Andrew Whinston

Andrew Whinston

The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Andrew Whinston is the Hugh Roy Cullen Centennial Chair Professor in Information Systems at the Graduate School of Business in the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Professor in the departments of Economics and Computer Science as well. Dr. Whinston is a Fellow of the IC2 Institute, Austin and is the director of the Center for Research in Electronic Commerce, for several years a pioneering research facility in Electronic Commerce. Under his stewardship, the Center identified the potential of electronic commerce early on, and made significant contributions in theoretical aspects of business and technological practice in this new frontier, and developed cutting edge applications that facilitate and demonstrate strategies for this marketplace. The hallmark of research under his guidance has been an integrated vision spanning cross- disciplinary efforts, thus bringing technological, business, economic, public policy, sociological, cryptographic and political concerns together in laying the theoretical and practical foundations of a digital economy. His collaborators, accordingly, have included faculty, students, researchers, and industry personnel from diverse disciplines.

Dr. Whinston’s academic qualifications and experience qualify him well for such multi-disciplinary research efforts. Andrew B. Whinston received his Ph.D. in management from Carnegie Mellon University in 1962. He served as an Assistant Professor at Yale University from 1961 to 1964 in the Department of Economics and the Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics. In 1964 he joined the faculty of the Economics Department at the University of Virginia as an Associate Professor and in 1966 was appointed as Professor in the Business School at Purdue University with a joint appointment in Computer Science.

Dr. Whinston is the co-author of several books in Electronic Commerce, prominent among them being the Frontiers of Electronic Commerce, The Economics of Electronic Commerce, and Electronic Commerce- A Manager’s Guide. Each of these books has been the pioneering work in the discipline, and is used as textbook or reference in many academic programs in this discipline. Dr. Whinston was the guest editor of the special issue of IEEE Internet Computing on E-Commerce, the November-December 1997 issue. The journal also features an article by him on the future of the digital economy. Every year, he organizes an international conference in Austin to address contemporary issues in Electronic Commerce.

These books are but a few among a long line of seminal books he has published over the years in various disciplines. He has also published over 250 papers in leading academic journals in Economics, Business and Computer Science. He is the chief editor of the journals Decision Support Systems and Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, and is an editor of most prominent journals in Information Systems. He coordinated the development of a completely on-line electronic journal titled Electronic Commerce World, and collaborates on a similar joint effort for a journal on Decision Support Systems from the University of Kentucky.

Professor Whinston has been a Principal Investigator on contracts from the National Science Foundation, The State of Texas, Office of Naval Research and Army Research Office as well as numerous grants from companies such as Apple, NCR., IBM,HP, Intel, Sun and Shell Development. He has numerous ongoing collaborations with overseas research institutions in Europe and Asia.

Most of Dr. Whinston’s research has been based at the Center for Research in Electronic Commerce, which has an inter-disciplinary personnel base, and sophisticated computing environment. Multiple web servers, database servers, indigenously developed pioneering Internet application suites, simulation testbeds, simulated electronic marketplaces, payment and authentication systems and instructional experiments run in this environment. The equipment is continually and rapidly being upgraded to stay at state-of-the-art levels, and represents a mix of Unix and Windows environments in various flavours. The unique feature of the CREC as well as Dr. Whinston’s research vision is the integral stress on technology as being the anchor of any research in information systems or electronic commerce, a fact well ignored in most mainstream research. The pioneering role in research and education in Information systems won him the honour of being named as the Distinguished Educator of Information Systems in 1994, and many of his alumni have turned out to be leading figures in a wide range of disciplines in industry and academia.

His current research spans various realms of Electronic Commerce, its impact on business protocols and processes, on organizational structure and corporate networks, electronic publishing, electronic education, complementarity of convergent computational paradigms and business value of IT. Through diverse initiatives, various aspects and consequences of the emergent economies over the Internet and corporate Intranets are studied.

A paradigm for corporate networks in virtual organizations has been proposed, and a prototype is being developed, with emphasis on the reengineered business processes and protocols and workflows. This extends pioneering work on collaborative systems over the internet.In collaboration with Dale Stahl, usage based priority pricing mechanisms for network access are proposed and a simulated behavior of the Internet as an economy is studied to analyze the underlying market structures and welfare implications.. Various attributes and consequent market mechanisms of digital products in a virtual economy are investigated. The potential for enhancing richness by electronic publishing is investigated through a pioneering online journal on Electronic Commerce. Prototype electronic education environments are used to outline the framework for virtual universities of the future. The protocols, standards and design of Intelligent Agent Organizations for cordinating and optimizing various tasks in global networked corporate entities are studied in the context of Supply Chain Management. In general, principles of Management, Economics, Information Systems and Computer Science are employed in analyzing evolving trends in Electronic Commerce and in laying out guidelines for future initiatives.

Prof. Whinston was recently named as the Distinguished Information Systems Educator in 1994 by the Data Processing Management Association.