OPIM Innovate

Blockchain Workshop

On Friday November 10, the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) department held a workshop on Blockchain. In his third workshop of the semester, adjunct professor Stephen Fitzgerald, a UConn alumnus and Management Information Systems (MIS) graduate, was faced with the difficult task of explaining the intricacies of Blockchain in a ninety minute time frame.

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Unity Virtual Reality Programming Workshop

On Friday November 3, the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) team held one of its most successful workshops to date in the Gladstein Lab on Unity Virtual Reality (VR) Programming. The workshop, led by adjunct professor Stephen Fitzgerald, focused on acquainting people with Unity VR by “showing its historical progression, introducing students to the equipment, and teaching students how to stage a virtual reality space and make a virtual environment.”

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OPIM Welcomes Back Students

On Friday September 8th the Operations and Information Management Department (OPIM) held an ice cream social reception to welcome back their students. Management Information System (MIS) and Business Data Analysis (BDA) majors, new and returning alike, gathered in the OPIM department to learn about the resources available to them.

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Gamification Workshop

The UConn Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department conducted a Gamification workshop on Friday, April 14. This comes as a part of a series of technology workshops being held by the department throughout the semester as a part of the OPIM Innovate Initiative.

OPIM Professor Jon Moore, one of the coordinators of OPIM Innovate, taught the workshop. Moore, also, currently teaches a course on Gamification here at UConn. The workshop gave students some background on the process of Gamification and an activity on the topic.

Gamification is the study of creating experiences that increase engagement and learning in variety of different environments – such as, marketing, customer engagement, training and efficiency enhancement, Moore said. The importance of Gamification has grown because of the increase in customer data and, in turn, the acquisition of more accurate analytics data that can predict and display exactly what clients want, he said.

“I believe that Gamification is a new topic and pretty exciting to study,” Moore said.

Many students that have taken his class are Management Information Systems (MIS) majors, but Moore said what is interesting about Gamification is that it attracts a diverse audience, because it is applicable for many different majors.

Moore’s goal for the workshop was to spark students’ interest in Gamification and to introduce the topic to those who did not know about it beforehand. He said he hoped to gain the interest of potential students and to lead them into taking his Gamification class in the Fall.

One of the students in attendance, Shanzay Iqbal said she thought the workshop and the topic was very interesting. Iqbal has attended most of the OPIM Department’s workshops throughout this year.

“I really enjoyed the activity because it engaged students. Some of the other workshops are more of a lecture format and aren’t as interesting. I’m a hands on person so I liked that,” Iqbal said.

Moore said he included an activity to keep his audience engaged throughout the workshop. He said because Gamification software is less hands-on, he decided to add a group activity halfway through the workshop.

Moore was pleased with the outcome of the workshop with positive responses overall from the students in attendance. He said that many students approached him following the workshop, showing interest and seeking more information on the topic.

Additionally, Moore said he is looking for students who are interested in helping with Gamification consulting in the future, because many companies and outside organizations have shown interest in partnering in the space.

The last workshop of the semester, Exploring IoT through SPLUNK Analytics, will be taking place on Friday, April 21st in the Gladstein Lab. Please register here to reserve your spot in the workshop, as space is limited.

Demonstration of Raspberry Pi

The latest in a series of technology workshops held by UConn’s Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department demonstrated Raspberry Pi. The workshop was held in the OPIM Department’s Gladstein Lab on Friday, April 7th, as part of the department’s new OPIM Innovate Initiative.

The attendees of the workshop came from a wide range of backgrounds beyond Management Information Systems (MIS), including students from the School of Engineering and Computer Science Department.

OPIM adjunct faculty member, Ryan O’Connor instructed the workshop, stating his goal was to explain Raspberry Pi technology and show students what the technology is capable of.

O’Connor said that Raspberry Pi is a Microcontroller, which is basically a tiny portable computer. He said that some common uses of Raspberry Pi technology are to control devices in the home, to host a web server and for Internet of Things (IoT) technology, just to name a few.

