Acting as a liaison between the Robert H. Smith Business School and the
booming business market in China, Professor Zhi-Long Chen's passion for teaching
courses and conducting research in Operations Management make him a valuable asset to
the Smith School staff.
Chen received his bachelor's and master's degrees in operations research from
Fudan University in Shanghai. He then worked as an engineer for the Shanghai
Transportation Planning Institute before moving to the United States to get his PhD in
operations research at Princeton. Before starting as an assistant professor at the
University of Maryland in 2001, Chen taught at the University of Pennsylvania.
Chen has led three student trips to China which he believes will soon be a
requirement for MBA students in the future. Before students can go on the approximately
ten-day excursion they must complete a one credit class that focuses on Chinese business
and culture. During the trip, students typically complete two individual projects and one
group assignment. They visit various companies, meet with business leaders and use the
weekend to see cultural sights like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.
"One of the most interesting trips was when we arrived right after the Olympics
were over. The students were able to meet with companies who had sponsored the
Olympics and got to look at how their revenue dramatically changed during and after the
games," Chen said.
Some students have even walked away with internships after the trip in places
such as Hong Kong and Shanghai, according to Chen. He called the experience "eye-
opening" for students.
Chen is extremely happy with his position at Maryland.
"To me, my current department is very strong and the reputation is growing
stronger. I remember reading papers as an undergrad in China by professors who I am
working with now."