The University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics strives to “cultivate a diverse faculty pursuing impactful scholarship and enthusiastically sharing their expertise” as part of the College’s mission. Each year, our faculty push the boundaries within academia, creating innovative research and earning impressive awards, placements and accolades.
This year, the UD Alfred Lerner College welcomed 18 new faculty members into its community. Leting Zhang is an assistant professor, and she spoke with Lerner about her passion for management information systems and why she chose to join the UD faculty.
Lerner: What is your professional and academic background?
Zhang: I received my Ph.D. in management information systems from Temple University.
Lerner: What is your research focus?
Zhang: I am generally interested in how information technologies affect risks, productivity, and innovation in organizations and society. My dissertation focuses on cybersecurity in organizations from the perspectives of management and economics. I mainly leverage econometric methods and machine learning to explore real-world data.
Lerner: What inspired you to work in your field/research/subject area?
Zhang: In the 2000s, computer viruses caused huge headaches to PC users like me. At that time, I tried various ways to protect my computer and became interested in cybersecurity. Nowadays, organizations have become the major target of cyber attacks. They have more assets, such as tons of personal data, that are lucrative to criminals. That’s why we can read so many data breach news. That also motivates me to look at how organizations can better protect their IT assets.
Interestingly, more people realize that cybersecurity is more than a technology issue. The challenge lies in the intersection of information technology and management. As a researcher in MIS, I can use my knowledge in both areas to examine cybersecurity and contribute to a healthy cyber environment.
Lerner: What is it about UD that made you want to work/teach/research here?
Zhang: First of all, my MIS colleagues are excellent in both research and teaching. They are inspiring. Also, UD has a beautiful campus that features a vibrant Main Street. I really enjoy walking around there.
Lerner: What course are you most excited to teach at Lerner?
Zhang: MISY 225 – Introduction to Programming Business Applications. I love teaching students how to use different programming languages. Although the course is challenging at first, students’ programming skills usually grow very fast. I am always surprised by the progress they make.
Lerner: What is something unique about you that may surprise your peers/students? (hobby, talent, experience etc.)
Zhang: I am a big fan of video games. I especially love the games with great storylines and innovative elements.