The Ken Kennedy Institute's November Member of the Month: Tolga Tezcan, Professor of Operations Management; Academic Director of Business Analytics. Prior to joining Rice, Tolga Tezcan was on the faculties at the University of Illinois, the University of Rochester and London Business School, and he also served as an academic director at London Business School. Tolga currently teaches courses on Operations Management, Business Analytics and Data Mining. His research explores innovative ways of designing and managing health care delivery systems, and he has collaborated with customer contact centers and hospitals to address issues relating to access.
What is your favorite book?
There are many, but if I must pick one, Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt.
How do you explain your research in one sentence?
I strive to understand the reasons behind the lack of coordination in health care provision and to provide
solutions to improve the current situation.
What is your favorite aspect of your research?
I’d like to think that my research improves, however small, the healthcare provided to people in the US and
around the world, especially when they need these services the most.
What challenges do you see in your research that you didn’t expect?
Understanding the reasons behind why health care systems (with so many stakeholders) have evolved to a
suboptimal state and finding ways to improve it which all these stakeholders can find agreeable.
How do you see computation and data advancing in the future?
Healthcare systems were late to the “data science” revolution that had a major role in the way many other
industries operate. The main underlying reason was lack of appreciation of the value that data can bring.
Thanks to recent regulatory changes, we have now access to vast amounts of data, and the value data
science can bring has been recognized. However, there are still challenges with keeping track of
operational and medical metrics in an efficient manner in most healthcare systems.