Current Research

Topic One: Online Academic Advisement Information System 

This will be a prototype for the Online Academic Advisement Information System for the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. The current advisement process takes place at the advisors' offices, and all the academic information is recorded on pieces of papers. The drawbacks of current system include the risk of students losing their advisement papers and the amount of unproductive time wasted on printing and recording degree progress information. 

The online system will replace the paper version of the advisement process. Advisors will no longer need to print several copies of academic reports from the computers, and they can record any changes and updates to the system at any time. Students will no longer be worried about losing their paper copies of the advisement record; they can check out their degree progress on the Internet. Students will also be able to make appointment with advisors on the web, which saves the time on walking to the counselor's office and waiting in the long line. 

The objective of this project is to improve the advisement process which ultimately improves the registration process. The benefits of implementing this system are higher student satisfaction and limited amount of errors involved in the advisement process. 

Various software tools will be used developing this information system. Microsoft Project will be used to make the work plan and to set the deadline of each phase of the project. Microsoft Excel spreadsheet will be used to calculate the cost and return on investment. Rational Rose will be used to draft use case diagrams and to evaluate the relationships among the actors who will be using the system.

The project will be completed by the end of the year 2001 and submitted as the term project for IOM 433 class.

Topic two: Navigation System on Mountain Bicycles

This information system project will demonstrate how wireless technology can enhance recreational sports and advertising techniques. 

Specialized, Inc. is famous for manufacturing high quality mountain bicycles. The market price of its bicycles range from $1,000 to $3,000, and its target customers are the young people from the age of 20 to 40 years old with high income and health consciousness.

The objective is to install navigation systems on its new mountain bikes. The system includes a bike, an LCD screen, and a computer that controls the shifters, gears and suspension forks. It is also linked "wirelessly" to its corporate information system. (Specialized, Inc. is a real company, but the idea of this project plan is solely the intellectual property of Philip Chen. No one in the industry has any products similar to this.)

The benefits of implementing this system are:
1. This system will make bikers’ mountain biking experience more fun and enjoyable without getting lost and the hustle of trying to find the right shifters and gears when there is a change in elevation or road condition. The system can detects road condition so that when bikers are riding up-hill, it changes the shifters; when the road is bumpy, the suspension forks will loosen accordingly.

2.  Bikers will never get lost. Unlike an ordinary navigation system found in automobiles that only shows people streets and highways, this mountain bike navigation system is designed specifically for mountain bikers and hikers. The built-in feature which shows bike routes and natural landscapes such as hills, lakes, natural springs, and campground are all designed for recreation purpose. If bikers want to know the direction or how far away he is from a major road, he can get all the information by pressing a button. If he does get lost, he can press “HELP” button and Specialized, Inc.'s service center will be able to help him.

3. The mountain bike systems send data to Specialized, Inc.'s corporate headquarter. It will be able to build a database on the biking habit of each and every one of its customers. The company will know what area a particular biker likes to visit the most. Is it a mountain, a beach, or a lake? The company will be able to send advertisement to those customers to suggest bike routes according to their tastes. The system will also be linked to various hotels and travel lodges so that they can make reservations for the bikers, and hotels can send ads or offer coupons to those customers. 

4.  The mountain bike industry is still growing, It is expected to sell 50,000 units of mountain bicycles in 3 years with this new system installed. It will generate sales revenue of approximately $75,000,000 for Specialized, Inc. The company will also earn commissions from various hotels for about $10,0000. Customer satisfaction will be dramatically improved by this revolutionary mountain bike system, and the system will also attract new customers for the company. The cost of installing and implementing this system is $1,000,000

Topic Three: Information System for a Rental Car Company

This project implements Rational Rose to develop a use case diagram for a rental car company. The use case diagram will identify the actors (users) who uses the system and the various functions that this system performs. 

The system will include a database that contains the inventory of cars and profiles of the company's each and every customer. The objective is to save money on personnel and improve customer services.