About the Authors

Michael D. Smith

Michael D. Smith is a Professor of Information Systems and Marketing and the Co-Director of IDEA, the Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College. He received a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering (summa cum laude) and a Masters of Science in Telecommunications Science from the University of Maryland, and received a Ph.D. in Management Science from the Sloan School of Management at MIT.

Professor Smith’s research uses economic and statistical techniques to analyze firm and consumer behavior in online markets — specifically markets for digital information and digital media products. His research in this area has been published in leading Management Science, Economics, and Marketing journals and in leading professional journals including The Harvard Business Review and The Sloan Management Review. His research has also been covered by press outlets including The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wired and Business Week.

Professor Smith has received several awards for his teaching and research including the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER Research Award, the 2009 and 2004 Best Teacher Awards in Carnegie Mellon’s Masters of Information Systems Management program, the best published paper award runner-up for Information Systems Research in 2006, and best paper nominations at the International Conference on Information Systems and the Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences. He was also recently selected as one of the top 100 “emerging engineering leaders in the United States” by the National Academy of Engineering. Professor Smith has served on the editorial boards of a variety of top journals including as a Senior Editor at Information Systems Research and as an Associate Editor at Management Science and Management Information Systems Quarterly.

Prior to receiving his Ph.D., Professor Smith worked extensively in the telecommunications and information systems industries, first with GTE in their laboratories, telecommunications, and satellite business units and subsequently with Booz Allen and Hamilton as a member of their telecommunications client service team. While with GTE, Professor Smith was awarded a patent for research applying fuzzy logic and artificial intelligence techniques to the design and operation of telecommunications networks.

Rahul Telang

Professor Telang’s research interest lies in two major domains. First is on Digital Media Industry with a particular focus on digitization of songs, movies, TV and books is affecting the incentives of content provider, content distributors as well public policy challenges in terms of innovation and copyright. In particular, he has examined the issue proliferation of distribution platforms including online piracy and its impact on traditional music, movies and books industry.

Recently, he is investigating the role of social networks on music diffusion, technology adoption, and employee job search. Some of his prior work explored the challenges of interaction of multiple platforms (web portals vs telephony for customer service; SMS and voice for cellular phones). He was the recipient of Sloan Foundation Industry Study fellowship for his work in this domain and is a co-director of Digital Media Research Center at the Heinz College. His work is also funded extensively by industry participants including Google.

His second area of work is on economics of information security and privacy. He has examined the issue of vendors’ incentives to improve the quality of their products and role of policy making and standards in changing these incentives. His earlier work explores the challenges of vulnerability disclosure and how competition and policy making affect these patch release decisions. Recently, he is examining the role of data breach disclosure laws on identity thefts. He was the recipient of NSF CAREER award for his work on economics of information security.

Dr. Telang has published extensively in many top journals like Management Science, Marketing Science, Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, and Journal of Marketing Research. He is on the editorial board of Management Science and ISR. He has organized many conferences and workshops and many of his papers have received top honors at journals and conferences.

ABOUT IDEA

The Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics (IDEA) at Carnegie Mellon University conducts research into timely public policy and managerial questions raised by the emergence of digital distribution channels for entertainment content.

Growth of the Internet and mobile devices has created new distribution opportunities in the entertainment industry as companies innovate to meet changes in consumer demand, and has given rise to new business challenges from digital piracy networks, bringing issues of copyright, intellectual property and counterfeiting to the forefront.

IDEA is an interdisciplinary university-wide effort led by acclaimed CMU professors Michael D. Smith and Rahul Telang from the H. John Heinz III College. Smith and Telang study the digital entertainment industry and have authored many papers on the subject in leading academic journals as well as the Harvard Business Review and Sloan Management Review. They also provide expert commentary on their research to policy audiences such as the Federal Trade Commission, Congressional Internet Caucus and Technology Policy Institute.

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