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Bentley University Professors Receive Best Paper Award at Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, January 4 to 7, 2011
Bentley University professors David Yates, Girish (Jeff) Gulati, and Joseph Weiss were honored with a Best paper Award at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), held January 4 to 7, 2011. The paper, "Different Paths to Broadband Access: The Impact of Governance and Policy on Broadband Diffusion in the Developed and Developing Worlds," was co-written by Yates, assistant professor of computer information systems, Gulati, associate professor of global studies; and Weiss, professor of management.
According to Yates, the focus of the paper -- bridging the global broadband digital divide -- is fundamentally a social issue referring to the differing amounts of information between those who have access to information and communication technology and are able to use it, and those who do not.
"Bridging the broadband digital divide, whether in poor or rural regions of the world, is a matter of social responsibility," Yates says. "At its core, our research is helping improve the quality and reach of Internet access in the developing world. It fits squarely into Bentley's scholarly work in the area of social responsibility and ethics."
The study, adds Weiss, opens the door for researchers in business ethics at Bentley and elsewhere. "If sound governance, financial investment, and competition are key ingredients for spreading broadband to developing , as well as developed worlds, ethicists can start working with information technologists, business leaders, and policy experts to explain why and how."
The work is a prime reflection of the type of interdisciplinary scholarship that is common at Bentley and is part of a broader research stream on digital divide issues that has developed over many years on the campus. Other Bentley faculty members who have worked on this important topic include Alina Chircu, associate professor of information and process management; Joel Deichmann, associate professor of global studies; Abdolreza Eshghi, professor of marketing; Dominique Haughton, professor of mathematical sciences; and Heikki Topi, associate dean of business, graduate and executive programs and professor of computer information systems.
This is the second consecutive year that professors Yates and Gulati have led a team that received recognition at this prestigious conference. In 2010, a paper co-written with Anas Tawileh (Cardiff University) was recognized as the best of 15 papers submitted in the digital divide and digital inclusion topic area. HICSS is an international conference in the field of Computer Information Systems, sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE, see http://www.ieee.org/).
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.