Business researcher receives nod for 'timeless' work
He was named an AIS Fellow by the Association for Information Systems (AIS) at the International Conference on Information Systems in Denmark.
The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions in research, teaching or service and has had significant local and global impact in the field.
Dr. Parsons is the only Canadian to be recognized among the winners, which also includes researchers from Australia, China, Ireland, Netherlands and the United States.
“I’m deeply honoured by this recognition,” he said. “Prior awardees are people I have admired throughout my career, and it’s a thrill to be recognized as a member of this group.”
Dr. Parsons has aimed for “timelessness” in his research, he says, taking a longer view of technology trends and challenges.
“That’s not always easy in a field in which technology changes quickly and people are generally interested in the latest fads in technology.”
Taking a longer view has helped him stay ahead of trends, he adds. Dr. Parsons wrote a paper in 2000 that was instrumental in helping researchers understand how decisions about the way in which data are stored affect its quality.
Later, along with a PhD graduate from Memorial named Dr. Roman Lukyanenko (PhD’14), Dr. Parsons applied his earlier work to a new and growing form of data collection — crowdsourcing — with a paper focused on designing data collection interfaces to improve crowdsourced data quality.
It was named the best paper of the year by MIS Quarterly, the top journal in the information systems field.
“It has been gratifying to see how this longer term focus has equipped me to study topics that have recently become more important,” said Dr. Parsons.
Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are on his radar for further study.
“We’re on the cusp of tremendous changes in our lives due to rapid developments in artificial intelligence,” he said. “Although it remains to be seen how exactly these technologies will change our lives, I look forward to better understanding the capabilities, opportunities and limitations of AI technology.”
Dr. Parsons is a university research professor and professor of information systems.
He is also a senior editor at Information Systems Research, a leading journal in the field.