Jeremy Fei Wang, a recent graduate of Pamplin's Executive Ph.D. program. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Fei Wang.

Drawing on what he has learned from numerous years of diverse experience in higher education, information technology, and management consulting, Jeremy Fei Wang, associate professor of Management Information Systems (MIS) at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, teaches his students how to hone their technical and problem-solving skills and apply academic theories to find solutions to real-world problems.

Wang has developed a variety of contemporary information systems (IS) courses that feature a combination of lectures, case studies, and hands-on lab sessions. He brings the real world into the classroom through his diverse consulting experiences in consumer products, e-commerce, software, medical, educational, manufacturing, and financial industries.

In Fall 2018, Wang entered Pamplin’s Executive Ph.D. program, with a concentration in Business Information Technology (BIT) so that he could learn about another crucial aspect of academic life — how to conduct high-quality and impactful academic research.

“The best part of the Ph.D. program is definitely the opportunity to work closely with the world-class Pamplin faculty,” Wang said. “It is truly a transformative experience for me to learn from the top scholars in the information systems field, including my advisor Dr. Paul Lowry and the Executive Ph.D. Program director Dr. Viswanath Venkatesh, who are among the world’s most influential IS researchers in terms of premier journal publications and citation impact. Dr. Lowry always provides me with timely, insightful, highly detailed, and actionable feedback to guide me through the maze of dissertation research. He also gave me an invaluable co-authorship opportunity to collaborate with other IS researchers and gain first-hand experience of the IS journal reviewing process.”

Wang said that his dissertation committee members Dipankar Chakravarti (founding director of the Executive Ph.D. program), Christopher Zobel, and Alan Wang have been dedicated and supportive, providing ceaseless encouragement and insightful feedback on his work.

Wang’s research focuses on artificial intelligence-powered recommendation agents (RAs), which are personalized and advice-giving technologies that help customers overcome information overload by filtering incoming streams of information and making recommendations according to the users’ interests, preferences, needs, profiles, historical behaviors, social relationships, and contextual information.

“This is an exciting research area,” he said, “and my dissertation is the first attempt in the IS discourse to link RA design artifacts, affordances, and outcomes with user continuance intentions.”

Wang presented his paper, “An Affordance Perspective of RAs 2.0: Theorizing The New Generation Of Recommendation Agents,” at the leading Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) in 2021, which won the Runner-Up TREO Paper – TREO Chair’s Award. He was also nominated by Pamplin’s Department of Business Information Technology to participate in the prestigious 2021 International Conference of Information Systems (ICIS) Doctoral Consortium where his dissertation proposal, titled “Essays on the New Generation of Recommendation Agents (RAs 2.0): An Affordance IT Design Perspective,” received accolades from conference participants.

Wang said he has successfully incorporated components of his doctoral research, such as artificial intelligence, technology artifacts, IT affordances, recommendation algorithms, and human-computer interactions, into his students’ classroom discussions at Flagler.

Wang reflected on the “culture shock” he felt when he entered the program and advises new students that it is important to transition from a practitioner’s mindset to an academic researcher’s perspective.

“The quicker you can make this transition, the better you can position yourself in this program where the dedication of the Pamplin faculty to its students distinctively sets it apart from other doctoral programs,” Wang said.

His long-term goal is to become a full professor of information systems and continue to conduct high-quality IS research and teach impactful IS courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

“I believe that the rigorousness of this doctoral program has pushed my boundaries, giving me the ability to think intensely and critically about management, user, and technology problems confronting businesses today and to develop the skills I need to succeed in this exciting journey.”

Written by Barbara Micale