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Industrial Panel 2023

Pete Littig, Anusha Sekar, Jair Taylor, and Catherine Williams
Thursday, April 20, 2023 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
PDL C-38
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In the most recent AMS Survey of New Doctorate Recipients, 33 percent accept positions in government, business and industry.  What are these jobs like?  How do you find them?  And, are they interesting jobs?  To provide insight into these questions, we will hold our annual Industrial Panel Discussion featuring four UW alums from the PhD program.  The speakers will be Pete Littig, Anusha Sekar, Jair Taylor, and Catherine Williams. All are invited to attend!

Anusha Sekar is originally from Chennai, India.  She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her research interests at the UW included numerical analysis, numerical methods for wave propagation and geophysical inverse problems.  She joined Chevron in 2009 and has been working on various problems related to seismic imaging and full waveform inversion (FWI). She currently took a year-long sabbatical to go back to school and earned a Masters in Computer Science degree from Rice University, and now works on machine learning solutions for seismic interpretation and imaging.  She has served on the board of the SIAM Texas Louisiana section, working towards promoting collaboration between mathematicians in industry and academia in the Texas-Louisiana region. She is currently in the SIAM membership committee.  She is married with two daughters, loves reading and going on road trips with her family.

Peter Littig is a Senior Software Engineer at Renaissance Learning in Bothell.  Pete was a student of Steve Mitchell's in Algebraic Topology, graduating with his PhD from UW in 2005.  He was a professor at UW Bothell for 8 years before moving into software development.  He also co-hosts a fun podcast called "The Math Club" which is "full of information that will interest and entertain math lovers as well as those who maybe don’t love it quite that much… yet."

Jair Taylor finished his PhD from UW in 2016 studying algebraic combinatorics. He is now a data scientist at Meta working on their storage systems. Some of the projects he's worked on include choosing optimal data placement and encoding schemes to protect data during hardware failures while minimizing the cost.

Catherine Williams:  As the VP of Data and Research at Qualtrics, an experience management software platform, Dr. Catherine Williams leads the data intelligence center of excellence, which includes the machine learning and data science teams that build advanced intelligent features into the Qualtrics experience management products and platform, leveraging cutting edge text analytics, predictive intelligence, and statistical analysis to help customers better understand and act on their data in real time. Catherine has extensive background and expertise in data science and beyond; prior to her work at Qualtrics, Catherine led data science, analytics, and product organizations at AppNexus and Xandr as Chief Data Scientist and Chief Data and Marketplace Officer. She received her BA from Grinnell College and her PhD in Mathematics at University of Washington and held postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford and Columbia Universities.

This talk will be hosted by Sara Billey, Kevin Liu and Paige Helms.

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