“The possibilities are pretty much endless with Raspberry Pi,” O’Connor said.

During the workshop, O’Connor gave an introduction to Raspberry Pi and instructed students on how to host and solve a web server using the technology.

“By the end of the class everyone was hosting a web server off of Raspberry Pi. I don’t think that’s something they thought they’d be able to say coming out of the workshop, so I think it went well,” O’Connor said.

Students in attendance said they found the workshop and O’Connor’s presentation to be extremely informative. O’Connor said he was pleased with the outcome of the workshop, calling it a great success.

The next workshop, an Introduction to Gamification will be taking place on Friday, April 14th in the Gladstein Lab. Please register here to reserve your spot in the workshop as space is limited.

Getting Started with SAS

The Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department’s technology workshops continued on Friday, March 24th with an Introduction to SAS. The workshops are sponsored by the department throughout the semester as part of the OPIM Innovate Initiative.

UConn Management Information Systems (MIS) graduate and current OPIM adjunct faculty member, Marshall Dougherty instructed the workshop in the Gladstein Lab. In addition to his position here at UConn, Dougherty works at Traveler’s in Hartford where he said he uses SAS technology to perform analytics and automation.

According to Dougherty, SAS is a programming language, computer program and a software suite all in one. He said that the reason he really likes SAS is because it allows you to code the way you want to. A foundation of knowledge in SQL is very helpful to understanding SAS, because it can be used within the SAS program.

Through the workshop, Dougherty said he hoped to help the attendees to get over the initial “fear factor” of starting to work with SAS. He said his goals were to provide attendees with an educational first experience with SAS by introducing them to the basic functions, such as inputting information.

The workshop gave a hands-on, interactive experience with SAS. Dougherty gave recommendations on how to successfully work with SAS and he guided students through using the program. Students were able to ask questions and receive assistance during the presentation.

“I hope the audience came away with a basic understanding of how to take excel files, put them into SAS and work with it,” Dougherty said.

One MIS student in attendance, Marc Senatore said he found the workshop to be very instructional. He said it sparked his interest in exploring SAS further. Senatore said it made him very interested in taking Dougherty’s SAS class in the Fall, if he were not graduating.

The next workshop, an Introduction to Raspberry Pi will be taking place on Friday, April 7th in the Gladstein Lab. Please register here to reserve your spot in the workshop as space is limited.

Additionally, Jon Moore, the coordinator of the OPIM Innovate Initiative said he would like to hear any feedback or suggestions that students have and to please email him at jonathan.a.moore@uconn.edu with these requests.

Practicing with SQL

On Friday, February 24th, the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department’s Gladstein Lab maxed out in attendance for the second technology workshop of the semester, an Introduction to SQL. The workshop is part of a series of technology workshops being put on by the department throughout the semester, as part of the new OPIM Innovate Initiative.

For those who do not know, SQL (Structured Querying Language) is a data-driven application that retrieves information from databases and allows for creating, processing and querying data by retrieving information.

Anna Radziwillowicz, an Instructor in-Residence at the Hartford and West Hartford campuses, taught the workshop with the goal of giving students a basic understanding of SQL and practice writing queries. Radziwillowicz gave a background on databases before moving into creating a data table.

Three students at the workshop claimed to have previous experience using SQL, Radziwillowicz said. Because the majority of the students did not have any or limited experience, she concentrated on giving students a basic overview of the technology, not going too far in depth. She said that a continuation class was a possibility if there was enough interest.


The OPIM Department created demo accounts for students to practice with SQL. During the workshop, students practiced retrieving data from a database, creating a data table and entering data to the table.

At the end of the workshop, Radziwillowicz said students could request a personal account to further practice with SQL at the Business Help Desk by mentioning completion of the workshop.

Keep up-to-date with the upcoming workshops and register online ahead of time to reserve your spot at the next workshop.