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Talking with …. Associate Professor Robert Chiang

Interviews | Sep 09, 2016 |

Associate Professor Robert Chiang

With this question-and-answer session with Associate Professor I-Cheng (Robert) Chiang, we officially begin this year’s series of “Talking with …” profiles. Every other week, you’ll have a chance to get to know a Gabelli School faculty member or administrator a little better. That said, on to the questions!

What factors led you to choose the Gabelli School as a home base for your research and teaching?
Geography. I was contemplating a return to the academic world after a few years of technology and business consulting, but I would only do so without having to uproot my family in Connecticut. Luckily, Fordham had an open position. I am still very grateful that my colleagues took an interest in my application eight years ago.
Tell us about one of your research projects.
My latest research has been to capture the competition dynamic between the incumbent cable industry and rising streaming providers. In one paper, my coauthor and I were able to predict the financial arrangements among Internet service providers when they exchange data streams. We also have preliminary results on the licensing fees and distribution windows (sequence) when movie studios and TV stations negotiate with cable and streaming outlets. It is exciting to observe, model, and predict how competition dynamics shift in the market of digital media.
Have you done any research with your Gabelli School faculty colleagues?
Associate Professor Sarah Wu and I investigated how a manufacturer can best engage a supplier during the research, design, and production of a new product line. The goal is to balance the product’s time to market with the need for sufficient innovations through supply-chain partnerships. Our paper identifies the best project stage for the manufacturer to involve the supplier. The supplier can then use our guideline to determine the amount of R&D resources to commit.

The paper was published in an IEEE Transaction earlier this year. Dr. Wu and I are looking for our next exciting topic to work on.
What are you teaching this semester?
I am teaching Systems Analysis and Information Systems to undergraduates at Rose Hill.
What Gabelli School courses would you recommend that undergraduates take?
I would suggest that undergraduate students build on their liberal arts and Gabelli School core courses by furthering their analytical and managerial skill sets. For the former, they should consider courses such as Database Systems, Business Analytics, and Advanced Spreadsheet Methods; for the latter, they would benefit from courses such as Project Management and Electronic Commerce.
Given that lifelong learning is one of the Gabelli School’s values, what is something that you’d like to learn (or learn more about)?
For various reasons, my woodworking workshop has been sitting idle for more than a decade. I would love to refresh my cabinet-making knowledge and techniques and start the design process for a few furniture pieces.


Fun questions

Place in the world you’d want to spend 1 month:
Wherever my parents are. If they stay home in Taiwan, I will feast on my mom’s cooking, street foods, and night markets until my pants no longer fit. If they like to travel, a month of touring China, Japan, and Korea will be nice. I don’t think there is a single location on this planet that I can vacation for a whole month.
Car you would love to have:
An extended cargo van—I will convert it into a mobile home to my exact spec.
Car you actually drive:
My brother gave me a 2009 Jetta before I sold my 1991 Toyota Camry (with 276K miles on it) for $400 earlier this year. Having siblings is bliss.
Favorite internet meme:

Song you most often hope will come on the radio:
I usually listen to talk radio. I would not mind any track from ABBA or Lana Del Rey, however.
Least favorite food:
Ripe pear. My days of eating baby food have long passed.


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