Ram Bala is an Associate Professor of Business Analytics at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University. He holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
Ram is recognized as a world-renowned researcher in pricing, marketplace design and supply chain decisions for dynamic, competitive markets across several industries. His approach to attacking problems in this space uses optimization, game theory, statistics and machine learning. His current focus is on solving the technology and people challenges involved in the transformative transition of both for-profit and humanitarian organizations towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) – driven autonomous work. Simultaneously, he is exploring the use of quantum computing to speed up AI applications on edge devices to unlock business and social value.
His teaching mirrors his research interests as he has transitioned from teaching Operations & Supply Chain Management at the MBA level to Analytics in various flavors: from the managerial challenges of analytics execution at the Executive MBA level to mathematical machine learning courses in the Leavey School’s technical MS programs, and other variations in-between.
Ram has been in several academic leadership roles such as the Co-founder and Director of the MS program in Supply Chain Management & Analytics (MS-SCMA), member of the Leavey School Rank & Tenure committee and Chairmanship of the Leavey School’s Graduate Policy Committee.
He is passionate about building technology platforms that leverage analytics, data science and artificial intelligence for better business decisions in diverse areas such as algorithmic pricing, marketplace optimization and supply chain fulfillment. He leads and advises teams building AI-driven products, from early stage startups to Fortune 500 Companies. He is the founder and President of Project Stanley, a non-profit focused on applying data science and technology to solving humanitarian problems. He was Chief Data Scientist at GrandCanals (acquired by C.H. Robinson) and leads data science initiatives at Andela, a global talent marketplace funded by leading investors such as the Chan-Zuckerberg initiative and Softbank. Sanvid.ai houses his forays into quantum computing based AI applications.