Posts Tagged ‘Geoff Parker’
Monday, May 11th, 2015
Big data is one of the business world’s biggest buzzwords, offering organizations the promise of revolutionizing the way they generate value for customers and shareholders. Now, a new MBA concentration gives students the skills they need to help companies transform data into actionable knowledge.
Modeling and Analytics instructor Geoff Parker says employers are expressing growing interest in data analytics skills.
The Freeman School’s analytics concentration is designed to prepare students to master the use of large data sets in business, covering everything from obtaining and managing data to using powerful statistical computing applications to draw meaningful business inferences.
“There’s been quite a bit of interest among students, and we’re seeing huge interest in the employer community,” says Geoff Parker, professor of management science and developer of the concentration’s modeling and analytics course. “It’s an exciting area to be in.”
“As the world becomes increasingly computerized and everything turns into data, we need to continuously enhance the skills we teach to help students keep up,” adds Professor of Finance Russ Robins, who teaches econometrics and forecasting. “The analytics concentration gives students a very highly sought after skill set to put in their toolbox.”
Courses required for the concentration include marketing research as well as three new offerings: modeling and analytics, econometrics and forecasting, and advanced spreadsheet modeling. Topics covered include data mining, clustering, visualization, machine learning, serial correlation, forecasting, and basic time-series regression models for both stationary and nonstationary data. Students completing the concentration will also learn R, an open-source platform for statistical computing that enables users to do some remarkable things.
Ashwin Ananth (MD/MBA ’15), a student in the joint MD/MBA program, used skills he developed in the analytics courses to help improve patient outcomes at Tulane’s Head and Neck Cancer Center.
“We’d collected all this data on patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer, but I didn’t know what to do with it,” says Ananth. “Thanks to Professor Parker, we were able to analyze how long it takes patients to get through the treatment process and identify where there were bottlenecks. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without his class.”
Thomas Altman (MBA ’14) used data from Twitter to generate a heat map that tracked user reactions to last year’s NCAA men’s basketball final in real time, a project he credits with helping him to land his current job as business analyst with software company Aptify.
“The skills I learned in Geoff’s class aren’t necessarily in my job description, but they’re definitely in demand and being able to talk about them intelligently is important,” says Altman. “The fact that I’d done the project in Geoff’s class and could talk about it helped separate me from other job candidates.”
Those are the kind of testimonials Parker hopes to hear more of in the coming years, especially as more students start to combine their analytical abilities with skills in other disciplines.
“Our competitive advantage is applying analytical tools to solve problems in industries where we’ve already built expertise, such as finance, energy and entrepreneurship,” he says. “We’re going to be working very closely with the companies that hire our students to make sure we’re teaching them the right skills they need to solve the right problems.”
Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
At the September meeting of the Freeman School faculty, Dean Ira Solomon announced the recipients of five awards honoring professors for outstanding teaching, research and service.
The Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award was established in 2012 to recognize faculty members who are outstanding instructors and whose teaching aligns with the strategic objectives of the school. The award – which is presented at both the graduate and undergraduate levels – is based on several criteria, including student evaluations, the level to which the faculty member integrates academic research into his or her teaching, and the extent to which the course provides high-impact experiential learning opportunities for students.
This year’s winner of the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award for Graduate Education is Geoffrey Parker. Parker, the Norman Mayer Professor of Business and professor of management science, joined the Freeman School in 1998 and was promoted to full professor in 2011. He is co-developer of the economic theory of two-sided networks, and his research explores the economics of and strategy of platform markets. In the classroom, Parker teaches Process Modeling and Technology Integration, Modeling and Analytics, and Platform Strategy, a course based in large part on his own research. He currently serves as research director of the Tulane Energy Institute and is a research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business and president of the Industry Studies Association.
The Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award for Undergraduate Education was presented to Kris Hoang. An assistant professor of accounting, Hoang joined the Freeman School in 2012 after earning her PhD from the University of Alberta. Her research focuses on judgment and decision-making in corporate governance and audit settings, and her teaching emphasizes the role of accounting information in management decision-making and strategy. The Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award is Hoang’s third teaching award this year. In the spring, Hoang received both the FSG Teaching Award, presented by the Freeman Student Government Executive Board, and the BSM Howard W. Wissner Award, selected by a vote of the undergraduate student body.
