|Seung Lee, associate professor in the Department of Management Information Sciences at the Labovitz School of Business and Economics.|
At the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, Associate Professor Seung Lee prepares Management Information Sciences students for careers in business computing. Because he teaches classes in program development, it made sense for him to stop using precious class time taking attendance manually. He designed a computerized attendance program that takes it in seconds.
Sometime during class (and that could mean the beginning, middle, or end), Lee asks students to log in to his attendance program using a random identification number. “Every computer has two addresses, an IP address and a physical address. I can generate a report to confirm who was in my class that day,” he said.
Students can’t text their absent friends and tell them to log in as the report will show which people weren’t physically in the classroom location. “Some students try to fool me,” he said, “but it doesn’t work.” Not surprisingly, Lee’s experienced an increased attendance rate.
Journey to UMD
Lee, who was born and raised in South Korea, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics. “After working for three years, I decided to further my studies,” he said. He went to Australia and earned an M.B.A., a degree that was relatively new in the late 1980s.
Following graduation and unable to secure a job at his former company, a friend urged him to pursue his Ph.D. “I was curious about the emerging field of Management Information Sciences,” Lee said.
After graduating from Texas Tech, Lee went on to teach at Hofstra University, near New York City. “I didn’t like the big city. It was noisy.” Duluth and UMD were the perfect fit. “Duluth is a nice place, although the winters are harsh,” he laughed.
The Fastest Growing Field
Since joining the faculty at UMD in 1999, Lee has developed ten new MIS courses, including a course in e-commerce. Currently the classes he teaches include program web development and Android app development. “Students are showing a lot of interest in developing apps,” he said.
Lee also teaches computer languages such as Java and XML. “Companies value this kind of knowledge,” he said. Many UMD MIS alumni are working at corporations such as Cargill, General Mills, Target, and Best Buy.
For those interested in becoming programmers, Lee said, “A person must be able to think logically and they need to be motivated.” Other MIS career areas include web master, network specialist, database specialist, and systems analyst. “The average entry level salary for most of these positions is $50,000,” Lee noted.
According to the 2008-2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics employment projections, the computer and data processing industry will continue to be the fastest growing field, second only to health services.
UMD is meeting the demand with a robust MIS program and professors who are committed to lifelong learning and developing innovations such as computerized attendance.
For information about the Management Information Sciences program, visit the MIS website.
Written by Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, April 2013