PhD IS Courses

In addition to the courses required for all PhD students, those specializing in information systems (IS) must also complete FOUR of the following courses*:

* Students specializing in information systems are advised to take BUSI 9911, BUSI 9913, BUSI 9915 and BUSI 9918.

Plus TWO graduates course subject to the approval of the PhD program director and the student’s supervisor.

Course Descriptions

Business 9910 – Optimization

In this course we examine the formulation of mathematical models of business applications under certainty for which an objective function needs to be optimized subject to a set of constraints. Both the objective function and one or more of the constraints may be non-linear and the variables may need to be discrete rather than continuous. Algorithms are considered only to the extent that the tractability of the solution will influence the formulation of the model. Topics will include: an overview of the field; optimization vs. heuristics; linear models; network models, duality and sensitivity analysis; multiple objectives; discrete models and non-linear models.

Business 9911 – Data and Process Models in Information Systems Development

Information systems can be viewed as models of organizations, realized through data and processes. This course covers fundamental concepts of data and process modelling and management. Topics include: requirements analysis; data and process modelling; object-oriented modelling; and process redesign. The course will emphasize major research contributions in the area.

Business 9912 – Probabilistic Models

This course is to introduce and study fundamentals of probability, decision analysis and stochastic programming; Markov models and geometric Brownian motion processes; queuing models; inventory theory; and simulation. Application of these models and theories to services, queuing systems and networks, inventory management and finance will be emphasized in the course. Each individual student will be required to select, research and present a topic, theoretical or application, on probabilistic models of business systems.

Business 9913 – Human-Computer Interaction and Decision Support Systems

Human-computer interaction (HCI) and decision support systems lie at the intersection between the social and behavioural sciences on the one hand and computer and information technology on the other. This course addresses HCI models, theories, and frameworks as well as decision support systems approaches and technologies. Topics include: interface design; interaction design; social aspects of HCI design; HCI research and testing methodologies; and decision-making models. The course will emphasize the analysis of major papers in current HCI and DSS research communities.

Business 9914 – Supply Chain: Models and Management

This course will provide a comprehensive exposure to the existing paradigms and state-of-the art development in supply chain management and an in-depth treatment of integral topics. Topics such as location, queuing, productivity, inventory, transportation, logistics management, revenue management, etc. will be discussed to facilitate a better understanding of supply chains. To gain an insight into the interdisciplinary nature of supply chain, the interfaces of operations management with information technology (system), finance and marketing will be explored.

Business 9915 – Electronic Commerce

This course covers both technical and business research on e-commerce issues. Topics include: the underlying technology infrastructure of e-commerce systems; marketing on the internet; payment and fulfillment mechanisms; security and regulatory issues; global implications of e-commerce; models of business-to-consumer and business-to-business e-commerce; behavioral and interface issues; and legal and privacy concerns. The course will focus on an analysis of major research streams in e-commerce including information systems, operations management and marketing perspectives.

Business 9917 – Special Topics in Operations Management

This is a reading course intended to support the research interests of the students and the faculty member(s). Topics such as OR models in natural resources, models for non-profit organization, services operations, scheduling (personnel and machine), revenue management, productivity and flow time, transportation (modes, safety, etc.), logistics management, queuing theory, inventory management, location theory, real options and supply chain, deterministic optimization, etc. constitute a representative list. Depending on the research interest and/or the nature of the dissertation, a student can take more than one reading course. Students are expected to prepare a written research paper.

Business 9918 – Special Topics in Information Management

This course consists of an in-depth examination of a major topic of current interest in information management research. Topics will vary from year to year depending on emerging research themes, the interests of the instructor and the research interests of students. The course will be run as a seminar focusing on analysis of current research papers. Each area will be examined from a research-oriented perspective that includes identifying the characteristics that distinguish it from existing information systems research areas, examining its emergence and prominence in the professional/trade press, assessing its relevance to information systems management practice, and reviewing its treatment in the academic literature. For emergent areas of potentially significant relevance to information systems practitioners, students will conduct focused literature reviews, identify relevant research questions, develop falsifiable hypotheses, delineate applicable research methodologies, and propose appropriate research agendas.