Established in 2012, the Dean’s Excellence in Intellectual Contribution Award was created to honor professors of practice and lecturers who have produced outstanding scholarly contributions. This year’s award went to Peter Ricchiuti. The William B. Burkenroad Jr. Professor of Practice in Finance, Ricchiuti began teaching at the Freeman School in 1986 and has served the school in variety of roles, including assistant dean and director of the Career Management Center. In 1993, he founded Burkenroad Reports, a student equities research program that has earned national accolades and helped place hundreds of students in finance positions. In 2014, Ricchiuti published his first book, Stocks Under Rocks: How To Uncover Overlooked, Profitable Market Opportunities (FT Press), an investing guide based on lessons he’s learned over the years as director of Burkenroad Reports.
Dean Solomon also announced a new award at the meeting. The Dean’s Award for Faculty Excellence was established to honor faculty members for outstanding overall performance. The award, presented each year at the discretion of the dean, recognizes professors who have exhibited sustained, exceptional performance in teaching, research and service. The inaugural recipients of the award are Michael Burke and Sheri Tice.
Burke, the Lawrence Martin Chair in Business and professor of management, joined the Freeman School in 1991 and holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. One of the nation’s leading experts on worker safety training, Burke’s research focuses on learning and the efficacy of workplace safety and health interventions as well as the meaning of employee perceptions of work environment characteristics (psychological and organizational climate) and statistical procedures for assessing inter-rater agreement. Burke has chaired 34 dissertation committees and served as a member on an additional 51 committees at the Freeman School, the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and the Department of Psychology. He also recently completed a term as chair of Tulane University’s Social Behavioral Institutional Review Board as is now serving as Management Area Coordinator at the Freeman School.
Tice, the A. B. Freeman Chair of Business and professor of finance, joined the Freeman School in 1998 and was promoted to full professor in 2010. Her research focuses on corporate finance and the effect of firm characteristics on the decisions and performance of firms and their competitors. In the classroom, Tice supervises and teaches the Darwin Fenner Student Managed Fund course, an honors seminar in which students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels read current scholarly research on value investing and manage three portfolios totaling over $3.8 million in Freeman School endowment funds. Tice also serves as faculty director of the Master of Finance program and recently concluded a term as Finance Area Coordinator.
“One of the joys of serving as dean is the ability to recognize excellence in one’s colleagues, and these five faculty members clearly deserve recognition,” said Dean Solomon. “I would be remiss, however, if I failed to note that selecting these individuals was anything but easy because excellence resides broadly within the Freeman School faculty.”
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
The U.S. Postal Service has lost $20 billion in the last two years as it struggles to adapt to a fast changing, increasingly digital business environment. Could the agency help right itself by taking a page from its online competitors? The Freeman School’s Geoff Parker thinks so.
Geoff Parker recently co-authored a paper for the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General that recommended adding a digital information layer to advertising mail to help it better compete with online advertising.
Parker, professor of management science and a nationally regarded expert in platform economics, recently co-authored a paper for the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General that recommends adding a digital information layer to advertising mail to help the agency better compete with online advertising.
“This is really a first step towards setting up a more effective platform for advertising mail,” says Parker, who co-authored the report with colleagues Marshall Van Alstyne and Tushar Shanker. “Ultimately, platforms are about creating effective, valuable matches between users. When I send you something you don’t want, it’s wasted paper, wasted fuel cost, wasted printing — it’s just waste. If we can eliminate some fraction of that through the use of better information, that’s a win-win all the way around.”
Parker and Van Alstyne are no strangers to postal platforms. In 2012, they co-authored a report for the International Post Corp., a consortium of the world’s largest postal systems, detailing ways to generate additional revenue through digital business models.
That report eventually caught the attention of the USPS Office of Inspector General, which was seeking ideas to sustain and enhance the Postal Service’s lucrative advertising mail business, which generated $16.9 billion for the agency in 2013.
While direct mail offers a number of advantages for advertisers, Parker says its chief shortcoming is the inability for advertisers to know with certainty which consumers want to receive ads and which don’t.
“You know who responded when they make purchases, but you don’t know who was interested but got distracted or who just threw it away, so the feedback loop is slow and noisy,” Parker says. “What we’re trying to do here is get a quicker, more accurate feedback loop and build out a data layer that goes on top of the physical delivery system.”
