Santa Clara University

A Note From the Dean

Mind@Work: Winter 2012

Dean's Message

Image of Dean Starbird

Innovation. It’s the animating spirit behind Silicon Valley and the Leavey School of Business. Every day our faculty is inspired by the spirit of innovation in their classes and in their research. The five new professors who joined us this year embody the curiosity and original thinking that we celebrate in the business school. I am delighted to introduce them to you.

Whether it is a new way to analyze online investment discussions, or setting new standards for data security, our emerging scholars have connected with the business community of Silicon Valley and the world. Their transformative scholarship is changing the way we do business and the way we create prosperity here and abroad.

I am proud of the intellectual contributions of our faculty and I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about the inspirational work we are doing at Santa Clara.


S. Andrew Starbird, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Operations & Management Information Systems


Five new instructors joined the ranks of tenure-track faculty in the Business School this year.

Ram Bala joined the OMIS department in January 2012, from the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad (India), where he had taught in Operations Management since 2006. His research interests include competition in the software-as-a-service industry and pricing, competition, and product lifespan in the pharmaceutical industry. He earned his Ph.D. in Management Science from UCLA and received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. He has worked as a software consultant and as a strategic analyst in the private sector.

John Ifcher has become a tenure-track assistant professor in the department of Economics, where he previously served as an academic year lecturer. His recent research focuses on social welfare programs, subjective well-being, time preference, and overconfidence. One recent paper investigates the impact of positive affect on time preference; another investigates the effect of welfare reform on happiness. He has published articles in the American Economic Review, the Eastern Economic Journal, and Poverty and Public Policy. Ifcher received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley.  He also received a M.P.A. degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a B.S. in computer science and psychology from the University of Michigan. He worked for the city of New York as the Senior Advisor to the Parks Commissioner between 1993 and 1998.

Haibing Lu joined the Operations Management and Information Systems (OMIS) department from Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he was a teaching assistant as he completed his doctoral studies. His research interests include work in information systems security and data mining, particularly exploring privacy and security issues in data-oriented applications. Lu has co-authored papers appearing in the Journal of Computer Security and IEEE Transaction on Dependable and Security Computing, and has presented his work at many international conferences.  He received a B.S. and M.S. in mathematics from Xi’an Jiaotong University (China), and received his Ph.D. in management of information technology from Rutgers University (New Jersey) in 2011.

In the Marketing Department, Savannah Wei Shi focuses on dynamics in consumer decision-making, e-commerce, and retail management. She has co-authored two book chapters (Cluster Analysis, and Factor Analysis) in the forthcoming Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing, and presented research at the INFORMS Marketing Science Conference in Germany. Shi earned a bachelor of science degree in marketing from Fudan University (China), and received her Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2011.

David Zimbra‘s research in the OMIS department focuses on data, text, and web mining, social media analytics, and business intelligence.  His research has appeared in MIS Quarterly, IEEE Intelligent Systems, and the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. Zimbra earned the BSC in Operations and Management Information Systems, an MS in Management Information Systems from Santa Clara University, and received his Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona in 2011.  His private sector experience includes work at Ernst & Young and Network Appliance.


Current Minds@Work Winter 2012 Issue Click on the Image to View


Want to download your own PDF. copy of the Winter 2012 Issue of Minds@Work?
Get it Here:

Winter 2012 Contents

Watch My Eyes
Savannah Wei Shi used state-of-the-art eye-tracking technology to determine what works best on an Internet page layout.

Holding Up Production
Ram Bala and his colleagues have developed a model for helping companies calculate the production capacity they’ll need when a patent on a major product expires.

Good Mood, Good Decision
John Ifcher’s controlled experiment demonstrated a correlation between being in a good mood and making good financial decisions. The shelf of papers behind him shows the amount of raw data generated in a similar experiment.

Foiling the Data Snoopers
Haibing Lu did pioneering research on how to define “data cubes” so as to both share and protect information effectively.

Guided By Chatter
David Zimbra found that following the content of a Yahoo Finance chat room for a year led to an enhanced ability to predict stock price movements.

Minds@Work Home

Printer-friendly format