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McCombs Ph.D. Candidate Wins Dissertation Competition

AUSTIN, Texas – McCombs School of Business doctoral candidate Zhuping Liu wins the 2016 Alden G. Clayton Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Competition. Liu will receive a $5,000 award from the Marketing Science Institute to aid the completion of his dissertation.


Zhuping LiuThe competition recognizes the best marketing doctoral dissertation proposals. Liu was one of three winners out of 75 submissions worldwide. Other award recipients include Ph.D. candidates from the University of Pennsylvania and Yale School of Management.


“I value this award because it recognizes not only my work in mobile marketing but also my research philosophy, which is to pursue topics that are both academically interesting and practically relevant," said Liu. "I'm even more motivated now and will continue collaborating with companies to produce useful work."


Liu’s current research focuses on the impact of mobile promotions, targeting and consumer retention. He wants to examine how firms can utilize social media and mobile technologies to engage consumers and increase sales.


“Zhuping is very smart and hard-working,” said Vijay Mahajan, marketing professor at the McCombs School. “He has done so well in his Ph.D. program. It's a brilliant start to a long and productive academic career.”


Liu accredits his success to the help and constructive criticism of his two advisors, McCombs Marketing Professors Vijay Mahajan and Frenkel ter Hofstede. Professor ter Hofstede passed away in late 2016 as the result of a tragic accident.


“Frenkel was a great mentor and a very great person,” said Liu. “I wish he could be here to see this great honor, which says a lot about his commitment [to] supervising student research. Going forward, I will try my best to honor him by publishing all the research I worked with him, including my dissertation.”


Liu has a master’s degree in statistics from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in management science and engineering from Bejing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

For more information, contact: Samantha Harris, Red McCombs School of Business, 512-471-6746


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