AnHai Doan is a
Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Computer Science at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison. He obtained a BS from Kossuth Lajos University in
Debrecen, Hungary, a MS from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee,
and a PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle, all in Computer
Science. His interests cover databases, AI, and Web, with a current
focus on data integration, data science, big data, and machine learning.
AnHai received the
ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2003, a CAREER Award in 2004,
and a Sloan Fellowship in
2007. He co-authored
``Principles of Data
Integration'', a textbook published by Morgan-Kaufmann in 2012.
AnHai has also consulted extensively and been involved in several
startups. He was on the Advisory Board of Transformic, a Deep Web
startup acquired by Google in 2005, and was Chief Scientist of
Kosmix, a social media
acquired by Walmart in 2011. From 2011 to 2014 he was Chief
Scientist of WalmartLabs, a
newly formed research and development lab at Walmart, devoted to
analyzing and integrating data for e-commerce. From 2015 until now he has been devoting
most of his effort toward developing a research/teaching/service agenda for data
science at UW-Madison (and also to managing a toddler and a teenager).
Some more data points:
- I grew up in Vietnam. I attended high school in Vinh, Nghe An, from 1983-1986,
learned Hungarian from 1986-1988, then attended university in
Debrecen, Hungary from 1988-1993 (taking one year off in 1992 to
chill). I came to the US in 1993 and have been here ever since.
- I have been involved in a wild range of situations, "been there, done that" (which makes life interesting :):
- When I was two years old, I vividly remember being in a bomb shelter with my mom, with American bombs exploding in the distance.
- I grew up in rural central Vietnam, with no electricity. I did not see an audio cassette player until age 17.
- I walked barefoot to high school in near-zero Celsius temperature and often did not have enough to eat.
(It was a very trying time in Vietnam for pretty much everyone.)
- In my undergrad time in Hungary, I didn't study much, mostly partied, and ran a successful side business. I had my
own car, own rental apartment, and in general living large (probably making up for my high-school time).
- In the US I have been a grad student, a professor, an employee
at a startup, as well as an employee at a big company. My memory of
startup is that people played ping pong non-stop right next to my
ear. My memory of a big company is the company slogan that people
used to start an email with (reminding me a bit of Vietnam :).
- And a lot more ... There have definitely been a lot of twists and turns. Who knows what will come next.
- A short interview in SIGMOD Record in 2008
| An old bio, written when I finished my Ph.D.: AnHai Doan grew
up in a small fishing village in rural North-Central Vietnam. Even at
an early age, he already showed an exceptional ability to move
west. After high school in Vinh, Nghe An, he moved to Hungary, where
he earned a B.S. degree from Kossuth Lajos University in 1993. Next,
he landed in Wisconsin, where he drank beer, listened to (too) much
jazz and blues, and earned a M.S. from the University of Wisconsin,
Milwaukee in 1996. Then he moved again, this time going as far west as
he could, finally ending up in Seattle. There, he switched to coffee
(lots of it!), salmon, hiking, and partying. He fell in love, broke
up, got married, had a baby, founded a global mailing list, had fun
working on several research projects, irritated his advisors,
published a few papers, and earned a Ph.D. from the University of
Washington in 2002. All of his hard-earned degrees are in Computer
P.S. In Fall 2002, he moved east to become a professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-
Mountain View, California, 2010
breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken
places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very
good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you
are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there
will be no special hurry."
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
Random (in Vietnamese)
Hoa Lo^ng Cho^ng Tre^n Ca't
Tro+`i tu+` dda^y cha(?ng xanh ma`u xu+' so+?
Xa nu+o+'c ro^`i, ca`ng hie^?u nu+o+'c ddau thu+o+ng.
Lu~ chu'ng ta ngu? trong giu+o+`ng chie^'u he.p
Gia^'c mo+ con dde` na't cuo^.c ddo+`i con
Ha.nh phu'c ddu+.ng trong mo^.t ta` a'o dde.p
Mo^.t ma'i nha` ye^n ru? bo'ng xuo^'ng ta^m ho^`n.
Tra(m co+n mo+ kho^ng cho^'ng no^?i mo^.t dde^m da`y
Ta la.i ma(.c cho mu+a tuo^n va` gio' tho^?i
Lo`ng ta tha`nh con ro^'i
Cho cuo^.c ddo+`i gia^.t da^y.
Che^' Lan Vie^n
Cho to^i no'i vo+'i que^ nhu+ chuye^.n tro` vo+'i me.
DDu+'a con tha hu+o+ng ba chu.c na(m ro^`i
Ngo't nu+?a ddo+`i to^i a(n co+m xu+' Ba('c
Vi. ga.o ddo? que^ nha` va^~n nho+' kho^n nguo^i
Ng~ Bu`i Vo+.i, "Vo+'i Que^", 1985
Na(m tha'ng dda('ng cay ho+n, na(m tha'ng ngo.t nga`o ho+n
Em mo+'i hie^?u bay gio+` anh co' ly'
Du` chuye^.n xong ro^`i,
Anh dda~ xa ca'ch the^'
Em ha't kha'c xu+a ro^`i, kho'c cu~ng kha'c xu+a ...
Lo+'p tre? lo+'n le^n gio+` la.i ha't theo ta
La.i nha('p la.i vi. ngo.t nga`o thuo+? tru+o+'c
Va^~n so^ng Ne^va chie^`u ta` a'nh nu+o+'c...
Nhu+ng nghi~ cho cu`ng ho. co' lo^~i dda^u anh?
Olga Berggoltz, 1939-1940
Gio' tho^?i la' sen ho^` la^.t la.i phi'a be^n kia
Phi'a a^'y go.i anh ve^`
Ve^` dda^u chu+a bie^'t nu+~a?
Chi? bie^'t ho^`n anh la^.t la.i cu`ng vo+'i gio'
O+? trong ho^`n ai ddo' ne'm thia lia
Phi'a be^n na`y la' sen la` cuo^.c ddo+`i qua' cu~
Danh vo.ng, gia^'y to+`, ba`n tu? ...
Hoan ho^ va` chu+o+?i ru?a ...
The^' ma` la^.t la' sen ho^`, bo^~ng cho^'c phi'a
Bo^~ng cho^'c la` mu`i hu+o+ng o+? be^n kia la'
La` a'nh tra(ng o+? trong tie^'ng gio'
La` thi` tha^`m a'nh sao khuya
Trong co? ...
Go.i anh ddi
A` que^n, chi'nh la` go.i anh ve^`
Ve^` ca'i gi` nhu+ tie^`n tha^n ma` anh dda'nh ma^'t
Ma` la' sen ho^` tu+`ng che khua^'t
Ro^`i la' sen ho^` la^.t la.i
Cho ho^`n anh la('ng nghe
Trong khoa?nh kha('c phu't gia^y nghe he^'t
So^'ng che^'t, so^'ng che^'t ...
Hai tu+` a^'y nhu+ thoi reo, lu.c de^.t
Kho^ng co' phi'a be^n na`y
Kho^ng co' phi'a be^n kia
Phi'a be^n na`y la' sen la` cuo^.c ddo+`i ra^'t tuye^.t
Ma` phi'a be^n kia la' sen cu~ng la` cuo^.c ddo+`i
Ho^`n anh ne'm thia lia
Che^' Lan Vie^n, 1988