From the Editor
Krishna S. Dhir, Berry College
This is my last letter to you, the readers, as the editor of Decision Line! Serving the Institute as the editor of this publication has been a very rewarding experience! Over the last four years of my tenure, Decision Line has been read extensively, has grown steadily, and has been included in Cabell's Directory of Journals as a 'Commendable Journal.' EBSCOhost has invited Decision Line for inclusion in their data base. Also, we introduced color, as it transitioned into the electronic media. Its progress reflects the superior quality of creative and stimulating articles contributed by the authors, outstanding support provided by an excellent team of feature editors comprising the editorial board, and the indispensible dedication of Managing Editor Hal Jacobs and unstinted support from Executive Director Carol Latta. I am most grateful to each of these individuals. Subsequent to a search, the Board of Directors has approved the appointment of Maling Ebrahimpour of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg as the next editor. Our members are well conversant with Maling's distinguished record of service to the Institute. Congratulations, Maling, on your appointment!
This issue of the Decision Line provides important information about the upcoming 42nd annual meeting of the Institute in Boston. It also carries the vision statements of the two excellent candidates for the office of president-elect: Maling Ebrahimpour and Soumen Ghosh of Georgia Institute of Technology. These statements will help our members decide on their votes, scheduled to be cast during January elections.
A number of exciting articles are included in this issue, including the 2010 Instructional Innovation Award Competition finalist on "Puzzle-Based Learning," by Zbigniew Michaelewicz and Nickolas Falkner, both of University of Adelaide, and Raja Sooriamurthi of Carnegie-Mellon University. This article describes a pedagogical experiment designed "to foster general domain independent reasoning and critical thinking skills that can lay a foundation for problem-solving in future course work."
In the International Issues feature column, Ying Sai of Loyola Marymount University provides us with "An Overview of Management Information Systems in China." When computers arrived in China three decades behind the United States, the demand for information spread "like an unstoppable wild fire." In 2010 alone, 73 million individuals were added as Internet users, bringing the proportion of the country's population using the Internet to 35 percent. However, 300 million Chinese are farmers are still working their small plots of land, unable to afford computers. The challenge of education in the field of information systems remains enormous.
In the E-Commerce feature column, Julie Kendall of Rutgers University discusses 2D barcodes and compares them with alternatives. She advises that we should "expect to see more 2D barcodes in the future . . . . But for now don't bet on any code winning out over any other code."
In the Research Issues feature column, Aruna Apte of the Naval Postgraduate School discusses "Research Opportunities for Supporting Humanitarian Operations." These opportunities exist in prepositioning for humanitarian operations, assessment of needs, management of information and knowledge, and collaboration among diverse agencies. She points out that "humanitarian logistics will benefit more if the focus of the research is on" [solving models] to 'near optimality' and not necessarily to optimality," and advises that emphasis be placed on "robust models, grounded in real data, and solution approaches…be implemented by those working in the field . . . ."
In "From the Bookshelf" we have a review by Katherine Chudoba of Utah State University of Convergenomics, a book by Sang Lee and David Olsen, both of the University of Nebraska and long-time members of our Institute. This book is about megatrends shaping modern organizations. It discusses the 'convergenomics' of knowledge, technology, industry, open-source networking and bio-artifical integration, and their impact on how organizations function in the society today.
I thank you for your readership and for a delightful experience of serving you as the editor of this fine publication. Please welcome Maling Ebrahimpour as the new editor of Decision Line. Over to you, Maling!