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MIT Sloan MOT Thesis Thursdays. How to Make the Very Most of Your MIT Sloan Master’s Thesis Opportunity. v 1.5. Making the Most of Your Thesis Opportunity. The Main Integrative Project throughout Year Pick a compelling research theme Advance your Career Interests

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mit sloan mot thesis thursdays

MIT Sloan MOTThesis Thursdays

How to Make the Very

Most of Your MIT Sloan

Master’s Thesis Opportunity

v 1.5

making the most of your thesis opportunity
Making the Most of YourThesis Opportunity
  • The Main Integrative Project throughout Year
  • Pick a compelling research theme
  • Advance your Career Interests
    • Reinforce Professional Strengths
    • Networking & Personal Visibility
    • Personal Exploration & Even Reinvention
  • Short & Long Term Professional Aspiration
how weave the pieces together
How weave the pieces together?
  • Case study on firm or industry of greatest interest
  • Aligning projects in classes with Thesis
  • Interviews on your class field trips
  • MIT $50K participation

example theses i
Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Amir Hasson w/ Pentland & Thurow

Neural Network Applications

Vishal Mehta w/ Gupta

Technology Waves in NTT

Masa Kawashima w/ Weil & Fine

Trust in Mobile Commerce

Damien Balsan w/ Weil

RFID in Supply Chain

Jen Pararas w/ Brynjolfsson

Biotech Business Strategies

Sudhir Borgonha w/ Murray

Open Architecture Spacecraft

Robert Caffrey w/ Henderson & Crawley

Advanced Tech for the Coast Guard

Ken Marien w/ Utterback

Example Theses I
example theses ii
Singapore’s Urban Dynamics

Bernard Nee w/ Sterman

HP’s IT Outsourcing

Carl Beckett & Waqas Khan w/ Bitran

Knowledge Management in Banking

Kazu Yamagata w/ Burton

Mass Customization

Joe Pine w/ Utterback

Pharmaceutical Technology Acquistion Strategies

Hiroya Muranishi w/ Roberts

Organic Chemicals as Disruptive Technologies

Naoki Obi w/ Jacobson & Utterback

Wireless Value Chain Evolution

Dave Munsinger w/ Utterback & Weil

Example Theses II
brainstorming topics
Brainstorming Topics
  • Start with end in mind, e.g.
    • Seeking a job in X industry
    • Deep understanding of some sector
    • Working with a particular Professor
  • Aspire towards N-for-one …
n for 1 seek extreme leverage
n-for-1: Seek Extreme Leverage
  • Recruitment – what’s your next job?
  • Network building – who should you know?
  • Idea seeking – what’s best opportunity?
  • Boosting creativity – what’s most worth doing?
  • Personal reinvention – where imagine self?
  • Drill-down on some topic – always wanted to …
  • Publication – propaganda & reputation
pitching your topic
Pitching Your Topic
  • Self-presentation & refinement
  • Float it by everyone in conversational way
  • Various levels of detail and abstraction
  • “ I’m interested in looking at how X does Y…” For example…
    • Disruptive Wireless Technology
    • Business Implications of the Semantic Web
    • Neuromedical Imaging Technology Roadmapping
time is short
Time is Short
  • Summer & Early Fall – Investigate Potential Topics & Advisors
  • October / November – Proposal & Advisor
  • Winter & Early Spring – Data, Literature Review, Interviews
  • Spring – Progress Reports, Drafts
  • May – Finale!
types of theses
Types of Theses
  • Independent Project (w/ Advisor)
    • Industry / Strategic / Competitive Analysis
    • Company Business Plan
    • Case or Historical Study
    • Model Development & Testing
    • Product Roll-out Analysis
    • Problem Analysis
    • Hypothesis Testing
    • Technology Assessment
    • Policy Study
  • Structured Thesis
structured theses
Structured Theses
  • Faculty provides framework for project & contacts / sponsors
  • Aligns personal goals with larger faculty research agenda
  • Professors
    • Bitran – eBusiness & Supply Chains
    • Burton – Tech Venture Observatory, Talent Dynamics
    • Fine – Technology Roadmapping, Value Chain Dynamics
  • Potential publications
    • e.g. Fabozzi, Fine & Cusumano
example sloan faculty strengths
Innovation

Leadership

Global

MIT Sloan Matrix

Example Sloan Faculty Strengths

Unifying Strategic Themes

Venture

Finance

Classic MIT Sloan Disciplinary Strengths

faculty interests at various levels of systems analysis
Faculty Interests at Various Levels of Systems Analysis

Economy

Sector

Firm

Group

Individual

Geography

Market/Tech

Organization

Theme

Idea

Global Development

Business Dynamics

Technology Roadmapping

Technology &

Entrepreneurial Strategy

Venture Capital

Emerging Technology

Ventures

Creative

Communities,

Social Networks

Virtual Customer

Initiative

Decision Psychology

clusters of interests at various levels of analysis
Clusters of InterestsAt Various Levels of Analysis…

