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Frontiers May 2014 Issue

Data to knowledge ANNE KAO Most people wouldn’t think of blending the fields of philosophy and computer science, but Anne Kao is not like most people. Born and raised in Taiwan, Kao traveled to the United States to study the philosophy of language. As a college student before the age of personal computers, Kao was turned off by the technology after watching peers struggle with punch cards and waiting days for data processing. But after computers took off in the late 1980s, she quickly realized that the machines spoke a language she wanted to understand. Since 1990, Kao has skillfully blended her passion for philosophy, language and text data to become one of Boeing’s foremost experts in data analytics. The essence of Kao’s research uses the philosophy of language as it relates to computer data to theorize how people view the world. At Boeing, she developed tools and solutions for an array of applications, including aviation safety, airplane maintenance and reliability, and knowledge discovery and management. Kao encourages others to take charge of their development plans. “Don’t sit around and wait for your next assignment. Chart your own course,” she said. “If you work hard and work smart, and have real influence, you can make it, too.” n PHOTO: MARIAN LOCKHART/BOEING jillian.r.hulings@boeing.com 38 Frontiers May 2014


Frontiers May 2014 Issue
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