MSIT eBusiness Curriculum                             
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MSIT eBusiness Curriculum


Master of Science in Information Technology – (MSIT) E-Business Technology

The eBusiness Technology curriculum consists of a series of 16 integrated projects, a
practicum along with a few traditional courses. Participants are evaluated on the
deliverables they produce, not on test scores.

The program culminates in the practicum where students put their education to the test in
an actual business environment. Student teams develop solutions to business problems
using the latest information technologies. More than a simple internship, the practicum
involves real responsibility, accountability, and rigor.

Details of the curriculum:
For the duration of this curriculum except for 08-671 and 08-672, students work in teams assuming
the role of an eBusiness technology task force at ebConsultants LLP a fictional
consulting company with real-world problems. The students’ mission is to help
ebConsultants LLP leverage eBusiness technology across four main areas of consulting
practice: Heath Care, Banking, Retail and Logistics. But there’s a long road ahead:
ebConsultants LLP is in the dark ages technologically, with only a simple web presence.
Each of the courses in this curriculum is set in the context of helping ebConsultants LLP
achieve the business benefits of electronic business and, in the process, preparing
students for future careers in which they will provide technical leadership and an
informed strategic vision.

FacultyTask Description
TerryEunsunLeeProf. Terry LeeJAVA for Application Programmers (08-671)

This course provides an intensive exploration of computer programming in the Java Language for Masters students who have had some prior, but perhaps limited, programming experience in Java or in some other programming language. The course starts with a review of the fundamental topics of programming in Java (data types, operators, control structures) along with discussions of object oriented programming (classes, instances, and class hierarchies). After covering the basics we move on using Java to cover simple graphical user interfaces (using Swing), file I/O, concurrency (i.e., threads), network I/O, simple data structures (lists and maps) and a brief introduction to functional programming. The course consists of two lectures per week and one recitation meeting per week.

JeffreyEppingerProf. Jeff EppingerJ2EE Web Application Development (08-672)

This course is a mini 2 course which covers JavaBeans, the factory pattern, database access (via JDBC), building websites in Java using Servlets, Java Server Pages, and the Model-View-Controller design pattern. The course consists of two lectures per week.

MichaelShamosProf. Michael ShamosUbiquitous Computing (08-700)

Students are asked to assess the viability of using ubiquitous computing technologies in hospitals. They need to prepare a report on the potential impact of ubiquitous computing on this company within a five-year timeframe. In the report, students assess the applicable technologies, costs, and probable applications that will improve the company’s bottom line, compliance with federal regulations, and/or quality of care, and/or customer service. In the process, they learn to do high-level business process analysis; investigate ubiquitous computing technologies and applications; consider a problem that may be on a vastly larger scale than they’ve ever considered before; and learn to think globally, as this is the crux of working within the world of eBusiness.

Tony LattanzeProf. Tony LattanzeRequirements Elicitation (08-701)

ebConsultants client, UPMC, wishes to implement a system to allow them to track persons and physical assets throughout their hospital. The students should conduct requirements analysis to help them determine what functional and non functional requirements the client wishes for this system to address. The students then develop a set of use cases and sequence diagrams to model the system and be reviewed by the client. The students use an iterative process to refine the cases, designing, receiving feedback, and then updating the cases until the client is satisfied that all of the requirements have been captured.

BradMyersProf. Brad MyersContextual Design (08-702)

UPMC is interested in having the students design a site for recruiting and administering their volunteer program. Students are asked to start the design process by performing a preliminary contextual inquiry to gather the requirements of the prospective users of the website. In the process, students observe prospective users’ activities and behaviors when performing tasks on competitors’ websites in order to learn what works well and where bottlenecks occur in design. Students also develop flow, cultural, and sequence diagrams to model the output of their contextual inquiry observations.

