Interviews with College of Management’s New Professors – Department of Information Management Associate Professor Chieh Li

After completing her undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees at Washington State University, Professor Li has returned to Taiwan with a passion for academic research, continuing to study her area of interest and teach. Her main area of research is supply chains, which she explained is a mathematical strategy that can be applied to many fields by building a model that considers quantity and price. Especially during the pandemic in the past few years, supply chain management has helped stakeholders find the best solution by weighing production costs and risks.

Participating in guided activities with students as teachers and friends, teaching and having fun

Interaction with students brings inspiration for research
This semester, Professor Li is offering two master’s and part-time master’s courses in the Department of Information Management, “Project Management” and “Decision Support Systems,” and is also serving as an advisor to undergraduate seniors. She mentioned that apart from in-class interaction and some administrative matters, she hasn’t had much opportunity to spend time with her students yet this semester, but she shared many interesting stories about her past interactions with students. We can feel her dedication to building strong professor-student relationships, such as by arranging professor-student exchanges and organizing different activities that allow professors and students to get to know each other outside of the traditional format. In addition to teaching courses, she also often guides students to participate in research projects and thesis competitions. She believes that these rich experiences have brought her many benefits, both in terms of her own research direction or simply exchanging information. She has also gained a lot of inspiration from the process of interacting with students.

In addition, Professor Li hopes that students will have confidence in their knowledge and skills and not underestimate themselves. She believes that this is a very good time period, and with the changing times, the previously common gap between industry and academia will gradually shrink. As long as students are willing to work steadily, observe and take opportunities to apply what they have learned, they may be discovered and favored by their company, even if it is only for a small contribution. Although students may not always be able to immediately apply what they have learned in the classroom when they go out into the society, we hope that the curriculum will leave an impression on students so that they can use the concepts they have learned in the classroom to solve similar challenges in the future.

Leading students to participate in outdoor water activities to broaden their horizons

In her spare time, she likes to fish and cook.
Professor Li makes sure to find time for entertainment outside of her busy work schedule. She said with a smile, “If you don’t make time for entertainment, you might need to go entertain God earlier!” She occasionally goes out fishing with her friends on her days off. But this isn’t fishing on the beach or in a stream as you might expect – instead, she goes fishing on a boat in rough waters, from about 2 or 3am to 5 or 6pm! She enthusiastically shared a lot of her knowledge about fishing. In addition to going fishing herself, she also often watches YouTube videos about fishing and studies what tackle and bait to bring next time, etc. Seeing her happy face as she talked, we could tell that she is passionate about fishing and also spends a lot of time thinking about her research. The poor cell phone signal during fishing trips also allows her to take a break for a while and focus on fishing and relaxing at sea.

In addition to sharing her research and teaching experience, Professor Li also talked about her unforgettable experience of studying in the U.S. She mentioned that because of the short daylight hours and long snowfall in winter, she had the leisure to do some domestic activities such as baking bread and cakes. Towards the end of the interview, I noticed some dried orange peels in a corner of the office. I thought Professor Li planned to use them to scent the room to keep away mosquitoes, but it turns out that they had a more important task – to smoke meat and salmon.

Homemade smoker box for smoking sausages and salmon

Professor Li recalled that when she was studying in the United States, she did many interesting activities with her classmates at home. In particular, she missed cooking and making food by hand. This gave her the idea to make homemade smoked jerky. She gladly shared with me the process of making jerky and showed me some pictures. I was especially impressed to find out that the oven and tools used to make the jerky were all made by Professor Li and her family!

Sincere and friendly, Professor Li said that in the future, in addition to researching in her field, she hopes to spend more time interacting with students to achieve more diverse learning and growth through the process of two-way interaction.

(Written by Wei-Chen Chang, Institute of Marketing Communication student/Edited by College of Management)

_Professor Li enjoying life at sea and looking cool on a yacht