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Jim Nelson

Jim Nelson, Associate Professor, Analytics Program Coordinator and Director of The Pontikes Center for Advanced Analytics and AI

Jim Nelson, Ph.D., joined SIU in 2005 after more than ten years of industry experience and more than fifteen years of teaching and research experience.  He earned a bachelor of science in computer science from California Polytechnic State University and worked as an “operating system pathologist” at IBM Santa Teresa Labs and then as a project manager at a California software startup.  He went back to school at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in information systems.

It was at Colorado where he began his research career of conceptual modeling, cognitive science, very large databases, artificial intelligence, expert systems, and text mining.  He is now considered one of the leading researchers worldwide on cognitive and behavioral issues involving conceptual modeling.  Nelson specializes in field research, getting out of the office and visiting organizations of all sizes to collect real-time, real world, relevant research data.

As director of the Pontikes Center for Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence he coordinates the development and implementation of analytics courses in the online MBA, residential MBA and undergraduate business programs.  He serves as the point of contact for the Pontikes Center Board of Advisors consisting of executives responsible for analytics efforts in major companies across the Midwest.  He has coined the term “hunch mining” to address the area of cognitive analytics.

Nelson is an instrument rated private pilot and flies across the country visiting research sites and spreading the word about SIU and the Pontikes Center.

SIU Jim Nelson

Office: Rehn Hall, 208A

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

  • Traditional, object-oriented, fuzzy, and instance-based data and process models
  • Cognitive processes involved in learning and using object-oriented technology
  • Telecommunications and e-business

Recent Publications

Nelson, H. J., Poels, G., Genero, M., & Piattini, M. (2012). A Comprehensive Framework for Conceptual Modeling Quality. Software Quality Journal, 20 (1), 201-228.

Nelson, K. M., Nelson, H. J. & Wierwille, B. J. R. (2012). Agile Software Development Documentation and Maintainability. Midwest Association for Information Systems, Green Bay, WI.

Genero, M., Fernandez, A., Nelson, H. J., Poels, G., & Piattini, M. (2011). A Systematic Literature Review on the Quality of UML Models. Journal of Database Management, 22 (3) 46-70.

Nelson, H. J. (2011). Visible IT in Credit Unions: Strategic Advantage and Disadvantage in Two Web Eras. Information Resources Management Journal, 24 (1), 14-27.

Litecky, C., Aken, A., Ahmad, A., and Nelson, H. J. (2009) Mining for Computing Jobs. IEEE Software 27 (1), 78-85.

Nelson, H. J., Armstrong, D. J., and Nelson, K. M. (2009). Patterns of Transition: The Shift from Traditional to Object-oriented Development. Journal of Management Information Systems. 25 (4) 271-298.

Armstrong, D. J., Nelson, H. J., Nelson, K. M., and Naryanan, V. K. (2008). Building the IT Workforce of the Future: The Demand for More Complex, Abstract, and Strategic Knowledge. Information Resources Management Journal 21(2), 63-79.

Nelson, H. J. and Monarchi, D. E. (2007). Ensuring the Quality of Conceptual Representations. Software Quality Journal (15) 2.

Nelson, H. J. (2006). The Telecommunications Act of 1996: How It Failed and How It Succeeded (But Not as Expected). Southern Illinois Law Journal, (31) 1.

Nelson, H. J., Poels, G., Genero, M., and Piattini, M. (2005). Quality in Conceptual Modeling: Five Examples of the State of the Art. Data and Knowledge Engineering, 55 (2).


"Objective Quantification of IT Job Definitions Through Latent Semantic Categorization: With Use of Text Mining Software for Job Skill Categorization" Funded by the Pontikes Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Budget $2,300 awarded April 2007. (Co-PI with Chuck Litecky).

"Preconscious Quantum Shift Learning" Funded by the Dean's Summer Research Fellowship. Budget $1,500 awarded May 2004.

"Studies of IT Effectiveness and E-Business Performance" Funded by Boeing Commercial Aircraft. Budget $525,000 awarded January 2001. (Co-PI with Kay Nelson)

"The Business Value of Information Technology." Management of Technology Summer Grant, The University of Utah. Budget $6,000 awarded May 2000.

Nominated, SIU College of Business Undergraduate Teacher of the Year 2005-2006.

Fisher College of Business Undergraduate Teaching Award 2003: Distinguished teaching in major courses.

Finalist, Columbus Technology Council's Top Contributor to the Advancement of Technology (TopCAT) Award 2003. Outstanding Educator Advancing Technology.

Nominated, Fisher College of Business Pace Setters Award for Teaching 2003.