Ravi Bapna

Ravi Bapna

Associate Dean for Executive Education
Information & Decision Sciences


  • PhD 1999
    Business Administration, Operations & Information Management University of Connecticut
  • BT 1993
    Computer Engineering Manipal Institute of Technology, Mangalore University, India


  • Social Media
  • Big Data and Machine Learning
  • Business Analytics
  • Online Strategies and Monetization
  • Online Auctions
  • Economics of IT


Dr. Ravi Bapna is the Curtis L. Carlson Chair in Business Analytics and Information Systems, Associate Dean for Executive Education and the Academic Director of the Carlson Analytics Lab and the Analytics for Good Institute at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Bapna's expertise lies in helping companies leverage data-science, machine learning, AI and business analytics for competitive advantage. He has been awarded the INFORMS ISS Distinguished Fellow Award and the INFORMS ISS Inaugural Practical Impacts Award.

Bapna also served as Chief Data Scientist at Mississippi River Capital LLC, a Minneapolis based hedge fund, and is on the executive education faculty for NYU Stern’s open and MSBA programs.

His research and scholarship views the emerging digital landscape as a giant global laboratory, a sandbox to gain a deeper causal understanding of how consumers, firms, industries and societies are being reshaped by the big-data and business analytics revolution. He teaches graduate students, executives, CIOs and CMOs around the world (US, China, India, Austria, Italy and parts of Eastern Europe) on how to thrive in the digital revolution. His professional interests have resulted in research, consulting and executive education engagements with a variety of leading US and Indian companies. He regularly delivers keynote addresses on leveraging big-data, analytics and social media to industry bodies and corporations. 

His research interests are in the areas of social media, big-data analytics, peer influence, monetization and design of Freemium communities, online dating and matching, the economics of information systems, human capital issues in the IT services industry, online auctions, e-market design, Grid computing, and the design of the IT organization. His research has been extensively published in a wide array of journals such as Management Science, Informs Journal on Computing, Statistical Science, Information Systems Research, Journal of Retailing, MIS Quarterly, Decision Sciences, CACM, Naval Research Logistics, DSS, EJOR and ITM. His views have featured in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Minnesota Public Radio, Star Tribune, LiveMint, India Knowledge @ Wharton, The Economic Times and Business Today.

Professor Bapna has been invited to present his research at the National Bureau of Economic Research, Federal Trade Commission, Facebook, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Google Inc., Bangalore, Harvard University, The Wharton School, Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Boston University, University of Maryland, IIM-Calcutta, National Chengchi University, Taiwan, University of Washington, National University of Singapore and the University of Connecticut among others. He was invited to give the keynote address for the 13th International Conference on Electronic Commerce 2011, Liverpool, UK.

Bapna served as a senior editor for MIS Quarterly from 2010-2017, senior editor for Information Systems Research, 2018 – to date, and has been an associate editor for Management Science.  He has served as the co-chair of the prestigious Workshop on Information Systems Economics (WISE) 2010, 2014 and 2020, and the Conference on IS and Technology (CIST) 2009. He is one of the three founders of the Statistical Challenges in E-Commerce (SCECR) workshop. He regularly serves on program committees of major international IS conferences and workshops.

Bapna was the founding academic co-director (with Professor Joe Konstan) of the University of Minnesota's Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative (SOBACO), an interdisciplinary research center conducting research at the intersection of social media and big-data analytics. 

Bapna currently serves on the board of iPondr.com, as well as on the academic advisory board of the Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur, and is a founding Governing Board member of the International Centre for Information Systems and Audit under the Comptroller and Auditor General of India[1].

Prior to joining Carlson, Bapna was a tenured associate professor at the Indian School of Business and the University of Connecticut. He served as the founding Executive Director of the Srini Raju Centre for Information Technology and the Networked Economy (SRITNE) at the Indian School of Business, where he founded the CIO Academy. At UConn Bapna was an Associate Professor and Ackerman Scholar in the Operations and Information Management Department at the School of Business.

Professor Bapna completed his Bachelors in Commerce from St. Xavier's College, Calcutta, and Bachelors in Computer Engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology. He received his doctorate degree from the University of Connecticut, where his thesis was in the area of economics of online auctions.



[1] The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (www.cag.gov.in ) is a Constitutional authority responsible for the audit of the Union Government, the State Governments, Government-owned companies/ corporations as well as other bodies, authorities and entities which are substantially financed by Government


Selected Works & Activities.

  • Current Research

    I'm fascinated by the fact that the current incarnation of the IT revolution has resulted in a billion people connected globally on the social graph, and five billion people with mobile connectivity. I view this billion-strong API enabled social graph, as a global laboratory, where we can ask fundamental questions about human behavior and develop causal inferences about the same. Questions such as detecting and potentially maximizing peer influence for desirable outcomes, developing real-time revealed preference style measures of trust and reciprocity from activity on Facebook, or looking at the role of search costs in mitigating social failures in online dating. From a methodology perspective, I'm currently biased towards randomized trials in real-world platforms.

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