Kailas Venkitasubramanian has been at UNC Charlotte in various roles for well over a decade. He completed his PhD in Urban Regional Analysis in 2015 and Masters in Transportation Engineering in 2008, both from UNC Charlotte. “I firmly believe in the power of data to meaningfully inform and democratize our communities, empower the marginalized and give voice to people's socio-political aspirations,” he says.
What are your main research interests?
My interests broadly lie at the boundaries of quantitative social and behavioral sciences, with particular interest in studying the dynamics of human well-being and its relationship with socioeconomic behavior. I'm also interested in flexible statistical modeling methodologies that capture heterogeneity in relationships and outcomes, especially in the context of policy and program evaluations.
What drew you to your field?
A big driver was curiosity about how public policies translate to social changes. Disentangling multidimensional relationships that inform policy outcomes using data science became a necessary skill to acquire, and over time, a passion.
We live in a world deluged with data. I firmly believe in the power of data to meaningfully inform and democratize our communities, empower the marginalized and give voice to people's socio-political aspirations. These values continue to drive my work forward.
What do you find rewarding about your work?
I work every day with a group of energetic and passionate humans who measure and translate the community pulse of Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. This in itself is an exciting reason to show up at the office every day. I'm also working at a time when the institute is in the process of reimagining its place and work in the community, and it's deeply satisfying to work with our team to help put in place the scaffolds to support this renewal.
What do you hope to accomplish, or change, through your work?
My work will center on helping enhance the institute's analytical infrastructure and institutionalize best practices in research and analytics. I hope to be a catalyst to the institute's researchers to consistently produce high-quality community research, but more importantly facilitate rigor, transparency and trust in our data processes, projects and communication.