1st International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
27-30 March, 1999
RONALD STAMPER Born in Nottingham, England, 1934 and studied mathematics and statistics at Oxford University. He worked in Hospital administration where he was a pioneer in the use of computing and operational research methods. Then, in the steel industry, he led a management service team, and became deeply involved in information systems work.
To remedy the industry's desperate shortage of specialists, he created the first UK courses in systems analysis geared to improving user performance rather than computer sales. This course became the basis of the national programme of Systems Analysis training.
He left a career as an industrial manager to join a team creating a research and teaching programme in information systems at the London School of Economics. Concerned about the emphasis on information technology without a corresponding concern for the information resources it manipulates, he has aimed to establish a better balance in both teaching and research in the new discipline.
He approached these problems in entirely new way for the field, via semiotics or the theory of signs which was the basis of his 1973 book "Information" (2nd edition to be published by Blackwell). He has written extensively about the nature of information resources, methodology of analysis and design, the semantics of data, and computers and law.
His MEASUR methodology places the control of information technology firmly in the hands of management. As a by-product, this research created one of the first expert system shells for legal norms. In practice MEASUR has been shown to reduce the costs of development, support and maintenance by about a factor of ten.
He regards the concept of ontological dependency as his most important contribution to the field. This is the basis of the semantic analysis methods at the core of MEASUR. It saves costs because it leads to a canonical model or semantic normal form consisting of re-usable elements, this ensures that, not only is a high quality system created at first, but, as organisational needs change, the system can be extended with no major reorganisation.
He is currently completing a book, provisionally entitled "Information and the Open Society".
Since 1988, he has been professor of Information Management in the Faculty of Technology and Management, at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.