WMU to host forum on 'Big Data and the Internet of Things'

Contact: Cindy Wagner
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Senior IT strategists from Penske Automotive Group and Microsoft will headline a conference focused on "Big Data and the Internet of Things" at Western Michigan University Friday, Nov. 4.

Hosted by WMU's Department of Business Information Systems, the conference will be held at the Fetzer Center with sessions and workshops for industry, academic and student participants. The event is open to the public. Registration is $100 and includes continental breakfast and lunch.


Photo of Richard Hook.


Richard Hook, who received a bachelor's in business administration from WMU in 1996, is chief information officer at Penske Corporation and senior vice president and CIO of Penske Automotive Group. He will present "Driving Technology @ Penske Corp." Hook previously served Penske as vice president of IT infrastructure. Prior to joining Penske in 2009, Hook held various positions at Arthur Andersen LLP, H&R Block Financial Advisors and Federal‐Mogul Corp. In addition, he is a certified information systems security professional and certified information systems auditor.

Photo of Dan Fay.


Dan Fay is the senior director of strategic engagements for Microsoft Research, where he defines and leads engagement strategies for new and emerging technologies. He has led multidisciplinary teams to collaborate on addressing scientific challenges and is developing a new program—Azure for Research—to bring cloud computing to academic researchers. Fay also has project experience working with the internet of things, cloud computing, high performance computing, grid computing, and collaboration and visualization tools in scientific research. Before joining Microsoft in 1992, Fay was a senior software engineer with Digital Equipment Corp. Fay holds a degree in electrical and computer engineering from Northeastern University. Fay's presentation is titled "Unlocking Information with IoT and the Cloud."

Photo of Kuanchin Chen.


Dr. Kuanchin Chen is a WMU professor of computer information systems. His research interests include electronic business, social networking, business analytics and data science, privacy and security, project management, and human-computer interactions. He has published numerous scholarly articles in journals, books and conference proceedings. Chen has received several research and teaching awards and frequently gives lectures on methodology, research contributions, academic‐industry collaborations and various other topics at research centers, higher education institutions and government agencies. Chen will discuss "Business Analytics Education at WMU and in the United States."

Other talks and workshops planned

The conference offers numerous speakers, panels, breakout sessions and research presentations, featuring experts representing a variety of industries, including:

  • Joseph Tan, professor of ehealth informatics and ebusiness innovation and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Healthcare Information Systems and Informatics, McMaster University, Canada
    Topic: "The Emerging Digitization Revolution: How Big Data/IoTs, Social Media and New Informatics Competencies Will Impact Humanity's Future"
  • Peter Pearce, principal, Baker Tilly Management and Technology Consulting, Enterprise Solutions
    Topic: "Modern Cloud Enterprise-Wide Business Technology—Big Data, Analytics, Business IoT and the Power of Multitenancy"
  • Jim VanderMey, chief innovation officer, Open Systems Technologies
    Topic: "The Business Imperative for Analytics and Organizational Integration in Enterprise IoT Implementations"
  • Ganapa Murthy, senior innovation lead, Kellogg Co., Global Commercial Technology Solutions
    Topic: "IoT Wearables Powering 'Quantified Self' Movement"
  • Dr. Andrew Targowski, professor of business information systems, WMU
    Topic: "From Big Data to Big Wisdom Toward the Integrational Model of Computerized Business-Oriented Cognition"
  • Guarav Dave, senior director infrastructure services, WMU
    Topic: "WMU's Cyber Infrastructure: The Invisible Path"
  • Beth Wolniewicz, higher education specialist, Splunk
    Topic: "IOT and the Art of Possibility: Medicine, Sports, Student Success and the Presidential Election"

Two workshops are also planned:

  • SAS data analytics demonstration: George Habek, senior analytical training consultant, SAS, Global Academic Program
  • Agile project management workshop: Gabrielle B. Haskins, chief project officer, Project Executive Coaching, and Mei Lim, senior IT project manager, MESSA

Additionally, multitrack research presentations will provide other perspectives on this year's theme.

For more information or to register, visit westernmichiganitforum.com or contact the conference coordinator, Cait Smith, at caitlin.smith@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5411.

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