BradMyersProf. Brad MyersUser Interface Design and Testing (08-703)

As the next step in producing an improved website for ebConsultants LLP, students develop an HTML mock-up of the new website. They then perform a heuristic analysis on the site designs of other students teams, based on usability factors such as ease of use, look and feel, and navigation. Finally, students modify their mock-up HTML code to incorporate feedback from others on their initial design. Once each team revises their site designs following the heuristic analyses, student’s user-test their interfaces with prospective users and report their findings and proposed changes.

Tony LattanzeProf. Tony LattanzeSoftware Design (08-704)

Students switch industries and begin to work for another of ebConsultants clients, Carnegie Financial Services (CFS). CFS would like the students to design their new online financial planning and banking website. In the process students learn to design and build a logical database based on the output of previously conducted requirements analysis.

Eric AndersonProf. Eric AndersonNetwork and Information Technology (08-705)

ebConsultants LLP client CFS wishes to deploy a mobile banking service to provide stock quotes and account details to their clients. Students are asked to assess current wireless service providers and make a recommendation as to whom they should partner with for this venture. They are also asked to assess the feasibility of providing client consultations via video conferencing. Specifically the students should consider whether current or near term Passive Optical Network (PON) deployments by vendors such as Verizon make this possible.

Matt BassProf. Matt BassWeb Services (08-706)

Social networking is increasingly a tool for both human expression and reflection. We can learn a lot about ourselves as a society by the trends and behaviors of social networks. Students are to prototype a Web application that instruments social trends. The idea is to seed communities with photographs to catalyze discussion, or, alternately, to encourage discussions to grow richer and more dynamic through illustration via photographs. Then, given the resulting interactions, the students should provide a Web application, or functionality for the same application, to enable the visualizing of the trends within the interactions you generate. In order to ensure a large community initial audience of potential participants, please you three different Web Services as the foundation of the application. The students may also make use of additional Web APIs. The best prototype will be the most creative in catalyzing and supporting interactions, the most user friendly, have the best analytics, and have great curb appeal. Be creative!

JeffreyEppingerProf. Jeff EppingerWeb Application Development (08-707)

ebConsultants LLP client CFS would now like the students to develop a browser based web application for their retirement planning division. Students are provided with a specification document outlining the functionality and database schema necessary to support the application. They then must implement the system using J2EE technologies and a model view controller architecture.

Sunder KekreProf. Sunder KekreERP, Supply Chain (08-708)

Students are asked to provide an analysis of current ERP solutions for a local manufacturing company. The company’s current system is unable to be updated to due many customizations that required them to make source code modifications to the product. Due to a recent acquisition they are now under pressure to have a system that easily allows them to integrate with their new parent company, which the current solution will not. Students are asked to first provide a broad picture of the ERP market space then key in on three to four specific solutions, providing the pro’s and con’s of each solution. The students should consider functional and non functional attributes of the systems and should provide estimates of both the purchase and implementation costs of each solution.

Travis BreauxProf. Travis BreauxPrivacy Technology (08-709)

Students are asked to make a recommendation to a grocery store chain that includes an in-store pharmacy about the steps that the chain should take to implement a new targeted advertising program. The program aims to offer customers coupons for healthier foods based on their health histories. Students should provide a report evaluating the program proposal for compliance under U.S. health information privacy laws, including recommendations for how to design the mechanisms for enrolling customers, auditing the program and sharing data with the advertising partner.

Jaime CarbonellProf. Jaime CarbonellSearch Engines, Portals (08-710)

In this course, students learn how web-based search engines work, and use that knowledge to very significantly increase the search-results ranking of one of ebConsultants retail clients web sites. The clients existing website is problematic because it does not appear anywhere near the top of the ranked listing in search engine results. Students are asked to experiment with the web site, learn how search engines rank pages, and used their new knowledge to make concrete operational recommendations for designing and wording the site’s catalog pages to maximize search-engine visibility. In the process, students learn to use search optimization techniques and modify a baseline site to yield optimum search visibility. The techniques learned include the vector-space model for encoding web pages, query-to-page similarity metrics used by search engines, other typical factors in the ranking algorithms, and how to use this knowledge effectively to change the HTML structure and content of an eBusiness web site to maximize probability of ranking highly for typical query sets.

