CoMIS, or Conference MIS, was formed and is completely run by Carlson undergraduate students. CoMIS was conceived in February of 2011, when a team of four were returning on an airplane back from the Simon Fraser University, Vancouver case competition. They were the second team that had attended an international competition in Carlson’s history, and they had really enjoyed competing in Vancouver.

Team coach Corrinne Fiedler was in her seat when she looked behind towards the back of the plane to check on the team. She saw that some of the students out of their flight seats and in the aisle, leaning over the seated students and talking fervently to each other. Thinking that they should be seated, she left her seat to scold the students. As she approached, she noticed that they were doodling on an airplane napkin – as it turns out, the students were brainstorming the creation of a University of Minnesota IT case competition. Their thought process was simple: if they had so much fun competing in these competitions, why couldn’t Carlson host one?

The group of students went to the Management Information Systems department with their idea. It was emphasized that the team wanted this to be completely student run. Alok Gupta, then-current department chair, supported the team and engaged Norm Chervany and Ravi Bapna, in partnership with the University English department, to write the first case.

The first CoMIS Case Competition was held in the spring of 2012, with eight competing teams. In 2014, the Executive Advisory Board on the Curriculum started giving full support to CoMIS. In 2015, the first CoMIS invitation for an international team was given to Simon Fraser University.

The current CoMIS staff thanks Matt Blumberg, Kaitlin Klaustermeier, Jessica Sun, and Yu Wang for the founding of Conference MIS. Thank you Alok Gupta for believing in this group of students’ idea, and to Donna for helping the committee since the beginning.  A special thank you to our corporate sponsors and Tim Olson’s coordination – CoMIS would not have existed without their interest and engagement.

The CoMIS planning committee thanks the Information and Decision Sciences department for their consistent support and dedication to making the University of Minnesota a driver in higher education and innovation. The department activates passion for learning and collaboration within the CoMIS planning committee.