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 startup 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

AnHai's picture 2
Mountain View, California, 2010

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 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, 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
be^n kia
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^` que^
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
Nghe... 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