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Dr. Cory Knobel is a premiere industry and academic leader in complex organizational change and management of large-scale systems and services. A business owner and entrepreneur, his customers include well-known names such as Intel, VISA, Kraft Foods, GE Medical, University of Michigan, and Epson. He holds a Ph.D. in Information from the University of Michigan, with additional graduate degrees in Complex Systems; Science, Technology, & Society; and Information Economics, Management, and Policy.

Dr. Knobel was a founding member of a boutique user experience firm, Optavia Corporation. As a part of Optavia’s core team, he managed several large engagements, including the research and development of information interfaces for a major medical manufacturer. As a specialist in accessibility, he also advised Fortune 500 companies on technical and legal compliance with Section 508, which redefined federal government procurement standards for accessible technology documentation, software, hardware, and web interfaces. His work with these clients was instrumental in maintaining their eligibility as federal government vendors.

An expert in the growing field of information and data science, Dr. Knobel has authored or co-authored over 30 papers in academic, professional, and industry journals, including Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery, Journal of the American Society for Information Science, First Monday, Technology & Culture, EDUCAUSE, and MIT Press. An accomplished public speaker, he has presented over 25 invited talks and panels at institutions such as Harvard, Yale, UC-San Diego, and University of Pittsburgh. He has taught thousands of students ranging from elementary school children to doctoral and post-doctoral candidates. He has served as a reviewer and associate editor for over 30 academic journals, university presses, conferences, and federal grant agencies.

In addition to his experience as a scientist, Dr. Knobel has managed teams ranging in size from small groups to more than 175. He built and served as executive director of the EVOKE Lab & Studio at the University of California-Irvine, which combines leading-edge social and media theory and research with emerging technology design. He has served as Principal Investigator on and Co-PI on research grants from the National Science Foundation, Qualcomm Institute, Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing, and UCI Center for Organizational Research.

Throughout his academic career, Dr. Knobel maintained an active connection to industry through projects such as:

  • Developing network analysis methods and models based on US Patent & Trademark Office data to identify inflection points in R&D cycles and market acceptance for emerging technologies;
  • Designing recommender and reputation system algorithms underlying highly recognized and visited technology review sites;
  • Providing large-scale data analysis for a major printing technology manufacturer to guide market segment development for laser and ink jet printers;
  • Development of training and curriculum strategies for IBM Service Science, Management, and Engineering initiatives; and
  • Identifying new categories of “big data” labor and funding mechanisms for support of long-term national scientific facilities as they transition to self-sustained economic models.

In 2014, Dr. Knobel formed a partnership with Neosynapse, providing state-of-the-art research in information, design, and infrastructure to modern enterprises. With his leadership, Neosynapse clients successfully navigate complex challenges that arise at the intersection of people, processes, technology, data, and governance within organizations. Most recently, he has been involved in projects spanning a range of industry sectors, such as:

  • Conducting nationwide research to assess a $12.5MM social computing research collaboration between Intel Research and Cornell University, Georgia Tech, Indiana University, New York University, and University of California-Irvine. The results of this engagement provided Intel with a roadmap for managing industry-academy collaboration moving forward.
  • Providing interview-based research to complement a survey-based study conducted by Montana State University CIO Office. The project uncovered valuable insight into university employees’ actual data practices and needs, which drive the CIO’s strategic planning for high-performance computing infrastructure investments. This work also resulted in a publication (Data-Intensive Science and Campus IT) in EDUCAUSE, a leading journal for higher education administration.
  • Conducting a strategic assessment for the University of Michigan Health System on an enterprise analytics roadmap that will guide data governance policies, practices, and investments in an ambitious 5-year plan.
  • Consulting on several ongoing projects for one of the largest mortgage origination banks in the United States:
    • Evaluating the current state of technology and making recommendations to the bank President on immediate investments in IT to support two affiliate companies specializing in financial investment advising and property appraisal;
    • Conducting data analysis of sales and performance metrics to evaluate the efficacy of a sales leadership and professional development program;
    • Establishing and delivering a coaching program for 300+ employees in 20 field offices;
    • Leading the publication of the company’s sales manual, including sections on mission and vision, structure, process, management, technology, metrics, and compliance; and
    • Conducting corporate ethnography and interview studies throughout all US field offices to evaluate compliance with and variance from operational procedures and standards.

What our clients are saying:

David added immense value to my teams and projects at Canoe, and to the organization as a whole.
Sana A. Khan,
Canoe Ventures
David has the uncanny gift of identifying business needs by asking on-the-mark questions at a macro level and translating them to applications in a most granular and accurate fashion.
Gerard Broussard,
VP Media Insights & Analytics
David drove the project to completion and was extremely effective in a difficult corporate environment. I would hire him again without question.
Warren Schlichting,
SVP Comcast
Cory’s interdisciplinary background gave him the ability to see patterns and solutions across different domains that were not apparent to others on the team. These valuable insights have led to opportunities for improvement in the way Intel manages its relationships with academic institutions. I am looking forward to my next occasion to work with Cory.
Ken Anderson, Intel Corporation
[David] was easy to work with, thorough and added a great deal of value.
Lou Mastria,
Canoe Ventures Chief Privacy and Security Officer