Our biggest time sink this half-term is Systems Dynamics, an interesting discipline that applies engineering to problem-solving any issue. I've been loking forward to this class since I came to visit the school in the fall of 2004. It provides a methodology for forcing assumptions, competing values, hidden costs, and delays into the open. And, the diagrams are great to look at!
In addition to core classes, working, and research, I'm taking two other fabulous classes this term. "Corporations at the Crossroads," brings in CEOs of companies from many different industries to talk about the challenges they face. So far, we've seen a Fortune 100 and a Fortune 1000 CEO and have enjoyed some very frank comments about satisfying shareholders, finding new markets, redefining the business model, etc.
And, there's "Generating Business Value from Information Technology" taught by Peter Weill, Director of the Center for Information Systems Research. This class really bridges the business/IT gap, showing how to focus both parties on the legitimate benefits of well-governed IT -- documented increases in Return on Investment. You may recognize Professor Weill from the extremely popular book on IT Governance that he co-authored with Jeanne Ross. They've shared with us a part of their next book (coming out in June) and I think it should be a hot seller based upon what they've shared with us -- an easy-to-understand, easy-to-apply model for discussing management goals than can readily be translated to IT priorities.
Like everyone else, I'm also focusing on the things that I had hoped to do while here at MIT. So stay tuned for the possibility of a little start-up and/or a technology & public policy project!