It’s no wonder that Enrique Mu, PhD, MBA, MS, teaches a course on innovation and change. He thrives on them.

"You need to look for interesting opportunities," he says. "Meet people you might never have met. See a movie that you might not typically go to. Do things you wouldn't usually do. Otherwise, nothing new will ever happen." 

Enrique Mu, PhD, MBA, MS
Enrique Mu PhD, MBA, MS is Co-Director and Associate Professor of Carlow University's MBA Program

Opportunities are at the intersection of what you know and what is new to you, he adds. Originally from Lima, Peru, Mu is adept at recognizing new opportunitiesand seizing the moment.

Before arriving in Pittsburgh to get his MBA and subsequently work for Black Box Corporation, Mu ventured around the globe as vice president for a multinational firm and was responsible for several multimillion-dollar online banking automation projects in Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, and Chile. He went on to become director of the MBA-MIS program at the University of Pittsburgh's Katz Graduate School of Business.

Today, Mu is co-chair of Carlow's MBA program. He is also founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of the Analytic Hierarchy Process and U.S. director for the Latin American Society for Strategy, and he was recently selected as conference chairman for the upcoming 2014 International Symposium on the Analytic Hierarchy Process in Washington, D.C.

Enrique Mu, PhD, MBA, MS 2

Mu's expertise in Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), a prioritization and selection methodology, is at the heart of a brand new study that has caught the eye of the international law enforcement community.

"About two years ago," explains Mu, "I was asked to teach a course in scientific inquiry in Carlow's Master of Fraud and Forensics program."

This field was new territory for Mu, and as he reviewed the fraud and forensics course literature, he uncovered an alarming fact: eyewitness police lineup identifications have only a 55 percent ratio of successand a misidentification rate of about 25-35 percent.

He soon learned that lineup misidentification is the most common cause of wrongful convictions of innocent people in the United States-a trend Mu suspected he could reverse. As he taught, his exposure to the forensic field led to an opportunity to apply his AHP expertise to the eyewitness identification problem.

Partnering with former Carlow professor Rachel Chung, and with seed money from Carlow's Grace Ann Geibel Institute for Justice and Social Responsibility, Mu took a new AHP approach to eyewitness identification: examining pairs of suspects instead of the traditional sequential lineup. Pairwise comparison is at the core of the AHP decision methodology in which Mu is an expert.

What they discovered, says Mu, may become "a game-changer in eyewitness identification." The new approach increased the successful identification rate to 88 percent and decreased the false identification rate to 17 percent.

After receiving high praise from reviewers at Harvard University, Columbia Teachers University, and the University of Pittsburgh, Mu and Chung applied for and received supplemental Geibel Institute funding. They are currently polishing their results and aim to present them to the law enforcement community and The Innocence Project, a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals.

In the meantime, Mu's work continues to be well-received around the globe-the new approach to eyewitness identification earned a "best paper" award at the 2013 International Symposium of the Analytic Hierarchy Process in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Such success is due, in large part, to Mu's ability to seek and seize those serendipitous connections.

Like the fact that Mu loves to dance merengue-which is how met his wife, Milagros Pereya-Rojas, the executive director of the Latin American Studies Association at Pitt. You just never know.

A few years back, Mu surprised the Carlow community by dancing merengue with the Student Government Association during halftime at a Carlow Celtics basketball game. Who knew?

"My students, they think of me just as a professor," he laughs. "When I show them my dancing video clips, they are shocked." 

Enrique Mu shows salsa during one of his MBA classes to explain serendipitous connections and innovation
Professor Mu projects videos of salsa—and moves to the music—during one of his MBA classes to demonstrate serendipitous connections in innovation

Mu's disarming sense of humor keeps his MBA students fully engagedeven during late-night classes after a long day of work. He often plays Latin music and pulls out his dancing or soccer video clips when he's lecturing about innovation and change.

You see, he tells his students, you need to seek out new experiences, which in turn will lead to unexpected opportunities. Don't underestimate the potential of surprise and noveltyafter all, you never know what might turn out to be a real game-changer.

Learn more about Carlow's Master of Business Administration program
Learn more about Carlow's Master of Fraud and Forensics program