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Vasant Dhar

Vasant Dhar

Joined Stern 1983

Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Kaufman Management Center
44 West Fourth Street, 8-92
New York, NY 10012

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Vasant Dhar is a Data Scientist whose research addresses the following question: when do computers make better decisions than humans?

The research is grounded in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and data big and small. The major problem areas addressed in the research are finance, healthcare, education, business, and sports. In the financial arena, for example, his major question asks whether you should trust your money to a robot. For example, see:

Similar questions apply in the other arenas. For example, could computers make better teachers than humans? Could they offer valuable healthcare advice to us that experts aren’t able to provide? Could they become valuable assistant coaches?

As recently as five years ago, it would have seemed preposterous to think that computers might drive cars better than humans in our lifetime yet driverless cars are here already. Computers are making more and more decisions for us, and increasingly so in areas that require human judgment. How might we leverage the rapid advances in machine intelligence in areas such as finance, healthcare, and education?

Professor Dhar teaches courses on Trading Strategies, Prediction, Data Science, and Foundations of FinTech. He also writes on IT-driven transformation such as the one currently driving education, and implications for how firms talk to customers and partners and govern data responsibly.

He has written over 70 research articles, funded by grants from industry and the National Science Foundation. He pioneered the use of machine learning for predictive modeling on Wall Street across proprietary systematic trading, risk management, and customer and salesforce management. He is a frequent speaker in academic as well as industrial forums.

Professor Dhar received his Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, and his Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh.

Research Interests

  • Data Science
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Data Governance

Courses Taught

  • Foundations of FinTech
  • Introduction to Data Science
  • Robo Advisors and Systematic Investing

Academic Background

Ph.D., Artificial Intelligence, 1984
University of Pittsburgh

M.Phil., 1982
University of Pittsburgh

B.Tech., Chemical Engineering, 1978
Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

Awards & Appointments

Editor-in-Chief Big Data 2014
Principal Investigator Mining Online Delegate Data for 2012 US Presidential Elections, July 2011 2011
Co-Principal Investigator Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy, NYU Abu Dhabi 2011
Principal Investigator Risk-Driven Catastrophes in Global 1000 Companies, funded by Deloitte & Touche 2010
Principal Investigator News as a Risk Factor in Predictive Modeling, supported by Thomson Reuters ('10-present) 2010
Daniel P. Paduano Fellow ('09-'11) NYU Stern 2009
Co-Director Center for Business Analytics 2006

Related News & Research

Professor Vasant Dhar discusses the impact of big data in 2018

In an interview, Professor Vasant Dhar discusses the EU's proposed regulation of online content providers, referencing his recent op-ed that advocates for a data-driven approach

What Lawmakers Need to Do to Police Online Content

Professor Vasant Dhar is quoted in a story on the complexities of using AI to analyze legal data

Stop Blaming Computer Programs for Steep Drops in the Stock Market

Professor Vasant Dhar emphasizes the need for AI initiatives to be incorporated into business strategy at the CxO level, beyond the CTO

Who Controls Your Data? India may Pass a Law Ensuring that You Do

Professor Vasant Dhar is quoted in a feature story on AI-powered hedge funds

Professor Vasant Dhar is quoted in a feature story explaining why banks tend not to be the innovators in financial technology

Professor Vasant Dhar weighs in on the Indian government's plan to monetize the Indian Railways' customer data

In an in-depth interview, Professor Vasant Dhar discusses how data policies will shape the future of nations

Professor Vasant Dhar discusses AI challenges in foreign-exchange markets

Professor Vasant Dhar is interviewed for a feature story on robo advisers

Professor Vasant Dhar comments on Facebook's regulations around political advertising

India’s AI Strategy Should Be to Create a Data Infrastructure

Professor Vasant Dhar explains how other social media platforms could be subject to similar scrutiny after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Congressional testimony

In an in-depth interview, Professor Vasant Dhar explains why he believes social media platforms should be regulated

Professor Vasant Dhar highlights the need for retailers to protect their customers' data in light of the Lord and Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue security breach

Professor Vasant Dhar discusses how the regulation of financial services could be modified for social media platforms

A 'Dangerous Situation' at Facebook Could Get 'Much Worse' If We Don't Take 'Immediate Steps'

Areas of Expertise


  • High Frequency Trading


  • Publishing

Information, Operations & Management Sciences

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Database Management
  • ITSolutions
  • Information Systems Development


  • Digital Marketing/Advertising