Meet LEVEL’s Seattle Instructor: Rutu Mulkar

Level-SeattleLevel from Northeastern University gives you the skills and real-world experience needed for a career in data analytics. The two-month bootcamp launched at the Boston campus in the Fall and will begin in Seattle this January, combining higher education with practical skills through expert instructors and experiential projects from employer partners. To learn more about Level in Seattle and how you can apply for the January session visit

Dr. Rutu Mulkar is the lead lecturer for Level in Seattle. Dr. 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 and programming languages. She speaks English, Hindi and Gujarati fluently and bits of Korean and Spanish.

This Q & A with Dr. Mulkar was originally published on The LEVEL blog.

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 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.

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