Yong Tan, the Neal and Jan Dempsey Professor of Information Systems at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, has received the 2017 Best Paper Award in Information Systems from Management Science, the flagship journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).
INFORMS is the leading international association of operations research and analytics professionals.
The award recognizes Tan’s 2010 paper, “Do I Follow My Friends or the Crowds? Informational Cascades in Online Movie Rating.”
The paper, co-authored by Young Jin Lee and Kartik Hosanagar, finds that people who read online movie reviews written by strangers likely follow the crowd. People who read online reviews generated by friends, however, tend to come to their own conclusions.
This finding can be generalized to all manner of online reviews. “Herding is irrational behavior,” says Tan. “Learning from people you know helps you return to rationality and resist herding.”
Last year, Tan received the Distinguished Fellow Award from INFORMS, considered to be the most prestigious award in the field of information systems.
In 2015, he was named a Chang Jiang Scholar by the Chinese Ministry of Education and the Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Foundation, one of a select few international researchers chosen for outstanding contributions to the disciplines of science, engineering, medicine and management.
And in 2013 Tan received the Management Science Meritorious Service Award and the Best Publication Award from the Association of Information Systems.
Tan joined the Foster School faculty full-time in 2000, after earning PhDs from the University of Washington in physics (1993) and information systems (2000).
He and Associate Dean Xiao-Ping Chen proved instrumental in establishing the Foster School’s new Institute for Global Business and Finance Innovation in partnership with the University of Science and Technology in China (USTC), Tan’s other alma mater.
A senior editor of Information Systems Research, Tan’s research explores a wide range of topics ranging from Big Data and social media to healthcare and green IT and information security. He has published 53 papers to date.