NYU Stern
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Student Views on SPUR

Anisha Patel (BS'14)
UGRAD Student Perspectives - Anisha Patel LARGE

As an undergraduate business student, senior Anisha Patel is contributing to a new, rapidly evolving research field, Revenue Management and Pricing, by harnessing the research she’s developed through the NYU Stern Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR).

Anisha, a driven student studying Finance, Statistics, and Philosophy, was looking for the right research opportunity that could fulfill three academic goals she set for herself: take learning from inside the classroom to a completely different level, build strong relationships with the Stern faculty, and embrace a compelling research topic that combines her passion for business and the liberal arts.

During Anisha’s junior year, a new class, Revenue Management & Pricing with NYU Stern Professor Rene A. Caldentey, opened her eyes to the topic of "paradox of choice." Anisha says, “Professor Caldentey introduced a well-known jam study that shows consumers were far less likely to purchase jam when faced with 15 options than when faced with six.” The study piqued Anisha’s interest in research. Anisha adds, “Professor Caldentey mentioned there is very little research done on how to incorporate elements of consumer behavior and consumer irrationality in existing projection models. The topic really grabbed my attention. It felt extremely relevant because it wasn't just about the technicalities of building models, but also about the importance of factoring in consumer psychology.”

Anisha is completing a senior honors thesis on “Modeling Consumer Choice Paralysis into Revenue Projections.” She recalls, “after hearing about SPUR, I reached out directly to Professor Caldentey outside of class to discuss working on a thesis topic within the revenue management field. Over the summer in 2013, we began working together on my research abstract.”

When asked about the real-world implications of this research, Anisha explains, “experts in the field are constantly looking to improve how businesses approach revenue management, such as how companies predict demand for products, vary pricing between different classes of products, and how much inventory to purchase.” Anisha's enthusiasm about her research is clear, "so far, I've loved the experience. I've read fascinating psychology books that I probably would not have thought to pick up if it were not for my research. I found a field that is new, which makes it really exciting to be able to have the opportunity to potentially add to the ongoing research in this area.”