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Uttara Ananthakrishnan


Ph.D. Student

Uttara Ananthakrishnan is a third-year Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University.

I am interested in studying how technology influences the way traditional market places work and changes how consumers make decisions.

My research is largely inter-disciplinary- I love working on problems that require a mixture of techniques from Behavioral Economics and Machine Learning. I am also interested in applying statistical and econometric modeling methods to large data sets and analyzing and interpreting patterns in consumer behavior that appear in these data sets.

My primary advisor is Prof. Michael D.Smith. My first research paper focuses on manipulation strategies in online reviews. Please refer to my personal website to know more about my research.

Prior to joining the PhD program, I worked at Google for three years. In this period, I was a part of the Google+ team where I analyzed the sharing patterns of users and developed signals to automate spam & abuse detection on Google+ and the associated social products of Google. I also worked with the policy team in developing Google’s policies towards harassment on its social platform. Prior to Google+, I worked in the Risk Operations team where I identified fraudulent trends on Google Products and worked with legal, policy, sales and engineering teams to combat such fraud and abuse. This experience at Google motivated me towards pursuing a PhD to better understand why people do what they do on the Internet and how their behavior affects the online ecosystem.

I received my Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Anna University, India in 2010, where I was awarded the Best Outgoing Student prize. I received the Rajiv Gandhi Summer Research Fellowship by Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research during the summer of 2008 and interned at the Indian Institute of Science. I also received the Central Board of Secondary Education’s (CBSE) Merit Scholarship for Professional Studies during all four years of my undergraduate education.

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