Simon Business School


Computer Information Systems

The focus of the PhD program in Computers and Information Systems is on business aspects of Information Technology use and management. The program emphasizes analytic and quantitative tools and techniques from economics, operations research, and decision sciences to address these issues. The research conducted by the students and faculty have significantly advanced the state of the art in research on information systems in general, and informations systems economics, in particular.


Computers and Information Systems (CIS ) majors take the Quantitative Methods Core, which leads to an automatic minor in Management Science. The PhD program's distribution requirement broadens student's education by exposing them to applied economics courses and elective courses (which must be approved by the Computers and Information Systems area coordinator). In order to learn about current research topics in the field, students are required to attend three CIS PhD seminars each year they are in residence.

The First Year: Foundation

The first year is designed to provide students with a strong methodological foundation in order to prepare them for research in the advanced years of the program. The first year culminates with the Quantitative Methods Core Exam given in June.

Fall Quarter Winter Quarter Spring Quarter

AEC 511 Advanced Price Theory I

MSM 506 Management Science Methods

AEC 512 Advanced Price Theory II
MSM522 Optimization
MSM 504 Theory of Prob. and Stochastic Processes I
AEC 513 Advanced Price Theory III
MSM 535 Integer Programming
MSM 505 Theory of Prob. and Stochastic Processes II
Fall Semester Spring Semester
ECO 483/484 (2 hrs. each) Intro Math Stats/Econometrics
MTH 265H (4 hrs.) Real Analysis
BST 401 (4 hrs.) Probability Theory
ECO 485 (4 hrs.) Econometrics

The Second Year: Depth

The Qualifying Exam, given at the end of the second year, tests student's abilities to integrate class material and reading requirements. It may also include a take-home research exam, distributed as early as the fall of the second year, and due in the following summer. The exam is based upon the typical two-year course sequence described in Figures 8 and 9, plus:

  • Five MBA courses shown, and associated PhD level reading lists, or substitutes approved in advance by the Computers and Information Systems area coordinator;
  • Reading lists provided after passing the Core Exam on additional professional topics in the field (expert systems, performance evaluation, hardware and software trends, organizational impact of information technology, strategic issues in information systems);
  • Independent research on topics assigned by the area faculty.

This requirement is in addition to the Second-year Paper due November 15.

Summer Quarter STR 403 The Economic Theory of Organizations
Fall Quarter CIS 521 PhD Seminar in CIS
CIS 415 Business Process Analysis and Design
ECM 437 Marketing on the Internet
ECM 440 Electronic Commerce Strategy
Winter Quarter CIS 522 PhD Seminar in CIS
ACC 410 Accounting for Management and Control
CIS 413 Economics of Information Management
Spring Quarter CIS 523 PhD Seminar in CIS
OMG 411 Supply Chain Management
Another CIS Elective

Admission to Candidacy

Upon completing the above requirements, students become PhD Candidates by receiving a recommendation from the Computers and Information Systems area coordinator.

The Third Year: Breadth

The Fourth Year: Dissertation

Computers and Information Systems majors take additional courses in the third year after passing the Qualifying Exam. They are required to receive passing grades in the six CIS PhD seminars in their third and fourth years. They may take additional professional courses as well; for example, CIS 446, plus periodically offered advanced reading courses on topics such as modeling issues, queuing networks, common sense systems, large-scale mathematical programming, and decision support systems. In addition, students must meet all minor and distribution requirements.

Candidates also begin work on a dissertation. Research in the field of Computers and Information Systems focuses on problems of design, performance analysis, and optimization of computers and information systems. Current thesis titles are listed below.

  • Technology, Market Structure, and Firm Strategies
  • On Internet Interconnection Agreements and Yield Management of Information Goods
  • Product Differentiation in Electronic Markets
  • Optimal Design of Online Auctions
  • A Spacial Analysis of the Internet Industry and Optimal Pricing in Information Systems Management
  • Modeling and Designing Business Processes
  • Workflow Management in Business Processes
  • Performance Evaluation of Kanban-Controlled Assembly Networks

The Computers and Information Systems Minor

To qualify for a minor in Computers and Information Systems, active participation in two CIS PhD seminars is required (the joint CIS/OMG seminars are acceptable). A passing grade on the Computers and Information Systems Qualifying Exam is necessary, plus a grade of B or better in the following courses:

  • Economics of Information Management (CIS 413)
  • Business Process Analysis and Design (CIS 415)
  • Business Data Communications (CIS 442)

or substitutes approved in advance by the Computers and Information Systems area coordinator.

Faculty and Research Interests

Abraham Seidmann, Area Coordinator
Flexible manufacturing-systems management, corporate information systems, computer control of production systems, and dvanced financial information systems development.

Rajiv M. Dewan
Economics of information management, finance and accounting information systems, high-tech marketing, telecommunications network design, and data management.

Roy Jones
Products and price competition for information goods, and factors influencing growth of the online services industry.

Edieal J. Pinker
Modeling of flexible work forces in uncertainty, and the influence of information technologies on design and structure of work and implications for management.

Courses and Descriptions

Listed below are titles of MBA level courses (for descriptions the Simon Information Guide), and descriptions of PhD level courses in Computers and Information Systems.

  • CIS 401 Information Systems for Management
  • CIS 413 The Economics of Information Management
  • CIS 415 Business Process Analysis and Design
  • CIS 416 Advanced Information Technology
  • CIS 435 Managing Electronic Commerce
  • CIS 440 Electronic Commerce Strategy
  • CIS 446 Financial Information Systems (same as FIN 446)
  • CIS 501, 502, 503 (first year, 3 credit hours) PhD Seminars in Computers and Information Systems. The seminars are offered in the fall, winter, and spring quarters, with topics rotating every two years and selected from the following: decision-support systems, economics of information and the valuation of information systems, issues in the management of information systems and the economics of computing, advanced topics in systems analysis and design, organizational aspects of information systems, logical and physical database design, and topics discussed in the joint CIS/OMG PhD Seminar. Pass/fail grading system.
  • CIS 512 Advanced Topics in Database Design (pre-requisite: CIS 415 or permission of the instructor). This course examines current research issues in database management systems. Topics include database-design methodologies, semantic data models, semantic integrity constraints, object oriented approaches and applications of artificial intelligence to database management systems.