Teaching Note for Case “User-Generated Content Systems at Intuit(A)” E-381(A)

Abstract: This is a teaching note for the free case “User-Generated Content Systems at Intuit(A)”, E-381(A), from the Stanford Free Case collection available at ECCH. The original case is a product management case in which Intuit, maker of consumer and small business financial software, faces the decision to “go social or not” for user help in its tax preparation software. The original case discusses the pros and cons of such a disruptive innovation. This teaching note provides pertinent questions to ask your students as well as my summary answers to these questions. I could not find an original teaching note hence I wrote this one. This is my first such note so any suggestions for improvement are welcome. The note is licensed CC-BY-SA 3.0; feel free to use it in your own teaching. The note’s home is my website. For attribution, please link to it.

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Plagiarism on the Rise?

I recently reviewed a paper where, a few paragraphs into the introduction, the words seemed strangely familiar. After some cross-checking, I realised that the author of the paper had copied about two paragraphs verbatim from one of my papers. After a bit more digging, I found other places in the paper where the author had copied from other researchers’ work as well. In all cases, no quotation marks had been used nor any reference had been provided. The papers the author had copied from were listed in the reference section though.

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Rigor vs. Relevance, or: What is the Size of a Dissertation?

While listening to a colleague’s talk the other day, I got an idea for a Ph.D. thesis (grant proposal). I wrote up a short summary and sent it to him. He thought it was fine but commented that it might be a bit “thin”. This made me wonder: How do we determine sufficient size of a dissertation, to stay with the metaphor of thin, so that we can conclude some research work is worth a Ph.D. title? Most university regulations require “significant” (read: non-trivial) scientific progress and then leave it to the advisor and the reading committee to determine whether a submitted dissertation fits the bill.

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Why I’m Interested In Computer Games Research

Just before my inaugural lecture at University of Erlangen, a broad panel of scientists was debating the merits of computer games. Except for a computer games researcher and a games professional, all participants thought that computer games are of no particular interest. When I asked: “But isn’t there anything to learn from computer games?” I got a full rebuke by the M.D. on the panel: “No, there is no recognizable value whatsoever.”

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Das AMOS Projektkonzept (2011)

NACHHALTIGE PROJEKTE ZUM LERNEN UND AUSGRÜNDEN

Dieser Artikel stellt das AMOS Projektkonzept vor, welches ich in der Informatik-Lehre an der Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg einsetze. Ziel des AMOS Projekts ist es, Studierenden professionelle Softwareentwicklung in einem konkreten Projekt zu vermitteln, welches idealerweise zu einer Startup durch die am Ende ihres Studiums befindlichen Studierenden führt.

Das AMOS Projekt ist für mich eine neue Erfindung: Ich habe es das erste Mal 2010 so abgehalten. Deswegen dient dieser Artikel nicht nur der Schilderung des Projektkonzepts, sondern sollte auch als Aufforderung zum Kommentieren gelesen werden. Ich vermute, dass es anderswo in ähnlicher Form betrieben wird und würde gern von den dortigen Erfahrungen lernen.

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Four Months of Open Source Professorship

2009 is coming to an end and so are my first four months as a professor. Time to take stock, if only shortly.

All in all, a good end to a year that most of us would prefer to forget. But as Matt Asay is suggesting, this may have been the year that Open Source made it big, so this is something to celebrate!

Stay tuned for upcoming research work on open source, using this blog’s RSS feed, or the OSR group’s home page and RSS feed, and of course the @dirkriehle and @osrgroup Twitter streams!

And of course a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010 to everyone!

Open Access and Open Source

This morning, I read that the main Swedish research funding agency has decided to enforce open access to research results of projects it funds. This is a big deal for Swedish researchers relying on these funds: The status of a researcher is determined by the prestige of the journals in which they publish (and how much they publish). Many of these journals are not open access but rather require hefty fees to give you access. Hence, researchers might not be getting some of the expected reputation for their work.

Such a requirement is likely to come down the pipe in many other countries as well. Its impact on the academic publishing industry is not to be underestimated, it is nothing short of Schumpeterian. Economics is aligning itself against the publishers of high-priced journals. As open access journals as well as professional organizations like the ACM show, it is possible to have a publishing process at a much cheaper price tag than those of the likes of Elsevier and Springer.

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