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Raymond Frost

MIS Professor Raymond Frost was named the 2010 Computer Educator of the Year, the highest award given by the International Association for Computer Information Systems.

Raymond Frost

Frost chats with a colleague in his Copeland Hall office -- which dons plaques for Ohio University's highest teaching awards: University Professor (2002) and Presidential Teacher (2004).

Photographer: Aaron Krumheuer

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Frost commended for revamped information systems education


Raymond Frost keeps his neat, white office stripped to the essentials: an iMac, a comfortable sofa and plenty of thinking space. As a professor of Management Information Systems (MIS) in the College of Business, he specializes in calculated precision.

“I like to think of it this way: If we're doing our job right, it becomes a more Macintosh-like world,” Frost said.

The aim of MIS, Frost's expertise, is to make people, business and technology flow seamlessly together.

“Way back when, they found they had trouble having the computer science people work with the business professionals. They weren't communicating well. MIS developed as a field to bridge the gap,” Frost said.

Frost, 50, joined the Ohio University faculty in 1999. Before that, he taught MIS at Connecticut State.

On his office wall are two plaques for Ohio University's highest teaching awards: University Professor (2002) and Presidential Teacher (2004). In 2005, he received the Distinguished Mentor Award for the Honors Tutorial College, where he currently serves as director of studies.

Most recently, Frost was named the 2010 Computer Educator of the Year, the highest award given by the International Association for Computer Information Systems.

The association’s conference, held last October at the Gold Nugget in Las Vegas, commended Frost for revamping the information systems curriculum and for his scholarly contributions to the field: 13 textbooks and more than 50 manuscripts.

Frost's new syllabus for the introductory MIS course merges concepts previously reserved for higher level classes. Students create prototypes of iPhone apps to solve real-world business problems, market them and compete amongst one another for sales. Afterward, they analyze the consumer data and figure out ways they could finance their companies.

Sarah Pels, a junior MIS major and teaching assistant for Frost, took the unrevised introductory course during her freshman year but still had questions about MIS, she said. Pels committed herself to the major after doing her own research and later went on to help write the new course's text.

“I think this course and how it's turned out is a direct reflection of how much he cares about his students and the field,” Pels said. “His vision has been absolutely the driving force behind the success of the course.”

Frost now lives in Athens with his wife and two kids, but he grew up in Washington D.C. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, and master's and doctoral degrees at the University of Miami in computer science and business administration, respectively.

Studying philosophy's conceptual logic prepared Frost for the programming logic of computer science, but the part he loves “is where the programming meets business, when you're trying to make peoples' lives better,” he said.

“Organizations are building hundreds of websites every year, but how well built are they?” Frost asked. “If people in our field are doing a good job, we should create systems such that someone walks the next day into work and says, 'You've made my life ten times easier. Thank you.'”