sealPurdue News

October 1997

Purdue business course makes students cyber-savvy

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A new course in electronic commerce at Purdue University's Krannert Graduate School of Management is preparing students to do business in the 21st century.

The course is taught by visiting professor Patrick Duparcq, who also teaches the course at Northwestern University and runs a distance learning lab at Tilberg University in the Netherlands. Duparcq says that there aren't very many courses in electronic commerce being taught right now, but they soon will become a mainstay at business schools worldwide.

"Some of the programs in electronic commerce that I am aware of are here at Purdue and at MIT, Northwestern, Duke, Stanford and at the University of Texas at Austin," Duparcq says. "But the demand for such courses will grow based on market needs."

For example, in his book, "What Will Be," Michael Dertouzos, the director of the computer science laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, predicts that by the year 2015, 50 percent of the U.S. gross national product could be directly related to electronic commerce.

"That tells me that we're in for quite a change in the way we do business," Duparcq says.

Duparcq does not agree with those who say the Internet hasn't proven itself yet as a major tool of choice for business and communication in the next century.

"In the past three years, we have experienced a shift in the demographics of people who are on-line, from 95 percent male to a nearly 65-35 ratio of males to females," Duparcq says. "And that's promising news for on-line marketers and advertisers. Also, the fact that companies like Dell computer are conducting $2.5 million worth of transactions on the Internet each day indicates a hearty future for commerce on the Internet."

Another indicator of a robust forecast for electronic commerce is the use of the Internet for advertising.

"There are one-and-a-half to two times more advertising dollars spent on the Internet than there were on cable television when it was new," Duparcq says.

Students in Duparcq's course will study the nature of interactive media, how traditional marketing and market research principles are adapted for the Internet, security issues and laws and regulations.

CONTACT: Duparcq (765) 494-4461; e-mail,

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