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LSE INFORMATION SYSTEMS ALUMNI NEWSLETTER ADMIS Program Bid Farewell with Big Event By Mariya Dimova On the evening of September 6th 2011, the London School of Economics Honk Kong Theatre hosted a nostalgic audience of graduates, who had come to bid farewell to the renowned Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems (ADMIS) program at the LSE. The prestigious course ran for over 30 years and had graduated many experts in the field of Information Systems. The program became famous through the years for its different outlook on the position of technology in modern life and on how to optimize the use of IT and the implementation of information systems with minimum destructive impact.

JOIN US FOR THE NEXT EVENT London Enterprise Technology Meetup th

November 19 2012 7-9 pm Hong Kong Theatre, LSE FREE for LISA members (£5 usually)

LISA pub meet th

November 28 2012 6-9pm The Old bank of England pub, 194 Fleet Street, London

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The farewell event was hosted by Professor Steve Smithson who welcomed back some of the founding fathers of the Information Systems department in a memorial journey back through the history of the program, going back as far as 1969. The first speaker, Professor Frank Land shared with the crowd his personal adventures in the computer world and how ADMIS was born from his dream for a research led program, fully recognized as an academic discipline, a field in its infancy at the time. Backed up by a few major projects and cooperation between various institutions ADMIS has undergone “considerable changes over the decades, but in many ways remained true to the founding ideals rooted both in practice and sociotechnical notions” according to Professor Land. The second speaker, and distinguished guest who had travelled especially for this event, Professor Bob Galliers, reminded the audience that when you get in touch with the ADMIS world you remain an ADMISer for the rest of your life. He talked about how he has spread the ideas he developed in London while at the IS Department to places as far as Australia and has made a huge impact on the direction and development of IS research. Despite his short tenure at LSE, its effect was long lasting. The third speaker, one of the most esteemed and long standing members of the ADMIS faculty remained true to his style and entertained the audience with some of his most famous slides shown through the years. Professor Ian Angell subtly reminded the audience of the dangers of IT and that “even women and gambling can’t ruin a man as thoroughly as technology can” he quoted Georges Pompidou.


In a series of comic cartoons and famous words, the audience was reminded that the world of technology should not be romanticized but approached with care and a good dosage of humour.

LISA Hosted drinks after the Class of 2011 Graduation Ceremony at the George IV on campus. Some pictures from the event -

Throughout the speeches, where the presentation was structured in a sequential manner with each of the speakers covering a period in the journey of “The Good Ship ADMIS” the term coined by Professor Smithson, who showed a set of pictures to remind everyone that ADMIS remains a “work hard , party hard” place . With a handful of social events strong friendships were forged through the years and ADMIS has become a family for many of its graduates. Births were celebrated and deaths were mourned but graduations and reunions always bring a smile to people’s faces. Before giving the floor to Professor Chrisanthi Avgerou, Smithson walked through the many changes of the curriculum and eventually to the retirement of ADMIS. Avgerou then introduced MISI, “the phoenix rising from the ashes of ADMIS and the future of the Information Systems and Innovations Group. The new program remains true to the core principles of informing future generations by avoiding polemics and teaching critical judgment. The aim is to “develop capabilities for making sense of continuous innovation and its consequences for business, work, and society and therefore for taking informed decisions and actions.” as she described it. The final speaker was Adnan Naseem, chairperson of the LISA committee, who thanked everyone for attending, as without the Alumni, this event would have not been possible. Naseem then gave a short overview of LISA's activities and the road ahead, in hope of growing the Alumni family, and reconnecting with over 2,300 graduates over the years. After the presentation the farewell party moved to the senior common room at the Old Building, where food and drinks were just an excuse for lengthy discussions and many nostalgic conversations. LISA members, made sure that people were enjoying themselves and had the chance to talk to former professors as well as meet students graduated from ADMIS years earlier or later. The event was great success and in an old ADMIS tradition finished with more laughter at George, the beloved LSE pub. Pictures of the event, courtesy of Heemanshu Jain are available on the web at:

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Dear Alumni, LISA is proud to team up with London Enterprise Technology Meetup group, which is head by Ian Ellis, a fellow Alumni. The group hosts CEOs and founders of Technology startups to talk about their products and their experience building a business. Their next meetup is at the LSE Hong Kong Theatre, and is always very interesting. For this special event at our Alma matter, all Information Systems Alumni may attend this event for free. (usually ÂŁ5.00) To find out more about the event: Hope to see you there. LSE Information Systems Alumni (LISA)

ADMIS Graduate Awarded Fulbright Scholarship By LISA staff David Randall, an ADMIS'10 graduate has been awarded the highly regarded Fulbright Scholarship. While studying abroad during his undergraduate degree, David stumbled upon the LSE Information Systems website, and its now retired ADMIS program. It caught his eye as a unique program at a predominantly social sciences university and he made it a top choice for his graduate studies. Prior to beginning his studies at the LSE, David spent a year at TNT, the parcel distribution company, working as a Service Assurance Analyst where he coordinated disaster recovery and business continuity efforts. For his Master’s thesis, David looked at a virtual team made up of members of an online community competing in a contest organised by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) - the same organisation that was responsible for the ground breaking work in switching networks that laid the foundations for the internet infrastructure.

