VOTE for the MBS Team to win The Economist Case Study Challenge

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Three Master's of Business and Science Students recently competed in The Economist Magazine's case study competition, which allows student teams to submit proposals to solve a real world business problem faced by a real business. In this case, it was a challenge presented by Kaspersky labs, one of the world's leading cybersecurity firms. The challenge was to prevent voter fraud and hacking.

The MBS Team, which included Chris Dougherty, Hammad Khan, and Jason Occidental, developed a novel solution: a hybrid blockchain system called Vote Chain.  A block chain, according to Wikipedia, "is a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of records called blocks secured from tampering and revision. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block." This is the same technology that is used for Bitcoin works. According to the abstract the team submitted,

"This system enables voting through a web application or mobile app, while still maintaining the option of using the traditional public booth (although it is now running on a blockchain node). VoteChain has four major components, and consists of   the voter, verification authority, ballot regulator and the application server. The communication between the voter, verification authority and the ballot regulator are done via the application server. The system incudes security features like           biometrics, checks for voting under duress, and unique usage of asymmetric encryption, which not only allows voters to anonymously vote but simultaneously restricts interim vote tallying. The Votechain ensures full transparency after the results are published by leaving an audit report that anyone who has taken part in the process can see and audit."

To vote for the MBS Team's solution to help them win the competition, please do the following:

1.        Go to http://www.economist.com/whichmba/mba-case-studies/cyber-case-study-competition-2016/rutgers-professional-science-masters-program to see the MBS Team Submission. (To review all submissions, go to www.economist/case

2.       When you click on Vote, if you are not already logged into the site, you will have to register (Just name and email)

3.       Click on register and complete the registration

6.       There wasn’t a good way back to the voting, so click here again after you register:http://www.economist.com/whichmba/mba-case-studies/cyber-case-study-competition-2016/rutgers-professional-science-masters-program

7.       Now click on cast your vote

8.       On the vote screen, click on vote. This votes for Rutgers PSM.

9.       The next time you vote (you can vote every 24 hours) you will have to log in, but not register, before you can vote.

According to Dr. Steven Richman, MBS Professor of Cybersecurity and Systems Engineering who advised the students on their submission, "This project was an example of being given stakeholder needs and the students considering several concepts and coming up with a preferred concept. What they produced is what students produce for the first team project in my class. If they also translated the stakeholder needs into initial system requirements they would be at the System Requirements Review Gate which is a decision point for going ahead with more detailed system architecture and design. They mentioned  ISO and ITU-T standards we cover in my security class and produced a few system diagrams using the Core tool we user in both of my classes." 

Dr. Christie Nelson, Professor of Analytics in the MBS program, also advised the students on their project. She is very proud of the team, who's work is all original.  She noted that, "The students did a great job. They put in a lot of hard work and drew on the lessons they have learned in the MBS program and in their own work experience." 

The Economist Case Study includes cash prizes for winning teams, as follows: 

First place: $10,000 and three subscriptions to The Economist
Second place: $5,000 and three subscriptions to The Economist
Third place: $3,000 and three subscriptions to The Economist
The Economist People's Choice winner: $3,000 and three subscriptions to The Economist

We are very proud of Chris, Hammad, and Jason! Best of luck, guys!