Analytics Students Form Organization, Attend Regional Meeting

11/15/2013 03:55 PM

BATON ROUGE – Two and a half years ago, the LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business introduced a new degree, the Master of Science in Analytics. A collaboration of the Department of Information Systems & Decision Sciences and the Experimental Statistics Department, this degree has quickly gained local, regional and national recognition. More recently, the students enrolled in the curriculum have formed an organization tailor-made for them, the Business Analytics Society.

According to Business Analytics Society President Katie Fontenot, the purpose of the BAS is to “improve the overall educational experience of the students’ in the department, to promote research initiatives from students and attendance at professional conferences and to provide a social setting to welcome incoming graduate students.”

Along with Fontenot, officers for the 2013-2014 academic year are:

  • Lucas Oglesby- vice-president
  • Patrick Fleniken - secretary
  • Kristin Marceaux - treasurer
  • Zachary Gorman - public relations committee chair
  • Ram Nimmakayala - international student affairs committee chair
  • Rachel Bradley - community service and fundraising committee chair
  • Mary Hunter - welcoming committee chair


Joni Shreve, assistant director for the Master of Science in Analytics and an instructor in the Department of Information Systems & Decision Sciences, is serving as the BAS faculty advisor.

“In its short existence, the BAS has been critical in promoting the MSA program at the local level among future students and potential employers and at the regional level with their attendance at the 2013 South Central SAS Users’ Group Educational Forum,” Shreve said.

The meeting, held Oct. 31-Nov, 1, in San Antonio, Texas, allowed the BAS to give presentations, attend educational sessions and network with industry professionals who work in a highly specialized, analytical field and appreciate the training provided by the new MSA program. Of the 12 scholarships awarded to various regional universities by the SCSUG, six were awarded to students from the LSU MSA Program. The scholarship recipients were Jansey Comeaux, Jaya Dhillon, Patrick Fleniken, Katie Fontenot, Hassan Marzoughi and Ram Nimmakayala. Of these students, Dhillon and Marzoughi presented papers that were accepted through a peer-review process.

A new component of the SCSUG annual forum was the Graduate Student Symposium, an idea posed by the LSU MSA Program, in collaboration with the analytics programs from Oklahoma State University and the University of Alabama. Three graduate students from each of the three universities were selected to present the results of their analytics projects. LSU MSA graduate students and BAS members Charles Cruthirds, Saumitra Sharma and Michael Waldmeier were selected to present their work at the symposium.
Industry experts were invited to the student symposium and provided recommendations and positive commentary on how the students’ work contributed to the body of knowledge about methodology and real-life application.

“Furthermore, the symposium provided a venue to showcase both the great talent and potential of our MSA students as future analytics professionals and our MSA program as a leader in business intelligence and analytics education,” Shreve said.

The Department of Information Systems & Decision Sciences at LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business combines teaching and research to create a rich learning experience for its students. Relationships with industry and state agencies enable the department to assist organizations with issues related to business analytics and business intelligence, as well as innovation and technological change, as well as offer enhanced career opportunities for its graduates. Collaborative research efforts of its diverse faculty have resulted in major grants from the National Science Foundation and the state of Louisiana. For more information, visit, call 225-578-2126, or email    

Wendy  Marx 
E. J. Ourso College of Business

Posted on Friday, November 15, 2013