Education

Ph.D. in Information Systems,

2013 - 2018 (expected)

H. John Heinz III College, 2013 - 2018 (expected)
Carnegie Mellon University

Post Graduate Diploma in Management (equivalent to M.B.A.)

2008 - 2010

Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, India, 2008-10

Bachelor of Technology, Electrical Engineering

Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India, 2004-08

Research

Research Interests

  • Topics: Online Advertising, Privacy, Mobile Economy, Digital Word-of-Mouth, User-generated Content
  • Methodologies: Causal Inference Methods, Field and Natural Experiments, Machine Learning, Game Theory

Papers

Working Papers

  1. Consumer Tracking and Competition in Targeted Advertising , with Rahul Telang
  2. Online tracking of consumers is growing rapidly and an increasing share of this tracking is done by third-party agencies. Advertisers believe such information enhances their targeting accuracy and enables them to increase their advertising ROI, while at the same time, consumers are concerned about how their information is being utilized. In this paper, we examine the effect of third-party tracking information on firms and consumers.

    We consider advertising competition between two symmetric retailers via a real-time second price auction. We model the entire conversion funnel - from a consumer's decision about which retailers to visit, to what bids retailers should place to advertise to different consumers, to which retailer's ads are served to which consumers, and from which retailer each consumer buys from. We model ads as having distinct informative and persuasive effects. We compare the scenarios when retailers have only first-party information with when they have additional third-party information and find that, under certain conditions, retailer profit from advertising can reduce with additional third-party information due to increased advertising competition. Consumer surplus can increase from third-party information when ads have limited persuasive effect or when consumers do not have a strong preference for one retailer over the other. In other cases, consumer surplus can reduce with third-party information due to less relevant ads being served to them. We find that publishers always benefit from third-party information. Finally, when some consumers disable third-party tracking, we describe how this may have an externality on other consumers.

Work in Progress

  1. How do Ratings impact Online Marketplaces?, with Rahul Telang
  2. More details soon.

  3. Privacy-Aware Prediction using Modified Lasso, with Rahul Telang
  4. More details soon.

Conference Presentations

  1. "What is a Cookie Worth? Ad Effectiveness versus Consumer Privacy", Workshop on Information Systems and Economics (WISE), Fort Worth, Texas, 2015, Winner - Best Student Paper Award
  2. "What is a Cookie Worth?" NBER Summer Institute, Economics of Digitization, Boston, 2015
  3. "What is a Cookie Worth? Ad Effectiveness versus Consumer Privacy", Conference on Information Systems and Technology (CIST), Philadelphia, 2015
  4. "What is a Cookie Worth? Ad Effectiveness versus Consumer Privacy", The Economics of Information and Communication Technologies Conference, Paris, 2015
  5. "What is a Cookie Worth?", Sixth Annual Conference on Internet Search and Innovation, Searle Center, Northwestern University, 2015
  6. "Consumer Tracking and Targeted Advertising", Workshop on Information Systems and Economics (WISE), Dublin, Ireland, 2016
  7. "Consumer Tracking and Competition in Targeted Advertising", American Marketing Association Summer Conference, San Francisco, 2017
  8. "Impact of Ratings on Online Marketplace", Conference on Information Systems and Technology (CIST), Houston, 2017 (forthcoming)
  9. "Impact of Ratings on Online Marketplace", Conference on Digital Experimentation (CODE), Boston, 2017 (forthcoming)

Teaching

I'm interested in teaching Business Analytics, Data Science and Data Mining courses for undergraduate and graduate students.

I've been a Teaching Assistant for numerous courses for graduate students at Heinz College, CMU, including Business Analytics, Disruptive Innovation, Marketing Management, Economics and Finance.