January 2017 Employee Spotlight: Vedu Hariths

Vedu is trapped in an elevator with his coworkers.

This month the spotlight shines on ODEE application developer, Vedu Hariths. This former pharmacy assistant has been with Ohio State for nearly eight years, and he says we’re the best group of people he’s ever worked with (d’awww). He left India for Ohio to avoid death-by-crocodile (and perhaps to work on his PhD). When he’s not at Mount Hall, this wildlife enthusiast can be found eating El Vaquero, trekking the Serengeti or watching super hero movies with his two boys. Learn more about Vedu in this month’s employee spotlight!

Q: What is your role at the university? My role in the university is to lead the application development team in ODEE, and with it try to provide solutions that enhance the ability of teachers to teach, students to learn, and staff to support those who teach and those who learn.

Q: How long have you worked at Ohio State? I am at the cusp of finishing my 8th year as a full-time employee at Ohio State. Of course, like many others here, I share the privilege of having been a student for many years, and a TA for many of those.

Q: Have you worked on any large projects since you’ve been here? Yes, I believe so. I worked on the implementation of Research in View, now moving towards the implementation of Symplectic Elements and yes - Carmen!

Q: What are you currently working on? What does a typical day look like for you? I am currently working on overseeing the development of the wrapper to the Faculty Information System (Vita) and a consolidation of the code for the system that supports carmen.osu.edu.

A typical day looks like meeting with stakeholders, and with my team, interspersed with looking at code or whiteboarding to ensure we are all headed in the same direction.

Q: What do you like best about your job? The energy, creativity and the camaraderie. This is one of the best groups of people I have ever worked with.

Q: Did you always know this is what you wanted to do as a career? I originally wanted to be a doctor. I realize however, that what I wanted to do was to solve problems. In my current occupation, not only do I get to fulfill that urge, I also get to build and create new things.

Q: What was your very first job? My very first job (part-time, in college) was as an assistant pharmacist at a Pharmacy in Mysore, India. My first full-time job was as a Research Assistant/Lecturer at Vector Control Research Center in India.

Q: Where did you go to college? Mysore, India; Pondicherry, India; Ohio State and finishing at Ashland as we speak.

Q: Where are you from originally? I am from Rourkela, India. It is 10 years older than me (makes it young, not the other way around!!). It was cut out from virgin forest to make a steel township. It’s a beautiful town nestled between verdant hills that support a variety of flora and fauna. The area south of Rourkela has been made into a reserve forest—when it was realized what we were losing from deforestation. To put it into perspective, a small town of about 4,000 when I was young grew to the size of about 536,000, all in a span of about 50 odd years. The forests around that area are currently one of the few places in the world where black panthers still hunt in the wild.

Q: Why did you leave this gorgeous place to come to Ohio? The short story—PhD program. The long story involves my wife not wanting me to be eaten by crocodiles.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? I have always wanted to see the Serengeti in Africa. Growing up where I did, I had a strong attraction to wildlife. From what I have read and watched on TV, the Serengeti is the place to go for a wildlife enthusiast.

Q: Can you tell us about your family? I am the somewhat harassed but happy dad of two unruly boys aged 12 and 7. I am supported by my wife and comrade in arms for close to 20 years in this perpetual endeavor to bring order to the house.

Q: Do you have any hobbies? I love listening to music. I have just started listening to English language music but my favorite is Hindi music from the 1950s to the 1970s. I enjoy tennis when I have the time, and programming.

Q: Favorite place to eat in Columbus? El Vaquero.

Q: Best concert you’ve ever been to? I really enjoyed a concert by Jagjit and Chitra Singh who sing a specific type of Indian Music which can be best described as Blues Jazz with a Country sound.

Q: Favorite quote? Depends on my mood, but one that defines me in many ways would be: “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.” – Alexander Pope

Q: It’s 9 p.m. on a Saturday. What are you doing? Hopefully hanging out, watching some super hero comic-based action movie with my boys or playing a board game with my family.

Q: Give three adjectives that best describe yourself. Tenacious; Optimistic; Creative

Posted in: