IST graduate alumni profile: Karthikeyan Umapathy

Jennifer Cifelli
December 10, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Karthikeyan Umapathy earned a doctorate in information sciences and technology (IST) from Penn State's College of IST and is now an associate professor at the University of North Florida’s School of Computing, Engineering & Construction in Jacksonville, Florida, where he enjoys facilitating the learning process and creating project opportunities that offer lifelong lessons to students. His research interests center on designing and developing complex information systems, analyzing Web service standards, and empirically investigating IT standardization processes, he said.

Originally from Chennai, India, Umapathy said his IST education prepared him for a successful career by helping him become the type of researcher who can think about an issue from multiple perspectives and design courses using problem-based learning philosophies. Umapathy’s favorite part of his work is engaging in a wide range of outreach activities and real-world projects that impact his local community, where his goal is to provide cost-free solutions for local nonprofits. 

“When you bring the real world into the classroom, you bring along all possible conflicts,” said Umapathy. “I’ve learned that conflicts are good, depending upon how you react to them.”

Umapathy helps his students find the right balance between working on multiple projects and bringing in-depth meaningful contributions to each project they are involved in, as working on multiple projects is essential to a diversified portfolio. The right balance is key, he said, since the more projects an individual works on, the less in-depth contribution they will make on each project.

In his free time, Umapathy likes to play tennis and read books on technological innovations, social impacts and lean startups. He also hopes to continue working on outreach activities and increasing the time he spends on each project. 

Umapathy has his sights set on becoming a full professor within the next five years.

Last Updated December 10, 2015