to the future of the OPIM Department, Shankar said that he is excited, particularly, about bring Big Data Technology to the classroom. He is currently teaching a masters level course in Big Data Technology called “Big Data Analytics using Hadoop.” Hadoop is an open-source software framework for distributed storage and processing of large data sets on computer clusters. His goal is to move these types of courses into the undergraduate level in the near future.

PwC Case Competition


Professor Jon Moore of the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department and his team of five students won the PwC Case Competition that took place on October 14th.

After being selected to participate, Moore’s team, Cook the Books were given an accounting-based business case on September 30th. They had two weeks to come up with an action plan and present it to the PwC Executive Panel. The case focused on analyzing and implementing sustainable business practices regarding environmental concerns.


Each team was given a faculty mentor and a PwC mentor from the University of Connecticut School of Business. Moore was Cook the Books’ faculty mentor and Danielle Feldman their PwC mentor.

Although the focus of this competition was in Accounting, Moore said that PwC started incorporating the OPIM Department last year. He said that as a company, PwC is moving toward data and information technology consulting space. This year, four Management Information Systems (MIS) students participated in the competition, in comparison to the one student that competed last year, Moore said.

The OPIM Department was represented on Professor Moore’s team by Kayla Chalmers, a Management Information Systems (MIS) major. In addition to Kayla, Cook the Books was composed of three accounting majors, Dan Albano, Alex Xu and Madison Begley, and a business undecided student, Marissa Repole.

Following the presentations, the top team, Cook the Books, was announced at an awards luncheon. Each student on the team was awarded $250.

Exploring Virtual Reality

The Operations and Inform14632561_10207418788043762_504026393_oation Management (OPIM) Department kicked off the first in a series of technology workshops that they will be holding throughout the semester. The first workshop was held on Friday October 14th, showcasing the department’s virtual reality (VR) technologies.

Earlier in the semester at the MIS Welcome Party, students and faculty were given a brief look at virtual reality and other technologies available in the OPIM Department. Each workshop will go into more depth regarding each piece of technology.

This workshop was designed for those who may be new to VR or experienced users who would like to learn more about the resources available to them in the OPIM Department. Professor Jon Moore said he wants to promote interest in these new technologies and to provide a way for those interested to learn more about them.

The department capped the workshop at 20 participants due to limited space in the Gladstein Lab, where the VR equipment is located. All of the spots were quickly filled via online registration prior to the workshop. Professor Moore was happy to see how enthusiastic people were to participate. Students in attendance said that they signed up for the workshop to learn more about the different VR systems, how they were developed, and what they are being used for.

The workshop featured three different kinds of VR systems, including Google Cardboard, Gear VR and the HTC Vive, a fully immersive system. The HTC Vive was the main attraction, w14689296_10207418781563600_590417507_oith students lined up to try it out. The Vive featured a variety of experiences, for both entertainment and education.

One of the educationally focused games allowed users to virtually enter and interact with the human body. It taught users about the different parts of the body as they navigated through, interacting with different parts of the cell, DNA, proteins and more. Professor Moore said that one feature allowed users to see what diseases and infections look like on the inside, providing a more realistic learning experience.

One student, Sarah Burdick said that it was cool to visually see and interact with what she had learned in science classes. She said it made science seem much more interesting to learn.

The VR technology in the OPIM department is being used for recreation and experimental learning, Professor Moore said. Moore teaches a class at UConn called Gamification in Business, in which he hopes to utilize VR technology. He said that the department hopes to incorporate these technologies further into the curriculum in the near future. The department is actively looking into how businesses are using virtual reality technologies in order to prepare students to use these types of technologies in real-world situations.

The next workshop will be an introduction to 3D Printing on Friday, October 28th. Interested individuals can sign up here to reserve a spot.

Student Spotlight – Marissa Mazurok (IMA Vice President)


As Vice President of the Information Management Association (IMA), Marissa Mazurok works along side the president, Luke LaBranche, and acts as a liaison between the club and other outside businesses.

Marissa told me about her position in IMA, why she chose to major in Management Information Systems (MIS), her future plans, and offered advice for students just starting out in the major.

Although now Marissa is an MIS major, she said she originally planned to major in Speech Pathology. She said it was not until her sophomore year that she applied to be an MIS major. Marissa said that an internship at Peoples United Bank Headquarters in the Quality Assurance department coming out of high school prompted her to enter the business field. She said she absolutely loved the work she was doing there.

“I really enjoyed business setting as a whole and was intrigued by the IT side of things there,” Marissa said.

