OPIM Innovate is the new initiative adopted by the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department in the Fall 2016. The initiative was developed to market the Management Information Systems (MIS) major and to bring new emerging technology to students.
Department Head Ram Gopal and Instructor in-Residence Jonathan Moore developed and implemented the initiative by expanding the department’s research lab space, bringing in new emerging technology. The lab is equipped with Virtual Reality (VR), 3D Printing, Internet of Things (IoT), Microcontrollers and data analytics.
Initially, the OPIM Department came up with the initiative because they were finding that MIS students with internships in the field were working in innovation centers with technologies, such as IoT, drones, and VR.
“We realized that many interests lie in technology outside the provided curriculum,” Moore said of the expansion.
Moore said that this idea lead to building a more dedicated space for students and faculty in the department to work on projects and learn about different types of technology outside of the classroom. As a whole, the initiative is meant to help students work through the process of completing a project, while learning new technology in the process.
Beginning in the Fall, Moore organized multiple workshops for students featuring different topics relating to new technology. So far there have been workshops about Linux, 3D Printing, Splunk Analytics, IoT, Tableau, and VR. What started as exclusive to MIS students, workshops are now open to all students.
This spring, with the initiative more developed, OPIM Innovate hired a team of students, trained in the design thinking process to operate the Innovation Space and Research lab. Having these students involved helps guide users of the space and to provide technology demonstrations and follow ups to the formal workshops.
An advisory group, made up of students and faculty, has been formed for the initiative to brainstorm different ideas, provide feedback on the current processes and to build buy-in from different areas. Moore said that they are always looking for students or faculty interested in joining the advisory group to share their ideas for the innovation space, future workshops, and to give him any feedback they may have. Any individuals interested in joining the advisory group should contact Jonathan Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the future, Moore hopes to team up with other groups at UConn and potentially outside companies to advance the space and better the experience for students.