University of Delaware researchers share findings with JPMorgan Chase employees.

Leveraging knowledge

Expo at JPMorgan Chase facility showcases UD faculty research


1:18 p.m., April 20, 2011--Professors Steven Bohacek and John Cavazos are working on research that will provide a "lens" for JPMorgan Chase & Co. to observe the interactions between users and the firm’s various databases and track performance. 

The database analysis project is the most recent collaborative effort between JPMorgan Chase and the University of Delaware’s College of Engineering. Bintong Chen, professor in civil and environmental engineering, said the project exemplifies how capitalizing on UD’s faculty expertise can improve operational efficiency at the firm.

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Other UD faculty members eager to match their skills to JPMorgan Chase’s technology needs, in hopes of developing similar joint projects, turned out April 11 for a research expo at the company's Morgan Christiana Center in Newark.

UD participants gained insight into the technical challenges faced by the global financial services company at a luncheon, before showcasing their ideas to JPMorgan Chase technology team members.

"This can lead to original research for us as University professors, through which we can support more students and, in turn, introduce them to JPMorgan Chase concepts," said Nii Attoh-Okine, professor in civil and environmental engineering.

Altogether, close to 200 people attended the event, including 30 UD faculty members representing eight academic departments from UD’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and the College of Engineering.

More than 100 JPMorgan Chase professionals from various technology units also attended, including Peter Richards, managing director in the firm’s Central Technology and Operations division in Manhattan. “We are building a truly resilient, long-term partnership,” Richards said.

John Storm, managing director in the Investment Bank Technology group in Newark, agreed, adding he plans to investigate several promising collaborations discussed during the expo. “There are at least three or four [ideas] from today that I think we can do,” Storm said.

“The expo is by far the largest research exchange between UD and JPMorgan Chase to date,” noted Chen, who helped facilitate the event from the University side. “I expect a boom of joint research proposals in the coming months.”

About the UD-JPMC partnership

UD became the second academic institution to join forces with the global financial services firm in March 2010. The partnership, modeled after the one JPMorgan Chase began with Syracuse University a few years ago, consists of a number of components, including internships, curriculum development, joint research and a speaker series. UD signed on, in part, because of the large number of alumni who take jobs at the company.

The internship component offers UD students problem-based learning through authentic, real-world experiences, including an intensive eight-month Global Enterprise Technology immersion experience designed to empower students with knowledge in such areas as strategy, IT-enabled innovation, organizational dynamics and effective communication.

Research between UD and JPMorgan Chase focuses on three key areas of business analytics: process productivity and efficiency, database analysis and optimization, and customer self-service.

About Professors Bohacek and Cavazos

Stephan Bohacek, who joined UD in 2002, is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Bohacek earned his doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California. His interests include research modeling systems that merge human behavior and cyber systems.

John Cavazos is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. Cavazos, who joined the UD faculty in 2007, received a master's degree and doctorate in computer science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research uses machine learning techniques to automatically optimize compilers.

Article by Karen B. Roberts

Photos by Evan Krape

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