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David Randall in an Astronaut helmet


The aim of the contest (known as the DARPA Network Challenge) was to utilise online communities to find 10 red balloons that were placed around the continental US for 10 hours on one day in December 2009. The team David investigated was comprised of a dozen or so people – located all around the world – who acted as a nerve centre for organising the rest of a 30,000 strong community and about 2,000 core participants. His thesis looked at the media synchronicity theory and with his collected data he was able to show that some key elements of the theory faltered when applied to the DARPA project team. David was a member of the team thus had primary source access to data from Google Wave (now a defunct project) and Skype. Unsurprisingly, the thesis entitled “Ten Red Balloons: Virtual Teams and Online Communities – a Test of Media Synchronicity Theory" was awarded a distinction, the same honour that would apply to his overall degree. David swiftly followed up his work with a paper to be published in the upcoming edition of iSChannel. With a background in computing and soon to be an ADMIS graduate, David was hunting for a PhD program, and applied for the Fulbright Scholarship in May 2010. With the outcome of his work at LSE still unknown, he did not give it much thought after applying and was instead focused on his research. He was then pleasantly surprised when he was invited for an interview the following August. David found the interview process to be somewhat rigorous, and was not overly optimistic about his chances, yet to his delight a month later he received the letter offering him a confirmed award for 2011-12. It later emerged during a reception with the US Ambassador at Fulbright’s pre-departure orientation, that one of the things that impressed the Director of the UK Commission so much during David’s interview was that the panel saw a Tweet he made about it after leaving – something he said he would do when being questioned about social networking during his interview. The Fulbright Scholarship, of up to $25,000 towards tuition and living expenses for one year, also pays for GRE & application fees and comes with the invaluable support of the Fulbright commission through the application process, admission and beyond. After several months of applications and interviews David accepted an offer to study towards a PhD in Information Science at the University of Washington, in Seattle. At the University of Washington he plans to be working with a faculty member on Wiki Projects under a National Science Foundation grant and in the future hopes to get involved in NASA research on communications and the logistics of coordinating teams on the ground and those in space. LISA wishes David the best of luck, in hope that one of our graduates would be partly behind the first tweet from the Moon: “@LISA Zero Gravity Information Systems”.

Become a LISA regional representative LISA is looking to expand globally and setup chapters in key locations. If you are interested in leading the efforts in your region, please get in touch with one of our reps. We look forward to hearing more from you!

Charles Wahab – Heemanshu Jain –

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AWAY FROM MY DESK By Charles Wahab It's 3pm in the afternoon and I am sitting on a bench on the Bosphorus pier. I am watching a fisherman calmly throw his rod into busy waters. On shore, life around me is as busy as the waters: corn and bread merchants chants are deafened by boat trip salesmen shouting louder. The backdrop of Topkapi palace casts a shadow on the pier and provides an island of shade under the blistering sun: I am in Istanbul. I've been here for about a week now on somewhat of a self discovery journey. I took part in the Hellespont Swim, following in the footsteps of Lord Byron and Leander, to swim from Europe to Asia across the Dardanelles strait. More of a mental challenge than a physical one, I succeeded in my quest, crossing successfully. The odd 90 minutes I spent in the water, we resorted back to basics: human instinct, physical abilities and primitive forms of communication: waving, shouting and signaling. Every wave that came crashing down, brought with it a big dollop of fear. Looking back at the moment we lined up on that jetty, it was nature laid bare: our navigation point would be the Radio Mast on the opposite side and we were to swim towards it. No Google maps, no GPS, no navigation boat. The only thing I had remotely technological was a primitive digital chip tied to my ankle that started timing when I jumped off, and stopped when I got out. As soon as I reached Asia, I was back in the matrix: digital cameras, smartphones, iPads, laptops and stereos. Like most IS grads, I make a living working with data, be it transforming it into information, building or managing it. Yet the more I seem to organize the more data we create. Data on data, a never ending loop. Game theorist could call that metagame analysis, where one game is the creation of other games. The struggle continues. For about 90 minutes of my life, I generated no data. Google could not track my location, Amazon could not recommend any accessories, and I couldn't update my status. Tweeting wasn't an option either, and there were no CCTV cameras. A couple of jelly fish and the Trojans sleeping 100 meters below were my only audience, and they were not on email. This is one hour that Google can never organize and big brother can never have.

