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Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Ravi Vadapalli

Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Ravi Vadapalli

Ever get asked a complex, scientific-type question, and all you could really say is, "What do I look like, a nuclear physicist?!" Well, Ravi lives for such inquiries. Because he is a nuclear physicist! With a doctorate in Nuclear Physics from Andhra University in Visakhapatnam, India, and a master's in Computational Engineering from Mississippi State, his mission, and that of North Texas Scientific Computing, or NTSC, is to help researchers leverage a wide range of computational resources to solve some of the most challenging questions in science. But don't worry, he has a lighter side, too, like unwinding with ... Pokémon cards? We know he's eagerly awaiting the release of Coming 2 America. And does he have a future as a contestant on The Voice

Q&A

What is your favorite aspect of your job?  
Meeting students and faculty who are passionate about solving scientific problems. I enjoy fostering disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations where computing is the common denominator. Training the future workforce is invigorating and exciting as students leave UNT prepared to change lives and improve society by what they learned through our scientific computing. My work is focused on strengthening scholarship, graduate education — especially doctoral programs — through computing and data science and analytics. We provide a supportive learning environment of scholarly activity and innovation by supporting faculty in their scholarly research, collaborations and external awards. It’s a rewarding place to work!
  
What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World? 
UNT World is a becoming a closely connected set of sister schools. I would propose that scientific computing could be an excellent common denominator. I would continue strengthening UNT World collaborations across basic and medical sciences via scientific computing and innovation to add tremendous value to the users, stakeholders and our overall quality of life in higher education and society in general.

What is your proudest work moment?
Assisting the UNT Office of Research and Innovation in developing and leading interdisciplinary research teams across Texas as a part of multi-million-dollar community and disaster resilience grant proposal initiative (https://issuu.com/universityofnorthtexas/docs/unt_research_magazine_2018/44). My proudest moment is when we transitioned from one of the proposers to the only proposal across Texas with UNT as the lead. While this grant didn’t materialize due to various bureaucratic hurdles, it gave me a great opportunity to get to know UNT World and its capabilities while introducing the stakeholders to what we can do together. 

What is your proudest non-work moment? 
I would say how my mind evolved from thinking of my success as satisfaction to recognizing, engaging and leading conversations without fear or looking for personal gain. While this is still a work in progress, I can at least say that I can resist mental turbulence more easily and recover from it much faster. Of course, my family provides me with never-ending non-work moments that make me proud as a husband and father.

What fact about you might surprise your work colleagues?
I sing in my office.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE...
Book?: A Scheme of Heaven: The History of Astrology and the Search for our Destiny by Alexander Boxer. 
Celebrity?: Eddie Murphy 
Hobby?: Chess, UNO, Carrom, Monopoly, Pokémon cards, intellectual conversations with my 10-year-old, and helping my 13-year-old on home projects. 
Charitable cause?: American Cancer Society