Dr. Rutu Mulkar is the founder of a local Seattle startup called Ticary Solutions, for custom solutions in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning. She received her Ph.D. from University of Southern California in Computer Science, with a specialization in NLP. Rutu loves languages – both Natural Languages and Programming languages. She speaks English, Hindi and Gujarati fluently and bits of Korean and Spanish. Rutu is very passionate about increasing the representation of women in technology. You can often find her speaking at conferences and events sporting her yellow scarf. In her free time, Rutu loves to scuba dive, hike, and travel with her husband and 2 year old daughter.
What was the most exciting challenge that you solved using analytics?
One of the most fascinating applications of analytics is to healthcare related data, and discovering patterns and diagnoses from it that might have been missed initially. These systems help save lives in healthcare facilities. I find it profoundly gratifying to be working with such data.
What is your favorite movie?
Amelie – for its simplicity and beautiful music composition, and Shawshank Redemption – the epitome of never ever giving up in life.
What advice do you have for aspiring analysts, or, what do you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
Don’t doubt your instincts when it comes to problem solving. Most problems (however hard they may be at first) can be solved with the simplest of solutions. Trust your instincts and start simple.
What would you do if you had access to all of Google’s data for 24 hours?
I would love to take a look at commute patterns that people have, and if there is a way to optimize public transport to fit those patterns.
How did you get into analytics?
When I started my PhD, I realized that more data can help discover so many subtle patterns in text, enabling us to develop algorithms to `learn’ behaviors and solve so many of the questions we are asking. This is how I got into the field of analytics and eventually starting my own company for analyzing data.
What traits do you think are most important for students learning analytics?
Problem solving and curiosity to unravel mysteries of data. Also this is a field of constant learning and finding new ways to tackle your data