Technical Systems Minor – 2007

I spent a couple of years trying to prototype a business minor to teach technology to business students. I believe it had some great elements, but my colleagues weren’t really interested. They had their own gigs. So it eventually died.

Dimensions of Perception with Video – 2010

I worked for a while with an industrial engineering PhD student and, from that interaction and with iPOV on the side, I commissioned a series of graphics that summarized what humans can see versus what a video camera can see.

Manufacturing Variety vs Change – 1990

This was my PhD dissertation. I examined how product families differed on the characteristic of product variety and serial design change. I found a pattern that was stable and logical that applied across essentially all of the discrete products industries … at least at that..… more

One of the Last Tours of the Internet – 1987

When I started my PhD in 1987, the Internet was still Arpanet. Every destination in the world was listed in a single text hosts file. I spent (wasted?) a couple of months hunting through every anonymous ftp site in that hosts file.

Teaching About Product Families – 1992

Susan Sanderson and I published a textbook (and a companion trade press clone). The textbook was adopted at University of Hong Kong, University of Singapore and MIT. I think we wrote it slightly above the mass market.

Studying Learning AND Forgetting – 1999

I collected large volumes of operator learning data at Chrysler. Two colleagues and I used that to build a model that accounted for patterns of learning, but also captured how performance was lost when a worker was moved away from the task.

Early Viral Internet Scandal – 1996

Intel made a mistake with its Pentium chip and a university researcher caught them out. The resulting furor ultimately forced Intel to recall existing chips at a cost of at least $250 million. I used usenet and Internet chat records to document the process. It..… more

Management Control Systems – 1994

I began my fascination with the concept of management control and it has continued ever since. Academics don’t like to talk about “control”, but it is central to the management process and we need to understand it in all its forms.

Space-Time Diagrams for Operations – 2006

I had several German students visit Auburn to study with me. Alex, Steffi and Fabian. Not sure why I was chosen, but they were great kids and all went on to good things. Fabian took an interest of mine and developed it into a Master’s..… more

Population of Learners – 1994

I was given access to corporate training data for an apparel manufacturer. There were records of thousands of employees who were learning how to sew t-shirts and similar garments. David Nemhard and I developed a model of learning that modelled individual behavior as a stepping..… more

Black Widow Supply Chain Financing – 2009

Since iPOV was always eagerly waiting for payments from big customers, I became interested in the implications of steadily lengthening payment terms. I ended up with a surprisingly simple model that largely upended all of the stuff we were teaching MBA students.

Chrysler IDS Video Training System – 1996

Chrysler’s Huntsville AL electronics plant spent nearly 2 years investigating and evaluating how to apply cutting edge video editing tools to the production of plant floor training materials. The original technology came from Quantel … a global broadcast video vendor. Although Chrysler ultimately declined to..… more