Jaime CarbonellProf. Jaime CarbonellData Mining, CRM (08-711)

One of ebConsultants clients in the retail sector has approached the company about ways they can help them to determine what types of products they should be developing. Additionally the company is also wishes to begin a contextual advertising campaign, and would like to see an analysis of which products they should be marketing together. The CIO believes that the company’s historical data can be mined for sufficiently detailed trends and associations to make these business decisions with a good measure of reliability. The client would also like to know how reliable the predictions are the students in this course are asked to use data mining techniques to comb through the historical data, and ferret out the information they are looking for based on the buying habits of existing customers and their profiles. More specifically, students learn statistical classifier data mining methods focusing on decision-tree induction and k-nearestneighbor classifiers for multi-dimensional data in order to make predictions about new customer buying preferences and new product introduction sales volumes.

Rober ThebadeauProf. Robert ThibadeauInformation Security (08-712)

One of ebConsultants clients in the logistics sector is looking to implement a security policy for the network enterprise. Security is a major concern and the proper implementation from the task force (the students) is paramount. Students first learn to evaluate the potential threats to information security in the context of this business problem through defining the proper access control policy. They then build an information security plan for the enterprise, identifying the major points of concern. Finally, they implement a prototype of the system, learning how to do each part just in time, as they do their work.

Norman SadehProf. Norman SadehMobile Commerce (08-713)

One of ebConsultants clients in the logistics sector is looking to employ a mobile application so its customers can track their shipments in real time. Students should determine what is the appropriate type of mobile device for supporting this application and what types of technologies should be employed to implement it. They should then complete a proof of concept demonstration, of the application using emulators to simulate the mobile interaction.

TuomasSandholmProf. Tuomas SandholmeNegotiation (08-714)

Fourth Party Logistics, Inc. (FPL) has contacted ebConsultants LLP. We have been asked to improve FPL's sourcing of transportation from their carriers. After spending a lot of time thinking about what makes the most sense for FPL while collecting their sourcing requirements, ebConsultants LLP believes that we need a Web-based expressive reverse auction mechanism that will accomplish FPL's specific goals. Students need to design an expressive reverse auction-like electronic negotiation mechanism for use between FPL and its carriers, which will achieve the goals as well as possible. In the design document, the students should lay out the different dimensions of the design space of auction mechanisms. The students should provide suitable justification for the choices they have made in the design. Within that document, they also need to provide details about goals and requirements that the design does not meet and explain why they could not be accomplished.

MichaelShamosProf. Michael ShamosePayment (08-715)

ebConsultants LLP’s client in the logistics sector want to move to using electronic selfpaying invoices (SPIs), creating electronic connections to customers, which allow just-intime (instantaneous) payments. The team is asked to design the ePayment solution around PayPal. Students learn a great deal about ePayment processes and technologies as they produce the required deliverables, which include: a list of fields to be included in the SPI; a functional and system design of the ePayment system; a brief providing a detailed
description of the technology components of the system; a design for an extension mechanism to the SPI that will enable ePayments from customers using foreign currency, resulting in final payment in US dollars; and finally, a recommendation with a justification for a suite of technologies to be used to provide security to transactions related to the SPI between the various involved entities.

MichaelShamosProf. Michael ShamosFinal Project: Practicum Project (08-716)

At the conclusion of their coursework, students engage in real-world work with a corporate sponsor for an 8-week practicum project. Students will develop a working eBusiness system prototype to address a real problem or opportunity the sponsor has identified. Sponsors submit a description of the problem and assign a contact from within the sponsoring organization to work with the student team. Teams consist of four to six students, with each student working on all aspects of the problem, including business analysis, systems requirements and design, testing, and documentation. The team is coached by a Carnegie Mellon faculty member for the duration of the project.