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Heikki Topi Receiving Award from Jeffry Babb
Heikki Topi (left) receives EDSIG's Distinguished Educator award from Jeffry Babb, Vice-President of EDSIG

George Grattan

A national information technology association has honored Bentley Professor of Computer Information Systems Heikki Topi for his teaching and research.

Topi received the Distinguished Information Systems Educator award from the Education Special Interest Group (EDSIG) of the Association of Information Technology Professionals.

The annual award recognizes an educator for outstanding effort improving the quality of information systems graduates through distinguished teaching, research and service. Topi delivered a keynote address in November 2017 at the association’s annual conference, the largest of its kind focused on information systems education.

Topi has been involved in developing information systems curricula at the undergraduate and graduate levels since 2001, and notes that Bentley has a long history in the field.

Topi has chaired two global efforts on information systems curriculum in his career. He has also served computing accreditation in several leadership roles and co-authored database management textbooks. At Bentley, he has served as chair of the Computer Information Systems department and associate dean of business for graduate and executive programs. Since July, he has served as vice president of education at the Association for Information Systems, an international association for information systems researchers and teachers.

“This award is a wonderful recognition of the type of work that I’ve been able to do at Bentley and of all the colleagues with whom I’ve been able to work over the years on these national and international efforts,” said Topi. “I’m thrilled that this work is recognized. It’s a large part of what I do and is fundamentally important for our field.”

Topi says that information systems as a field is affecting the lives of most of us through the results of the skills and competencies of its graduates. Therefore, he argues, it’s essential that information systems education prepare graduates to enter the field with excellent technical skills, deep applied understanding of how technology can best serve human goals, and a strong sense of the impact of their work.

His work has been published in the European Journal of Information Systems,  JASIST, Information Processing & Management and numerous other top journals; he has published more than 50 journal articles, books chapters and conference papers. He is the co-author of Modern Database Management, co-editor of IS Management Handbook and Computing Handbook (3rd Edition), and co-editor of Education Department of CAIS.