Ramnath K. Chellappa, PhD


Associate Professor & Caldwell Research Fellow
Doctoral Program Coordinator

Information Systems & Operations Management

Room 407
1300 Clifton Road
Goizueta Business School, Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322-2710

Tel: (404) 727-7599 
Fax: (404) 727-2053 

About ... Dr. Ramnath Chellappa is currently an Associate Professor and Caldwell Research Fellow in the Information Systems & Operations Management area at the Goizueta Business School, Emory University

He was formerly a faculty member at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California (1997 - 2005), and also served as the Director of ebizlab (Electronic Economy Research Lab).  He is also affiliated with the Center for Telecom Management at USC and the Center for Research in Electronic Commerce (formerly known as CISM) at the University of Texas at Austin.

He received his PhD in Management (Information, Risk, and Operations Management) from the business school (now the McCombs School of Business) at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997-98.  He has a background in engineering (Mining Engineering (1987-91) Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi, India) and Petroleum Engineering (1991-93), University of Texas, Austin) and has worked as a Unix and networks administrator.

IS PhD Program
Dr. Chellappa also serves as the Doctoral Program Coordinator for the ISOM area.  The IS PhD program is actively seeking applications for the incoming batch of Fall 2012.  Please contact Dr. Chellappa for any further questions about the IS PhD program.

Research Prof. Chellappa's current research focuses on economic, behavioral and technical aspects of electronic markets.  In particular, his research aims to understand how the adoption of the Internet by both consumers and vendors has changed conventional views of products and business transactions.  His recent research includes:

Pricing issues in electronic markets

Pricing and Piracy of digital goods

Personalization and Privacy issues in online markets

Information technology standards and its role in shaping competition and alliance formation

Cloud Computing

The first known academic usage and definition of the term Cloud Computing appears to be provided by Prof. Chellappa in a talk titled Intermediaries in Cloud-Computing, presented at the INFORMS meeting in Dallas in 1997. 

  • Chellappa, R.K., Intermediaries in Cloud-Computing: A New Computing Paradigm, INFORMS Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX, October 26-29, 1997.

He suggested that this would be a new "computing paradigm where the boundaries of computing will be determined by economic rationale rather than technical limits alone.

A follow-up research in 2002 refers to this definition and proposes pricing models specifically for active intranets.


Teaching Prof. Chellappa currently teaches in the MBA and PhD programs at Goizueta.  Please contact him directly for the course syllabi.

MBA Courses

BUS 551 - Process and Systems Management (MBA core)
This is the core Information Systems and Operations Management course.  I have taught/currently teach this course in the full-time, evening and one-year MBA programs. Next offering: Spring 2011 (Evening MBA program)

This course covers the basics of operations management and information systems strategy. The course adopts an integrated supply-chain view of businesses.  Topics include – Information Systems and Operations Strategy, Process fundamentals and analysis, Supply chain management, alignment of IT with business objectives, consumer profiling Security and privacy in online environments, and business process outsourcing and off-shoring.

BUS 556 - Analytics for e-Markets (MBA Elective)
This is an elective course is geared towards understanding and developing analytical strategies for competing in electronic markets. This course is specifically geared towards MBA students with any of the following interest-profile: 1. General manager in-charge of pricing and analytical strategies in high-tech industries such as mobile networks, software, video games, music. 2. Marketing manager for any firm with an interest in interactive/online advertising and social media.  3. Consultant in-charge of analytical strategies for electronic markets. While no special background in economics or statistics is necessary, an interest in quantitative problem solving (both analytical and empirical) is a must.  Next offering: Spring 2011 (full-time & evening MBA program)

The basis for many, if not most current online business models, is network economics.  In this class, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of network economics through a series of hands-on problems, cases and data analysis.  Along with network economics, we will also study pricing and versioning strategies specifically for electronic markets.  At the end of the class students will be able to abstract real-world problems into workable components through analytical models and thinking.  Industry speakers will add to this understanding.  It is not the purpose of this class to teach data analysis or regression but we will use what you have learnt in your prior courses toward understanding problem definition, data identification, collection and analysis.  While cases often directly provide students with data, a key business problem faced by many firms is identification of data itself. To this end students will be engaged in two group projects:

Google Online Marketing Challenge: In the previous years we have been part of the Google Online Marketing Challenge where students learn about two-sided markets through actual bidding for keywords.  We shall continue this tradition. The Google Online Marketing Challenge is a great hands-on exercise for students in classes such as advertising, ecommerce, integrated marketing communication, management information systems, marketing and new media technologies. Students will manage and update a Google AdWords campaign and in process learn about valuing information and the nature of two-sided markets.

Quantifying Social Media Impact: This project is geared towards structured thinking for unstructured problems.  For many businesses the rise of social media and user generated content is possibly a boon but also apparently a source of confusion.  There is not only an abundance of social networking sites but also different categories of data.  In this project, students will empirically show how social networking sites and user-generated content influence success of a product. You will identify, collect and analyze data to substantiate your claims.

PhD Courses

BUS 751 - Research Seminar in Information Systems II (Economics of Information Systems)
This is a required course for IS PhD students. Next offering: Spring 2011

The course introduces students to seminal papers in the area of economics of information systems where the underlying theme is the application of economic theories to management. Through analytical models and empirical analyses, this course covers many topical areas including pricing and price-dispersion in electronic markets, pricing of information & digital products, and the emergence of privacy as an economic concept.  Much time is devoted to understanding the research process and the analytical/empirical rigor that provides credence to any research finding.

Prof. Chellappa has also taught a number of other courses in different programs at the Marshall School of Business, USC.  At the MBA level, these courses covered managerial and strategic aspects of information technology and at the undergraduate level, the courses were largely technical.

He has also taught in the Executive MBA program and has delivered live and packaged video lectures for industry executives on e-Business strategies.   At USC, he has also designed and taught courses in the Masters in Medical Management program for healthcare professionals.