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UC Davis Introduces Minor in Tech Management

March 4, 2003

An undergraduate minor in technology management -- designed to give engineering and science graduates an edge in today's high-tech business arena -- will be introduced at UC Davis this fall. It is the first minor at the campus to require students to apply as part of a selective admissions process.

Taught by the faculty of the Graduate School of Management, the minor will combine business and management skills with the students' knowledge of engineering and science.

"Students taking the minor will learn from leading academics in technology management," said Donald A. Blodger, assistant dean of admissions and student services at the management school. "And as graduates, they will already be ramped up to contribute where business and technology meet."

Prasad Rampalli, vice president and chief architect of the Architecture and Integration Platform Group at Intel Corp., said today's technology environment is moving faster than ever, with focus on agility, quality, innovation, total-cost management, and supply-chain management and integration.

"I feel this minor will give that extra edge to potential job candidates in the high-tech field -- allowing the candidates to demonstrate both depth in their discipline, as well as the critical ability to drive practical application of these concepts in the real world," added Rampalli, who is a member of the dean's advisory council at the management school.

Open to students in all engineering majors and select physical and biological sciences majors, the minor will include courses in supply-chain financing and management, managing and using information technology, marketing for high-tech enterprises, financing new business ventures, and managing costs and quality in high-tech organizations.

Students enrolled in the minor must choose five of six courses and complete them within two years. Prerequisites include courses in accounting, mathematics and statistics.

Professor Nicole Woolsey Biggart, who holds the management school's Suran Chair in Technology Management, is among the faculty who will teach the minor. "In the industrial era, technology management was primarily concerned with machine technology and how to make it efficient," she said.

"But today, technology is at least as much about the generation and management of knowledge. Profits come increasingly from new ideas and processes," Woolsey Biggart said, adding that the minor will introduce students to current thinking about innovation in firms.

Anticipating high demand for the minor, the management school is requiring students to apply. Applications, which must be made online, are being accepted through April 7 for 50 to 70 spots in courses offered in the fall quarter. Later, the program will grow to accommodate up to 200 undergraduates annually.

Selection will be based on a student's overall grade point average at the time of application, the grade point average in the prerequisite courses and a short personal statement.

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