LISA Networking Drinks @ Old Bank of England Dear Alumni, LISA will be holding its regular pub meet at the Old Bank of England pub on Wednesday 28th November 2012 - 6 pm onwards. Besides this being a good opportunity to network and chat with fellow alumni, the new class of MISI 2012-2013 is invited. They'll be looking to learn from your experiences at the LSE and after. So, please come along and drag your classmates and other fellow alumni. An area has been reserved. See you there! LISA (LSE Information Systems Alumni)

Technology has indeed changed our lives, often for the better, but one forgets how it feels to be completely on your own. I had to swim 2 miles out for that. I better get out there again. Q4, 2012



By Heemanshu Jain

As graduates of a highly respected school and rigorous academic program at the IS group, most graduates are destined for the corporate world, from the big consulting firms, financial institutions or technology behemoths. Academia claims many, who choose to answer the call ofnewsletter science, and on to bigger and greater things. Yet some, such as Maximillian Schutz, textgo here. take the road less travelled, of entrepreneurship. Maximillian, a soft spoken tall man from Munich Germany, was studying finance and technology management abroad in New York. Interning at Bloomberg, the king of financial data, the topic of information appealed to him, as he realized the power of information. Bloomberg in New York was at the heart of the events that shaped our recent history. So he decided to search for a graduate degree program in Information Systems, and unsurprisingly chose the LSE Information Systems and Innovation Group. LISA Spoke to Max and here’s what he had to say: LISA: Where did you do your undergrad? and did you work in between that and coming to LSE? MS: I did my undergraduate (accounting & finance) studies at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, as well as a graduate degree in Technology Management at Technical University Munich & Columbia University. I did intern throughout my studies mainly in the financial industry. LISA: So how did you find the program? MS: Studying for the exams was hard but fun, we had study groups. I lived in the same student housing as my classmates, and we met every day, went for lunch, discussed, discussed and discussed. Without my friends I would have never been able to pass the exams. In comparison to my friends I was not too familiar with the subjects due to my background. My biggest challenge was to digest the massive amount of information, choose the points that meant the most to me, and try to argue them in the exams. The dissertation was one of the best experiences, and I was awarded the highest grade of my class. Nobody has asked me about my grades really, and the LSE name speaks for itself. LISA: What was your thesis about? Who was your thesis advisor? MS: My thesis was about the convergence of technology in the automotive industry - the introduction of information technology to the car. So I did a lot of patent data analysis. The thesis was supervised by Prof. Jonathan Liebenau. Although I did write the thesis while I was working, I enjoyed it very much since it was a totally different to daily work and was the crowning of my studies. LISA: Tell us about your life after ADMIS, your work, and your future ambitions and how you think Information Systems and the LSE experience will shape it (if at all!!!). MS: Working for a startup, life starts before LSE ends, and I was already working while writing my thesis. I joined a startup with old friends from University. As a venture-capital-backed company we develop fully electronic fitness machines and we began selling our product line a few months ago. The first months were pretty unstructured and the office was similar to a work shop / construction plant; metals and wires everywhere [pictured]. My task was to build up sales, which was pretty difficult without a functional prototype. We weren't taken seriously by the industry at first. However, a few months down the line, we are being asked for interviews and exclusive publishing rights for our products. What an industry! We only have one competitor in the market, whose machines are comparable to ours. Of course they are not as good! You can imagine that they are not amused by our emergence as their competitor, as they’ve enjoyed a monopoly so far. Recently though, I decided to start my own venture in the field of access security. The idea is sharing property should be as easy as sharing a picture with a friend! You can get access anytime anywhere with using Kisibox, which is the company name. Q4, 2012


At first, the current idea was only a spare time project. It started to get serious after we won several innovation competitions and received first money. With a close study-mate from New York, I now work on the project fulltime and have left eGym after gaining valuable experience. We managed to receive funding and are very positive about the future. No day is like the other one! Concerning LSE, I try to foster my LSE network as much as I can. Social media is a great tool to do so. It is really nice to have a global network, in terms of cultural and news aspects. I traveled a lot in the last few months, and managed to meet some LSE friends in almost every city! As Howard Davies once said "...after graduation, you will have a bed in every single country!” This is somehow true. LISA surely does not advise students to take on work during their studies, however given an opportunity to work for a startup gives great insight to a wealth of knowledge that can often feed in as primary source for data. Not for the fainthearted, however for some people like Maximillian, it offers a great opportunity to be in the same shoes as the people they studied about. To learn more about Max’s project, visit KisiBox’s website ( or via Facebook ( and Twitter ( ) Max winning Innovation award in Germany

About LSE Information Systems Alumni (LISA)

The London School of Economics Information Systems and Innovation Group (ISIG) are helping to organize alumni from MISI, ADMIS, ISOR, PhD through LISA. If you took any of the IS department courses in the last 40 years, we look forward to your involvement in connecting with fellow IS Alumni.

We are actively seeking engagement with fellow alumni who might be interested in taking part in various activities with LISA. If you can get recruiters at the campus, wish to share your experiences in the industry or during PhD, mentor students or contribute your time and effort in any other way, we’d like to facilitate your activities. Please write to one of our committee members. More information about LISA can be found by clicking here.

LISA Newsletter 2012  
LISA Newsletter 2012  

LSE Information Systems Alumni Newsletter 2012