Distance Technical Electives

Ted Ryan

Technical electives supplement the core course programming and allow students to customize coursework to satisfy individual interests. Equipping students with a depth and breadth of knowledge enhances their expertise and provides a strong base for career success.

d-MEMP students are required to complete four technical elective courses. Two classes must be selected from one Focus Area and two classes are selected from the electives listed below; expand for more information.


EGRMGMT 560 Project Management

3 credits. DelGrosso. (Fall Semester)

Projects are one of the key mechanisms for achieving organizational goals and implementing change, whether it is the design and launch of a new product, the construction of a new building, or the development of a new information system.

This course will focus on defining project scope, developing project plans, managing project execution, validating project performance and ensuring project control. Additional topics covered include decision making, project finance, project portfolio selection and risk management

EGRMGMT 562 Operations Management*

3 credits.Bozarth. (Fall Semester)

Operations management involves planning and controlling the processes used to produce the goods and services provided by an organization. In essence, it is the management of all activities related to doing the actual work of the organization. Managing these processes can be quite challenging -- they are often very complex, and can involve large numbers of people and facilities, huge volumes of materials and great distances.

Objectives of the course are to: 1) introduce students to the functional area of operations and to increase their awareness of how a firm's operations interface with the other functional areas of the organization, 2) familiarize students with the various issues and problems that traditionally arise in the management of operations within both manufacturing and service organizations, 3) acquaint students with some of the terminology, modeling, and methodologies that often arise in the handling and resolution of operations issues and problems.

EGRMGMT 580 Decision Models*

3 credits. Staff. (Spring Semester)

Successful management requires the ability to recognize a decision situation, understand its essential features, and make a choice. However, many of these situations - particularly those involving uncertainty and/or complex interactions - may be too difficult to grasp intuitively, and the stakes may be too high to learn by experience.

This course introduces spreadsheet modeling, simulation, decision analysis and optimization to represent and analyze such complex problems. The skills learned in this course are applicable in almost all aspects of business and should be helpful in future courses.

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Data Visualization*

3 credits. Egger. (Spring Semester)

This course teaches how to use data visualizations to improve communication. We will learn best practices for presenting the kind of discoveries and “calls to action” that are the primary aims of business data analysis. Everyone who completes the course will be able to make beautiful and effective data visualizations.  

We will begin by learning about human visual perception, in particular the science of how choice of color, form, and other design elements can assist pre-attentive information processing.We will consider the origins of modern data-visualization in the pre-computer age, starting with the use of overlay maps, and Galton’s Quincunx and Correlation Diagram.  

We will learn to recognize the 60 or so most commonly-utilized types of data-visualization metaphor, as well as rules of thumb for which are the most appropriate and effective to apply to different types of data analysis.

Students will learn to create their own visualizations using publicly-available data and free software tools. Students are not required, or expected, to have any prior software experience. The course has no pre-requisites.

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Fundamentals of Data Science*

3 credits. Egger. (Fall Semester)

Students practice a critical business skill: analyzing real-world data and communicating actionable findings in compelling form. This is a small group, project-based class. Students can design their own project (with approval of the instructor) or join one of a number of exciting projects already underway. Available project areas include: 1)financial fraud detection, 2) earthquake risk modeling, 3) analysis of eye-tracking data for medical diagnosis, 4) the latest methods for machine translation and speech recognition. Prior to Fall 2017, this course was listed as "Data Mining".

EGRMGMT 590.XX Innovation Management

3 credits. Glass. (Spring Semester)

This course takes students through a variety of issues related to managing innovation in the context of a technology-based organization. This includes managing know-how and innovation processes as well as creating an organizational culture that fosters and supports innovation.

Students study best practices and benchmarks but must develop their own approach to managing innovation given each unique situation, including the organizational strategy, the competitive landscape, the strengths/weaknesses of the employees involved, etc. Nonetheless, there are accepted practices and concepts that will help guide students in developing a deeper understanding of this area. Learning objectives include: i) understanding the different processes related to innovation in a technology-based firm, ii) how to create a culture of innovation in an organization, iii) the critical role of champions, and< iv) key concepts of innovation strategy.

EGRMGMT 590.XX Managing Product Development

3 credits. Requena. (Fall Semester)

How do companies ensure innovative ideas are transformed into a product or service? Irrespective of their size, location, number of employees, revenue margin, or industry segment, all companies transform their innovative strategies into real world products/services. Some companies have well defined transformation steps that they call product/service development process; others simply just do whatever it takes without organized planning.

But in general, they all go through major iterative phases such as: discovery, definition, development, demonstration, qualification, deployment, and life cycle management. Furthermore, there are factors that impact all these phases such as: source of funding, people relations, supply chain, design/development tools, time constraints, internal/external regulations, etc. Adequate management of these factors enables the development process to be executed on time and on budget in order to meet customer needs and stakeholders' expectations. This course intends to provide an understanding of the product/ service/development process elements and the factors influencing the execution of the process.

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Product Management in High Tech Companies

3 credits. George. (Fall Semester)

Central to optimizing shareholder value and revenue are a firm’s product innovations and its portfolio of products and services.  The Product Manager defines product vision and leads the cross-functional team that takes a product or service from initial concept to a market viable offering.

The course places emphasis on “Thinking like a Product Manager” in developing specific strategies to support new and existing high tech products. This MEM elective provides in-depth knowledge of the analyses, decisions, and implementation issues relevant to a typical product manager in a high tech company. The course is applicable whether you are a product manager in a start-up firm, develop B2C or B2B products or are responsible for high-tech services. The objective is to help prepare you for your first industry product management opportunity.

A successful product manager needs a broad set of skills and this course is the first step in helping you develop those skills. Your new skills will be developed using a mix of individual and team based assignments, case analysis and a project.  Class participation and demonstration of critical thinking in written and verbal form are crucial to success in this class.

The course has three modules

  • Module 1: Foundations of Product Management – The foundational knowledge and leadership skills for successful product management.
  • Module 2: Product Management in Action – Understanding the holistic 5 step “Product Management Process”:
    • DEFINE
    • LAUNCH
    • MANAGE 
  • Module 3: Product Management Post-Launch – Preparing to manage the entire “Product Lifecycle”. This is your plan for success beyond the new product launch.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify the essential elements of successful product management in a high tech environment.
  • Explain the Product Management Process and perform a wide range of analyses for products at all stages of the product lifecycle.
  • Develop, propose and justify product plans, product strategies, and supporting tactical plans.
  • Know development approaches and best practices the product manager employs when working with development, testing, engineering and other partners in making the product come to life.
  • Understand the best practices to build collaborative relationships between the development, engineering, marketing, sales, operations and management teams.
  • Present coherent, concise analysis of business cases.

*Students cannot use this course as a technical elective if used as a focus requirement.