Inna Kouper is a research scientist at the Data to Insight Center – Pervasive Technology Institute in the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology. In short, she is a researcher. “I study the role of new and emerging technological advancements or applications,” said Kouper. “My most recent focus is in studying how various communities create and manage their research data, and how we can create tools to help make data more open and available.”
Because her research is funded by grants, Kouper says her job is very dynamic and diverse. This interdisciplinary approach attracted her to a research career. “I shift my disciplinary alignment every once in a while, and I select research problems and areas so that they are on the intersection of language, technology and knowledge,” Kouper said.
Kouper moved to the U.S. after receiving her B.S., M.S. in information systems and Ph.D. in sociology in Russia. She received another Ph.D. in information science from Indiana University in 2011. Kouper is a member of the CEWiT Faculty Leadership team, leads a CEWiT Circle and enjoys attending conferences and salons on data-driven change for women in technology.
Kouper would like to see all techie women have ambitious aspirations. “As Sheryl Sandberg wrote in her book Lean In, to have a career that excites and engages us, we all need to have a long term dream,” she said. For women entering STEM fields today, Kouper encourages them to take initiative. “Think about how you can make it work for you, rather than how you can fit in.”