Economy

Sector

Firm

Group

Individual

Geography

Market/Tech

Organization

Theme

Idea

Technology Roadmap

Technology Venture

Observatory

OpenSource

Initiative

Virtual Customer

Initiative

Emerging Tech-Biz

Live Cases

15 795 technology roadmapping
15.795 Technology Roadmapping

(An example Masters Research Seminar)

Professor Charlie Fine, TA Joost Bonsen

Fall 2002

This seminar will explore the purposes and development of

Technology Roadmaps for systematically mapping out possible

development paths for various technological domains and the industries

that build on them. Data of importance for such roadmaps include rates of

innovation, key bottlenecks, physical limitations, improvement

trendlines, corporate intent, and value chain and industry

evolutionary paths. The course will build on ongoing work on the

MIT Communications Technology Roadmap project, but will explore other

domains selected from Nanotechnology, Bio-informatics,

Geno/Proteino/Celleomics, Neurotechnology, Imaging & Diagnostics,

etc. Thesis and Special Project opportunities will be offered.

international development
Amir Hasson, MOT 2002

MediaLab Asia connection via Developmental Entrepreneurship Class

Global E-Lab Case

MIT $50K entry

Thesis

Employment!

International Development
faculty interests further possibilities
Global Development

Observatory

Venture Capital

Observatory

Creative Communities Observatory

Social Network

Observatory

Decision Neuropsychology Lab

Faculty Interests:Further Possibilities

Economy

Sector

Firm

Group

Individual

Geography

Market/Tech

Organization

Theme

Idea

Technology Roadmap

Technology Venture

Observatory

OpenSource

Initiative

Virtual Customer

Initiative

Emerging Tech-Biz

Live Cases

5 strategic mit technology thrusts
5 Strategic MIT Technology Thrusts
  • Information Technologies = Ever more sophisticated computation & communication, leveraging mind & media.
  • Biomedical Technologies = Medical engineering, perfecting the health & life sciences.
  • Tiny Technologies = Investigating and fabricating ever smaller systems, at scales from micro thru nano
  • Complex Systems = Large scale, socio-political & econo-technological systems.
  • Developmental Innovations = Appropriate and leapfrog technologies for tackling challenges in developing & emerging regions
big themes
Big Themes
  • Tech Roadmapping
  • Developmental Innovation
  • Disruptive Technologies
  • Cross-National Comparisons
  • Corporate Venturing

practical tips
Practical Tips
  • Write thesis over time, incremental escalation
  • Recruit or hire some editor
  • Think carefully about readers
  • Write a one-pager and a one-paragraph version ASAP, iterate
  • Beware of confidentiality & data access time constraints
best practices
Network Building -- Be in touch with people important to your future

Career Connection -- Intimately relevant to career

Access -- Research gives you access to people you wouldn’t otherwise get to

Prototyping – repeat question testing, on classmates, faculty, friends

Tangible Deliverable – build your portfolio

Get Access by seeking answers to really interesting questions, to you and them!

Broad Links – go beyond those you already know, beyond your company, for example

Know your Interests but be flexible in your approach

Faculty as Method Experts not necessarily industry experts

Best Practices
aspire towards publications
Mick Bass with Professor Clay Christenson in IEEE Spectrum

Various students with Professors Ed Roberts, Cusumano, Fine, et al

Books, e.g. Joe Pine’s Mass Customization

Aspire towards Publications
how to attract industry faculty interest
How to attract industry & faculty interest?
  • What questions appeal to them?
  • Is there an intersection?
  • Does it reinforce a traditional interest or stretch them in an interesting new direction?
  • Faculty interests vs knowledge – you educate each other
potential advisors
Burton

Fine

Weill

Bitran

Murray

Locke

Johnson

Shoar

De Figueiredo

Cusumano

Utterback

Hauser

Urban

Thurow

Sterman

Hunter

Olive

Short

Pentland

Von Hippel

Allen

Potential Advisors

Go to the MIT Sloan

Expertise Guide!

http://sloancf.mit.edu/vpf/facstaff.cfm?sortorder=name

seeking students alums with both depth breadth
Breadth

Narrow

Wide

T

I

Deep

.

Depth

Shallow

Seeking Students & Alums with Both Depth & Breadth

“T” Individuals

unifying sloan themes
Unifying Sloan Themes

Innovation

Leadership

Technology

Entrepreneurship &

Strategy Dynamics

Transformative Innovations, Emerging Hard & Soft Technologies, Disruptive Challenges

Effective Organizations, Entre- & Intra-preneurial Leadership

Dynamic,

Networked

Organizations

Developmental Innovations, MicroFinance

Global Business Strategy, International Development

Global

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