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College of Business’ latest hire merges business and scholarship

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office:817-272-7075, Cell:214-546-1082, hbooth@uta.edu

News Topics: alumni, Arlington, business

Kay-Yut Chen, a renowned behavioral and experimental researcher from Yahoo! and Hewlett-Packard, will join The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Business in the Information Systems and Operations Management Department in the fall.

Kay-Yut Chen

Kay-Yut Chen

Chen’s research merges the classroom and the boardroom. He expects to continue to work with Yahoo Labs and HP on research projects that will bring both scientific and business values.

Chen is the author of “Secrets of the Moneylab: How Behavioral Economics Can Improve Your Business.” His work, outlined in the book, is becoming increasingly popular. The research has been featured in Nature, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and Scientific American.

“A lot of people in business will tell you that they made a ‘gut’ decision,” said Chen, who has doctorate and bachelor’s degrees from the California Institute of Technology. “Sometimes those decisions are good ones. Sometimes they aren’t. I try to explain why people make the decisions they do in business and how we can predict those decisions. Providing those data-driven insights to businesses is essential and allows them to thrive economically.”

Chen’s work shows how internal markets, innovative and high-quality data can shed light on and improve decision-making within a firm.

“More and more businesses are depending on analytics in making decisions and not just at the executive level, but with managers and even entry-level employees,” Chen said. “Data is increasingly important. Science can help us to study how companies use that data, and how to use it better.”

Chen identifies challenges to his approach as well, and meets them head-on.

“Many of the most important consequences of a decision are difficult to measure, things like trust and reputation,” Chen said. “Figuring out how to quantify and value those things is a pivotal challenge.”

Business Dean Rachel Croson said attracting someone from the business world will help students because Chen has experienced the realities of managing in a high-profile business.

“His groundbreaking research has produced monetized and tangible results for his employers,” Croson said. “His work has generated millions of dollars for his companies. His ability to teach our students to do the same will significantly enhance their employability, and their future career paths.”

About UT Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution and the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more. Follow #UTAdna on Twitter.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.