She said that she loved working with computers and with people. MIS was the perfect combination of the two.

Marissa says that being a part of IMA has given her many great friends and she loves working with the other members in the club and on the executive board. She said she joined IMA because she wanted to meet other MIS majors, like herself. She said that IMA has been a great experience for her, giving her the opportunity to network with many different companies.

Marissa encouraged any students interested in business to join IMA, not just MIS majors. She said that IMA is a great way for students in the School of Business to network with great companies and to learn many valuable skills.

As for advice, Marissa would tell other MIS majors to take advantage of all of the helpful resources that the OPIM Department has available. Because the major is so small, students have the ability to make close connections with their professors and other students within the major, she said.

Marissa plans to graduate in December and she was excited to announce that she has accepted a full-time position at Travelers in their Information Technology Leadership Development Program (ITLDP) starting in June. In the time between her graduation and the start of her new position, Marissa said she plans to enjoy the time off by travelling Europe for a few weeks.


IMA Represented at the Reverse Career Fair

Marc S, Marissa M, Luke L

Officers from the Information Management Association (IMA), Luke LaBranche, Marissa Mazurok and Marc Senatore, presented the club to prospective companies at the Reverse Career Fair on October 5th. The Reverse Career Fair took place directly following the university-wide Career Fair.

The Reverse Career Fair allowed the IMA representatives to network with companies in hopes of finding potential partners for the club’s weekly meetings. Partnerships could come in the form of recruitment or professional development opportunities for the student club. IMA Treasurer, Marc Senatore said connecting with companies could potentially lead to the club receiving scholarships or corporate sponsorship.

Marc said the Reverse Career Fair was successful in getting IMA’s name out there to great companies. The IMA representatives were excited to connect with these companies, most notably, MassMutual, a life insurance company, and Cigna, a health insurance company. Senatore said these two companies have well known IT internships and post-graduate programs.

“The relationships we hope to form with them in the future are the very backbone of what IMA is about, tying together IT and Business,” Senatore said.

Upcoming Workshops for the Fall Semester

Our third workshop of the semester is an introduction to data analysis with the Splunk platform next Friday, November 11th. Please visit the OPIM site for a full list of workshops and their dates. All workshops are capped at 20 people so please make sure to register on the site ahead of time.  Over the course of the fall semester we plan to have the following:

  • Virtual Reality Demo – (New) overview of the different levels of VR and hands-on experience (Completed)
  • Intro to 3D Printing – repeat of last semester, was very popular so we are offering it again (Completed)
  • Splunk Analytics – (New), introduction to the network analytics software Splunk (Register Now)
  • Internet Of Things – (New), real time data analytics using smart devices (Register Now)

MIS Case Competition Winning Teams Announced

Competitors from the University of Connecticut’s First Annual MIS Case Competition were awarded for their participation and the top three teams were announced at an Awards Luncheon on Friday, October 7th.

Professor Jon Moore, the coordinator of the case competition, spoke about the success of the event and acknowledged the great efforts of all the teams that participated. He said that the Operations and Information Management Department (OPIM) was very impressed with the outcome of the events and that they plan to hold an MIS Case Competition annually.

The ROI’s – Spencer Rabin (not in photo), Conor O’Donnell, Edgar Ortiz, and Tyler Jackson – were the top team in the competition. The ROI’s were experienced in case competitions, having won a marketing competition in the Spring. The team created an innovative and technology-focused solution that was different from any other teams, placing them first.


Ideas R Us – Viara Radoulova (not in photo),Vivek Tedla,  Zachary Regan, and Tyler Lauretti – came in second place.


For third place, there was a dead tie in the scoring. Professor Moore said that instead of going through a tie breaking procedure that the OPIM Department wanted to award both teams for their accomplishments.

The third place teams were the Dynamic Dude(ttes) – Sidney Tomko (not in photo),Radhika Kanaskar,  Ani Vedere, and Hanna Bonitz – and the TsunaMIS – Belma Pehratovic (not in photo), Daniel Settle, Bradley Tice,  and Tian-Shi Xu.


One of the judges and a professor in the OPIM Department, Satvinder Mayall complimented all of the teams on their great work. He said he was very impressed with the presentations that all of the teams gave and the solutions that they came up with.

All of the teams that competed were invited to the luncheon and awarded a respective certificate or plaque based on their placement in the competition, along with a gift bag filled with MIS gear.

Professor Moore said that the competition was extremely successful as a whole. He said that he looks forward to continuing this success in the years to come.