OPIM professor Chen Liang, a prolific researcher who is always willing to mentor students, has received two prestigious awards in recent months, both recognizing her as a promising young scholar who is making outstanding contributions to the field.
Liang was one of only eight academics worldwide honored with the Information Systems Society’s 2023 Gordon B. Davis Young Scholar Award.
This week she also learned that she will receive the Association for Information System’s Early Career Award.
Both international awards are presented to scholars who are in the early stages of their careers and have already completed quality research, excel at teaching, and are making significant contributions to their field.
Researcher Investigates AI Impact
Liang joined UConn in 2019 after earning a Ph.D. in information systems at Arizona State University. Her research interests include artificial intelligence, the future of work, fintech, bias and discrimination, and platform economy.
Her recent research has investigated the impact of the introduction of artificial intelligence assistants in online pharmacies for disease diagnosis and drug recommendations, in particular when patients want relief from an embarrassing condition or illness that they feel uncomfortable discussing.
She has also investigated how platform policies and artificial intelligence impact the future of work. Highlighting just a fraction of her expansive research, she has elucidated how platforms can utilize market design to alleviate the cold-start challenges faced by inexperienced workers, and revealed the transformative potential of artificial intelligence in synergizing with human efforts in marketing strategies.
“The role of AI is evolving in society, and I’m interested in investigating the effects of the technology on behavior and what value is created by it,’’ she said.
Cuihong Li, OPIM department head, said Liang has a lengthy list of papers that have been published or are pending publication in premier academic journals. Her work is particularly remarkable for someone who completed a doctorate just four years ago, she added.
“Chen has made a name for herself in the field with her prolific research, particularly on gig economy platforms and future of work,’’ Li said. “At UConn, Chen has been very active in sharing her expertise and experience with students and by advising Ph.D. students on their research projects and dissertations.’’
Friendly Academic Home
Liang said she is pleased with her decision to build her career at UConn. When she initially visited campus, and spoke with potential colleagues, she was convinced it was the right fit for her.
“The department environment is friendly and supportive,’’ she said. “It’s easy to communicate and find people with shared interests. If I have any questions, I can talk to my department head or any of the senior faculty. They are always very approachable.’’
She enjoys teaching statistics in business analytics to graduate students and business database design to undergrads.
“What I love about these classes is they draw in students from different backgrounds,’’ she said. “By the end of the class, you see such a significant improvement. At the end, they are very comfortable with what they’ve learned, and you can see their sense of achievement.’’
Awards Will Open New Doors
Liang said the young scholar awards are not only a tremendous honor but will help her in efforts to collaborate with companies for her research, and will be an asset in the recruitment of Ph.D. students to UConn.
“These awards make you stand out in a sea of talent,’’ she said.
Li agreed. “We have a vibrant group of talented young scholars that are rising to make great contributions, both externally and internally,’’ she said. “I am glad that we are able to provide an environment that attracts talented faculty and fosters their growth.’’