Nithya Muthuramen (’19): Textbook Forward-Thinker
Q: Why did you decide to enroll in Professor Holloway’s AI course? Was it just a topic you found interesting or did you have specific plans for how you might put the lessons of an AI course to use in your career?
I had specific plans. I completed a few courses on machine learning prior to Professor Holloway’s class and was able to pick up a couple of projects at work and redesign them on AI-based technology. I started appreciating the power of AI and machine learning and how they will impact the world going forward. I want pursue an innovation manager role that harnesses the power of AI in business. At the same time, I wanted to learn AI from a managerial perspective, not from a completely tech perspective.
Q: What was your favorite assignment?
I liked our final class project, which was based on DataRobot, an advanced enterprise machine learning automation platform that enables users to build highly accurate predictive models with full transparency within minutes. It was a great tool to learn because, even with little or no programming knowledge, this platform enables you to upload a data set and get insights and analytics using different predictive models. Our final project was to take a real-world data set, build a predictive model using Data Robot and present it to the class, which was great hands-on experience.
Q: What are the biggest takeaways or lessons from the course?
The fact that the world is heading toward a place where AI will become an integral part of every industry.
I also realized it is imperative that we, as forward-thinking leaders and managers, carefully consider and adopt AI in all strategic decisions to add value to the company. Whether you are adopting AI to navigate through a change, or considering AI to improve business processes or as a tool to establish a competitive advantage in the tech space, you need to understand the applications of AI and be competent in technologies such as machine learning and deep learning in order to use it at the right place at the right time.
I’m talking to my current employer, Farmers Insurance, about whether we can have a session on Data Robot to give the organization a heads up on its capabiltiy and think about how we can adopt that tool in our business.
Nithya Muthuramen (’19) is a tech professional with more than 15 years of experience in financial services. She’s held a variety of positions at such companies as Farmers Insurance, Accenture and Anjana Software Solutions. She came to UCLA Anderson to sharpen her business and management skills, especially along the lines of strategy planning, market research and tech management. She’s already begun to apply some of the lessons of Todd Holloway’s course in her work.