Thursday, March 11, 2010

Zarb’s Information Technology and Quantitative Methods Department Embarks on Exciting Initiatives

There are many new developments in Zarb’s Department of Information Technology and Quantitative Methods (IT/QM), including an enhanced curriculum, a cutting-edge speaker series, development of an IT board of visitors, internships and improved student services. In addition, this semester the department is hosting an IT showcase.
Curriculum: During the spring 2010 semester, the IT/QM Department is introducing dynamic new courses in two areas: data mining for business intelligence and IT in healthcare on both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Data Mining:

  • Introduction to Data Mining for Business Intelligence: Undergraduate students learn the principles of data mining, including problem definition; exploratory data analysis; dimension reduction; consideration of alternative models; and calibration of models, evaluation and deployment. The course also includes coverage of the methods used for data mining such as classification and regression trees, neural network, association rules (market basket analysis), and clustering. The course uses specialized data mining software to implement steps involved in the data mining process.
  • Data Mining for Business Intelligence: Graduate students learn the fundamentals of business intelligence ─ the transformation of data into information and knowledge that facilitates organizational decision making to optimize performance and gain competitive advantage. Students learn to use structured data residing in company databases and employ mining techniques to discover hidden, useful information.

Information Technology in Healthcare:

  • Introduction to Health Care Information Technology: Health care information technology is the fastest-growing segment of the health care industry. Recent government initiatives are dedicating billions of dollars to this field to drive costs down through increased quality of care, decreased error rates, and more expedient claims adjudication, payments and fraud detection. Undergraduate students learn the technologies and policies that impact various stakeholders in the environment.
  • Quality Management and IT in Healthcare: This undergraduate-level course examines project management for health IT (HIT) projects and provides an overview of the processes specific to HIT as they relate to meeting regulatory standards and privacy concerns. Additionally the course discusses controls that are put in place for systems and how companies ensure quality of delivery.
  • Health Information Technology Architecture: This undergraduate-level course focuses on provider systems such as electronic medical records (EMR), including patient records, imaging and clinical assessments as well as back office applications. It delves more deeply into how patients can communicate with doctors while maintaining compliance with HIPAA regulations.
  • Web 2.0 Technologies for Health Information Management: This undergraduate-level course surveys Internet and Web 2.0 technologies that provide a platform for the collection and exchange of health information. The medical blogsphere, medical wikis, YouTube and the 3D virtual world community provide active formal and informal channels of communication among health care delivery personnel.
  • Use of Data Mining in Electronic Medical Records: Due to the increased utilization of EMR, large volumes of patient data are available to support managerial and clinical decision making and, thus, improve quality of care and reduce waste across the health services value chain. However, the application of data mining and analysis techniques is lacking by the majority of health care organizations. As a result, EMR databases remain an underutilized strategic resource. This graduate-level course explores data mining techniques that could potentially reduce costs, elevate quality and help health service providers remain competitive.

Executive Speaker Series:

Two seasoned IT executives addressed the Zarb community during the fall 2009 semester as part of the Executive Speaker Series.
John 
Eckman, senior director of Optaros Labs
Zarb M.B.A. student Jason Greenberg with John Eckman
On September 23, 2009, the IT/QM Department in conjunction with Graduate Business Career Services hosted John Eckman, senior director of Optaros Labs, who spoke to students, faculty and administrators on “How Businesses Leverage the Web.” Mr. Eckman has more than a decade of experience designing and building Web applications for organizations ranging from small, nonprofit organizations to Fortune 500 companies.
Senior 
Vice President/Chief Information Officer Stephen Bozzo of 
1-800-FLOWERS.COM
From left: Mohammed Tafti, chairperson of Information
Technology and Quantitative Methods Department;
Stephen Bozzo; Dean Sodano and John Affisco, professor
of information technology and quantitative methods
On October 28, 2009, Senior Vice President/Chief Information Officer Stephen Bozzo of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM delivered an interactive presentation on all aspects of IT planning, development, delivery management, infrastructure and e-commerce to more than 50 Zarb undergraduate and graduate students interested in IT-related careers. Prior to joining 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Mr. Bozzo served as vice president and CIO of the International Division of MetLife Insurance Company, where he oversaw MetLife locations in 17 countries.
IT 
Executive Board of Visitors
IT Executive Board of Visitors with Dean Sodano and
faculty members

IT Executive Board of Visitors:

This board serves as a council to the IT/QM Department for long-term planning and curriculum development. It is composed of senior-level information technology executives from organizations, including North Shore-LIJ Health System, Group Health Inc., Emblem Health.com, AmeriGroup, Discovery Communications, RCG Information Technology, Cablevision, Cable & Wireless International, Kanebridge and Frequency Electronics. Our Visitors are unanimous in their belief that all organizations need graduates who understand how to apply information technology to business processes to increase value by achieving high process quality at competitive costs. This board represents a groundbreaking attempt to synergize the research and theoretical knowledge of Hofstra’s IT/QM faculty and the practical, field-level implementation of technologies and strategic IT decisions.

Student Services:

In an effort to improve the IT/QM student experience, the department has developed new programs and activities for their students.
Student 
Computer Workshop
Zarb students building high-end PC workstations
  • Student Computer Workshop: John Hardiman, special assistant professor of IT, presented “The Mystery Inside Your PC Unveiled” – a live demonstration to students on October 21, 2009. Professor Hardiman and students from his Connectivity in the Business Environment course built high-end PC workstations during the event.
  • Revitalized Undergraduate Student Association: During the fall 2009 semester, the Hofstra Information Technology Association was formed. Formerly know as Information Systems Association, this organization enhances students’ understanding of the crucial role that information technology plays in business by hosting site visits, computer workshops and a speaker series.
  • Student Tutorial Service: Zarb students can now avail themselves of free, peer-based tutorial services for required quantitative methods courses. For further information, visit the IT/QM Department in 211 Weller Hall or call (516) 463-5716.

Spring IT Showcase:

Plans are underway to bring an inspiring IT showcase to Hofstra in April 2010. This showcase is an opportunity to become more familiar with IT-related products and services provided by several nationally known, local IT companies and to interview with their human resource representatives on campus. Details regarding this showcase will be available soon.

For further information about the IT/QM Department at the Zarb School, visit: hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/Zarb/BCIS.

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