About Roger Bohn

Prof. Roger Bohn is Professor of Technology Management in the School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California (UC San Diego). He has also served on the faculty of the Harvard Business School, Sloan School of Management, Oxford University, and Melbourne Business School. He is a graduate of Harvard University (BA in Applied Math, summa cum laude) and has a Ph.D. in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Much of Prof. Bohn’s research examines high-tech manufacturing including semiconductors, data storage, and firearms. He is completing a book on the transformation of aviation from a dangerous craft activity into a highly standardized technology done primarily by computers. In what situations can computers completely take over jobs previously done by people? How should companies take advantage of the different strengths of people and intelligent software and systems?

Previous research included co-developing the theory of real-time pricing of electricity. This concept made it feasible for regions and countries to restructure their electric power sector, including separating transmission and generation, integrating renewables sources, using customer response for system reserves, and price premiums or penalties for generation at different locations. He has co-authored two books and numerous papers in journals such as Management Science, various IEEE Transactions, and Harvard Business Review. He has also served as expert witness and consultant to a variety of firms and industries and served for two years on a Board overseeing the California Power Exchange.

Research Interests

A lot of my research is about technological knowledge: what it is, what it does, how to develop it. I spent many years researching process improvement in the semiconductor industry, for example. I coauthored a book on the evolution of firearms manufacturing over 200 years. Most of the book is also available as separate papers.

My main research at present is how aviation – and most economically important technologies – shifted from an art to a science over 80 years. The tentative book title is From Daredevils to System Operators.

My official faculty page is http://irps.ucsd.edu/faculty/faculty-directory/roger-e-bohn.htm

My Google Scholar publications list is at http://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=LfG6NDsAAAAJ 

3 thoughts on “About Roger Bohn

  1. Paul Conway of the University of Michigan suggested I look at your How Much Information report in light of NEDCC’s upcoming conference, “The Tectonics of Digital Curation: A Symposium on the Shifting Preservation and Access Landscape” (http://www.nedcc.org/education/conferences/todc2010/todcdesc.php). Your distinction between data and information is an interesting one. And I was especially intrigued by your valuation of the Gettysburg Address. In the cultural heritage world, we are rethinking what it means to be a curator of analog — and now digital — artifacts. We’ve asked Brewster Kahle (the keynote speaker) to address the implications of overwhelming quantities of data (though in your terms, information) on the curation of cultural heritage moving forward.

    • The distinction between data and information is more subtle than our report discussed. English has only 3 words (data, information, knowledge) to cover a continuous spectrum of meanings. In the context of our report, we are distinguishing “bytes meaningful to people” by calling it information, while “raw bytes” are data.
      There is a lot of interest in the “information overload” issue. The term is about 50 years old!

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