Dr. Chitra Durai
An 18-year IBM veteran, Dr. Chitra Dorai is a big fan of mathematician Richard Hamming and credits his writing with shaping her career. When she was an undergraduate at the Indian Institute of Technology, she came upon a quote from Hamming: “If you do not work on an important problem, it’s unlikely you’ll do important work.”
“That has been an undercurrent in everything I do,” said Chitra. “I ask myself, ‘Am I addressing an important problem?’ Every few years I jump into a completely new area, and absorb that field with the help of all the work that has been done before and with the help of my colleagues. I then try to make a difference by going after some of the important questions in the field.”
That peripatetic mind has engaged with a host of subjects from industry analytics (her current area) to multimedia systems, data mining, image processing, pattern recognition, machine learning, stream processing and cloud computing. Along the way her work has earned her recognition as an IBM Distinguished Engineer, a Master Inventor, and membership in the Industry Academy and Academy of Technology. Now she’s focusing on the use of analytics in the mortgage industry.