Ikhlaq Sidhu's research and practice area is Innovation Engineering. IHe studies, advisse, and/or solves technology and business problems for organizations who want to innovate, adapt, and/or enter new markets using expertise in data, AI, system architecture, blockchain, technology business models, innovation culture, and Silicon Valley networks.
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Not teaching about blockchain technology "would be equivalent to ignoring internet technology when it emerged 25 years ago," industrial engineering and operations research professor Ikhlaq Sidhu and co-author Alexander Fred-Ojala recently wrote in a paper called "Future of Blockchain -- A Berkeley Perspective." Professor Sidhu is founding director and chief scientist at Berkeley's Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, and Fred-Ojala is research director of the center's Data Lab.They're quoted in a story about universities that are ramping up courses and research related to the mysterious and quickly evolving technology behind bitcoin. Berkeley's efforts are the story's focus. One such course, taught by visiting professor and former venture capitalist Po Chi Wu, focuses on blockchain entrepreneurship. Noting the difficulty of developing blockchain programs, he says: "Academics feel a lot of pressure to maintain their status as 'world-class experts' in some narrowly defined field. ... Just keeping up with the advances in their field is challenging enough and demands all their time and energy." Professor Sidhu agrees: "You can't expect universities to be out ahead on all these topics. ... It takes so long for everyone to get that there's something going on, by the time they all get it, it's irrelevant and not the thing that should be taught anymore." Fred-Ojala says: "Here's where we can help. ... We can show [students] the challenges and opportunities, give them access to resources, and then encourage them to solve the problem on their own."