To generate that data layer, Parker and his co-authors propose a digital coupon mechanism to collect information from mail recipients. Each piece of advertising mail would feature a code that recipients could scan to receive a coupon or cash reward, but those recipients would first have to provide a small amount of feedback indicating what types of ads or advertisers they’re interested in. The Postal Service would then collect that information and use it to help advertisers better target prospective customers.
“It puts the Postal Service in the position of being able to charge for the data layer,” Parker says, “so that they can build a new revenue stream.”
While the Postal Service hasn’t announced any plans to move forward with the proposal, Parker says the fact that it was made public indicates significant interest within the agency.
“This is an incredibly important industry and a very important organization, so it was really exciting for us to think about how to move this traditional industry into the 21st century,” Parker says. “We really enjoy it when the research we do has the potential to make a multibillion-dollar impact.”
Parker, Alstyne and Shanker’s paper, “A Redeemable Information Coupon Mechanism for Advertising Mail,” is available via the U.S. Postal Service website.
Thursday, October 10th, 2013
From MarketWatch, Oct. 10, 2013
In the wake of Twitter’s recent IPO filing, Professor of Management Science Geoffrey Parker co-authored a commentary for MarketWatch on the growing impact of platform firms, companies with networked ecosystems that connect multiple players and provide tools for those participants to contribute and interact.
Ultimately, this transformation redefines competition. Firms that once sought advantage based on the strength of their internal resources and channel access now face competitors that harness armies of connected users and ecosystems of resources. Apple’s App Store, hosting nearly a million applications, offers a compelling testimony to the power of ecosystems.
To read the article in its entirety, visit MarketWatch:
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Geoffrey Parker’s research is featured in the May 2013 issue of International Innovation, a publication dedicated to the dissemination of science and technology research. The article, titled The Power of Platforms, discusses the research conducted by Parker and Marshall Van Alstyne, associate professor at Boston University, on platform-driven markets, a topic the two colleagues have studied for over 15 years. The magazine also features a Q&A with Parker and Van Alstyne. Parker is a professor of management science at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business.
Saturday, December 22nd, 2012
Geoffrey Parker’s paper “Integration and Cospecialization of Emerging Complementary Technologies by Startups” has been accepted for publication in Production and Operations Management. The paper, co-authored with Edward G. Anderson Jr., associate professor of Information, Risk, and Operations Management at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes the market entry problem faced by startups that must integrate their service or product with one or more complementary technologies. The authors seek to extend the entrepreneurship literature by modeling startups’ entry decisions for markets in which complementary technologies exhibit strong learning effects. Parker is a professor of management science at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business.
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
Since 2008, the Freeman School and the School of Science & Engineering have been collaborating on research into the production and utilization of next generation fuels for clean power, including butanol from sugar cane waste products, but according to Geoff Parker, more research is needed.
Geoff Parker, director of the Tulane Energy Institute, hopes the inaugural Tulane Energy Day will help promote collaboration among researchers.
“A lot of times when we apply for grants or funding, we have some pieces of the puzzle, but we might have to scramble to identify all capabilities we need,” says Parker, associate professor of economic sciences and director of the Tulane Energy Institute. “Many of the challenges are really multidisciplinary now and require coordination across units.”
Promoting coordination across units is the goal of this Friday’s Tulane Energy Day. Sponsored by the Provost’s Office and organized by Parker and Doug Meffert, deputy director of the Center for Bioenvironmental Research, the one-day summit represents the first attempt to bring together researchers interested in energy from across the university. Faculty members from chemical and biomedical engineering, economics, business, environmental studies, public health, law and other disciplines will make brief presentations about their current research.
“This is one way to prepare to take advantage of some of the multidisciplinary opportunities that have been coming up as part of the stimulus funding,” Parker says. “It’s really about knowing what Tulane’s capabilities are.”
Much of Tulane’s recent energy research has been coordinated through the Clean Power and Energy Research Consortium, a collaboration between Tulane and five other universities in Louisiana established to addresses critical scientific, engineering and economic issues associated with power and energy generation. Given the complexity of the subject, Parker says a multidisciplinary approach makes sense.
“There are economic issues, there are scientific issues, there are cultural issues,” Parker says. “In order to make progress, you really need a multidisciplinary approach to understand the problems and then help fashion improvements.”
For more information about Tulane Energy Day and to see the complete schedule, visit http://www.freeman.tulane.edu/energy/energyday.php.