UCSC establishes Department of Technology Management

New department in the Baskin School of Engineering focuses on management of technology, complex systems, and big data

brent haddad
Brent Haddad

The University of California, Santa Cruz, has established a new Department of Technology Management in the Baskin School of Engineering, focusing on management of technology, complex systems, and big data.

"The world is being deluged with data, and this department is dedicated to helping society make the best use of that data," said Brent Haddad, associate dean of engineering for technology management and chair of the new department.

At the core of technology management is the analytical study of the management of systems with human and technological components. Topics of study include human-computer interaction, information technology for decision-making, sustainability, data analytics, operations research, and forecasting.

The Baskin School of Engineering currently offers four degree programs (Ph.D., M.S., B.S., and undergraduate minor) in technology and information management (TIM) that will eventually be administered by the Department of Technology Management. Starting this fall, the M.S. in technology and information management will be offered as a professional degree at the UCSC Silicon Valley Center in Santa Clara.

According to Haddad, students with TIM degrees have an excellent track record of finding jobs in the technology industry, where companies value their knowledge of database management and data analytics. "We have an extensive internship program that often leads directly to employment with high-tech firms," Haddad said.

Faculty in technology management are pursuing research in a variety of areas. In the area of data mining and data analytics, Haddad cited the work of associate professor Yi Zhang, whose projects include helping companies understand the needs and preferences of their customers and helping parents monitor their children's social networking sites for evidence of online bullying.

Another line of research involves economic analysis of complex systems, such as the Internet itself, and identifying ways to improve their performance. Associate professor John Musacchio, for example, studies the control, analysis, and pricing of communications networks and applications of game theory in networking.

The cross-disciplinary nature of technology management has brought together faculty from a range of disciplines. The department's nine voting faculty members include faculty affiliated with several other departments, including economics and psychology, as well as computer engineering, computer science, and electrical engineering. Searches are currently under way to hire new faculty for the department, including positions focusing on entrepreneurship and sustainability. The recently endowed Narinder Kapany Professorship in Entrepreneurship will be based in the Department of Technology Management.

"The focus on management in this department is a new direction for the campus, and it's exciting that the management elements are emerging from the engineering school. We are focused on complex systems and the engineering side of the economy," Haddad said.