Monday, November 30, 2009

Music Supply Chains and Serving on International Dissertations

I came across a very interesting dissertation on music supply chains that was successfully defended for a Masters degree recently in Bergen, Norway at NHH. The dissertation, written by Brandeis Bellamy, is entitled: How Has the Changing Demand for Downloadable Music Influenced the Strategic Business Models of Firms? and it can be accessed here. I thought to myself, what a fascinating application of supply chains and a topic that anyone (and especially college students) can relate to. I couldn't help but read the dissertation and was really surprised and pleased to see that my Supply Chain Network Economics book was cited in it. I wrote this book while I was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard in 2005-2006. Coincidentally, Elaine Chew, who is an outstanding pianist and an operations researcher, who studies music from a mathematics perspective, was a Fellow at Radcliffe in 2007-2008, and we had the pleasure of having her speak at the Isenberg School in our INFORMS Speaker Series that Fall.

While reading the dissertation from NHH in Bergen, I so fondly recalled a doctoral dissertation that I was an examiner for, which involved travel to Bergen in northern Norway in the month of March. Bergen was magical with crocuses blooming and the defense is a very formal affair there with a reception afterwards (the student passed with glowing colors) and an elegant banquet. The defense was my second trip to Bergen. I had been there earlier for a NATO Scientific conference, after which we took the 7 hour train trip from Bergen to Oslo with spectacular views.

Tomorrow, I will be an oral examiner (sounds as though I am a dentist) for a doctoral dissertation in Auckland, New Zealand. I will not be flying out (would have to be on a plane already, if that were the case) but will be videoconferencing. The videoconferencing technology we used to stream my lecture last May to UC Davis. Tomorrow we will be using it for a doctoral defense. I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out.

The last time I was in Auckland, New Zealand was in January 2008 and the trip included being stuck at LAX on the tarmac in the plane for 4 hours in a fierce rainstorm before we took off for Auckland. The pain and suffering associated with this trip were compensated by the fantastic conference on Multicriteria Decision-Making and the conference talks, tours, and festivities.

Above I share with you some photos of Auckland, New Zealand.

It's never dull being an academic!