About Me


Uttara  M. Ananthakrishnan

Assistant Professor of Information Systems

Michael G. Foster School of Business

University of Washington

Seattle, WA 98195-3226

I am an Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Foster School of Business, University of Washington. At a broad level, my research objective is to analyze consumer and firm behavior online and to understand how these interactions influence the design and operation of online marketplaces. My research sits at the intersection of Technology, Economics and Policy. In my research, I use Social Science techniques to understand the drivers of online market behavior and to develop managerially relevant responses for firms and market designers.

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 and abuse detection on social products of Google. During my time at Google, I worked with engineering, policy and legal teams to design policies that aimed to identify, report and mitigate abuse on social media including harassment of minors.

Over the course of my time working at Google, I have seen first-hand how changes in online interactions drive technology companies to reinvent aspects of traditional e-commerce models. I have also experienced how managers grapple with the realities of business economics such as increasing revenue and profits while designing user-facing policies that will not only keep their consumers engaged but also sustain the consumer’s trust on the platform.

In my PhD coursework and studies I have built on this business foundation by developing a facility in a range of inter-disciplinary research tools from Econometrics, Statistics and Behavioral Economics. During the course of my research, I have acquired an array of skills from different disciplines. I have had the opportunity to conduct randomized experiments, collect, analyze and visualize data, and process large-scale data and work successfully with different industry partners.

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 a merit scholarship for professional studies from Central Board of Secondary Education during all four years of my undergraduate education. I was ranked first among 88,908 candidates in the state who appeared for the 10th Standard Matriculation exam in 2004. In 2003, I received the Race For Awareness And Knowledge Award from Air India and traveled to Singapore as a part of a cultural exchange program.