Heng Xu
Professor of Management Heng Xu

University of Florida professor awarded for teaching innovation

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Professor of Management Heng Xu’s unique contributions to teaching cybersecurity recently earned her an award from the premier operations research and management science international society.

This October, Xu received the INFORMS Information Systems Society Haim Mendelson Teaching Innovation Award at the Conference on Information Systems and Technology in recognition of her outstanding pedagogical contributions to cybersecurity education in the information systems (IS) discipline.

“Receiving the INFORMS Information Systems Society’s Haim Mendelson Teaching Innovation Award during Cybersecurity Awareness Month is really special,” Xu reflected. “Personally, this award reinforces the significance of our communal responsibility to foster a vibrant learning ecosystem. Professionally, it is an affirmation of the contributions I’ve made in nurturing a dynamic and impactful learning environment, emphasizing the creation and dissemination of innovative, shareable, and transferable cybersecurity teaching materials and practice.”

Xu will teach the University of Florida Warrington College of Business’ first cybersecurity class in the spring of 2024. The course, Cyber & AI Governance in Business, will cover various aspects such as cybersecurity, privacy, fairness and ethical considerations in artificial intelligence (AI). As part of the course, students will engage with case studies, including an in-depth analysis of the cyber and AI governance of a company, and examples from multiple business sectors to understand key aspects of cybersecurity and AI governance in today’s organizations.

“After taking this class, I hope the students may further improve their critical thinking and problem-solving skills by analyzing real-world case studies to understand practical challenges and solutions in cyber and AI governance, and engaging in collaborative projects to enhance problem-solving skills,” Xu said.

Xu joined the University of Florida Warrington College of Business in 2023. Prior to the University of Florida, Xu was a Professor of Information Technology and Analytics and Director of the Kogod Cybersecurity Governance Center at American University from 2018 to 2023, during which she spearheaded initiatives that garnered millions in research support from federal agencies and industry frontrunners, including Amazon, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Warner Bros. Discovery, Facebook/Meta, Marriott, National Science Foundation (NSF), Raytheon, and more. Her current research is focused on responsible AI, data ethics, privacy protection, fairness in machine learning and cybersecurity management.

In addition to the INFORMS Information Systems Society’s Haim Mendelson Teaching Innovation Award, Xu is also the recipient of American University’s Outstanding Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity, and Other Professional Contributions Award (2022), MISQ Impact Award (2021), Woman of Achievement Award in IEEE Big Data Security (2021), IEEE ITSS Leadership Award in Intelligence and Security Informatics (2020), the Operational Research Society’s Stafford Beer Medal (2018), National Science Foundation’s CAREER award (2010), in addition to many conference best paper awards and nominations.

Xu received her Ph.D. in Information Systems from National University of Singapore and her BBA in Information Management and Information Systems from Shandong University in China.