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My name is Jundong Zhang. I am a MSc Student majoring in Management of Information System in Sauder School of Business in UBC. My interest in information system started in high school, and I was fortunate to be admitted into Sun Yat- sen University, one of the best universities in China, to study Information Management and Information Systems. Although my undergraduate major is not computer science, many classes I took are related to CS, and the research projects that I was involved in required me to self-teach various programming languages. Not only was I interested in the technical aspect of software engineering, but I was also fascinated by the fact that connecting human beings with computers can not only improve productivity but also enhance humanity. Blockchain, as an emerging technology in recent years, I developed a huge interest in it. Therefore, during the Mitacs internship, I would like to participate in a project where blockchain can be applied for the greater good, in addition to improving a company’s bottom line. Below I will describe my qualifications and experiences.
During my undergraduate studies, I have taken information systems design and analysis courses where I learned various software development methodologies such as SSADM, UML, and Agile Development. I have also taken quantitative and programming courses that have equipped me with skills to make quantitative analysis in the Mitacs internship project. These courses include Advanced Mathematics, Linear Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, Statistics. Moreover, I am equipped with basic computer science knowledge. I took the courses in the field of CS including Program Design, Machine Learning, Computer Networks, Database Systems, Data Structure & Algorithm, Data visualization, and Economics. Specifically, I used bootstrap to build a website; used Echarts to build visualization, and used Python and Hadoop for my machine learning class projects.
During my undergraduate studies, I was also involved in multiple research projects. My classmates and I won a National Students’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training opportunity to study the cashierless store phenomenon in China. Cashierless stores gained traction thanks to the advancement of mobile payment technologies and artificial intelligence. Curious about the adoption behavior of this new phenomenon, I and my research team studied the factors that influence the usage intention of the IoT- based cashierless stores in China. During this project, I self-taught a statistical software program SPSS AMOS through textbooks, videos, blogs, and replicating other people’s studies, so that I was able to use Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) for data analysis. My literature review and writing skills were also greatly enhanced in this process. I learned to organize literature according to their theories and methodologies, and I also wrote a big chunk of the paper, which was submitted to a peer-reviewed journalInformation Technology & People. The self-learning skills and ability to write scholarly papers will help me work out the problems during the Mitacs project.
Another major research project I was involved in is on knowledge diffusion, and different from the cashierless store project, I applied mathematical modeling and simulation using Python in this project. The Informetrics class introduced me to a new concept called “Altmetrics", which focuses on the social
impact of online social networks on academia. After data were collected through PloS One Database, I modified the SIS (Susceptible – Infectious – Susceptible) model to simulate knowledge diffusion of individual literature by adding different paths of knowledge diffusion and different types of knowledge disseminators, and by exploring the impact of different state transition probabilities through adjusting them individually. The results of this research project were also submitted to the Journal of Informetrics.
A firm believer that combining the real-world experience and theoretical knowledge together can help me learn how business works better, and a big fan of the auto industry, I interned at SAIC Volkswagen in Shanghai as a data analyst. My responsibility for this internship was to analyze the design effectiveness of the Points of Interest (POI) systems in connected cars. This was a great opportunity for me to learn the intricacies of this popular system, and it also fulfilled my passion for understanding the impact of technologies. To do the analysis, I collected data both from the internet and also through observations and interviews with sales representatives in car dealerships. My analysis was based on the five elements in the User Experience literature: surface, skeleton, structure, scope, and strategy. The outcome of this competitive study has provided many useful recommendations for the company, including identifying the logic of the confusing operation of the system, improving the intelligence and customizability of the POI service, and integrating the POI service into the existing online to offline (O2O) ecosystem, such as recommending gas stations to the driver based on the real-time distance and price. This internship experience has taught me that it’s increasingly difficult for a business to gain profit through a single point like e-commerce or instant communication. An ecosystem with many players and experiences is important to consider when analyzing and designing an information system.
In the last summer vacation, I have done an internship in Carl Zeiss. During this internship, I participated in the development of a digital product catalog for salesman in spectacles stores, as a part of digital transformation in Carl Zeiss China. For the development and iterative optimization of the product catalog, I collected requirements and suggestions from salesmen and spectacle professionals to analyze and design the user interface and functions of both front end and backstage management system. For it is an outsourcing project, I need to communicate with the outsourcing company in many ways, including drawing prototypes and talking through mobile phones. At last, the monthly active users increased dramatically from about 250 in the first months to more than 1000.
To summarize, my experience in behavioral and mathematical modeling has made me a versatile student for the Mitacs internship. Based on my experience, I want to develop a research about the economics and financial aspect of blockchain application in companies, such as the assessing supply chain performance implementing the blockchain technology by concerning the adoption.