Established in 2020 with a gift of $1,000,000 from Christopher and Heidi Stolte
The Donors hope that this professorship, and its future holders, may help advance the development and use of technology to solve societal problems and improve social, environmental and economic outcomes. They are believers that technology can greatly augment and support the application of human creativity to challenging problems. They are also strong believers that new technology must be developed with intentional design consideration of societal impacts and ethical concerns. It is their hope that the work supported by this professorship will reflect both of these beliefs.
Chris Stolte is a father, computer scientist and entrepreneur. He received his Master’s and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 2003 and his B.Sc. from Simon Fraser University in 1997. His Ph.D. at Stanford was on the analysis and visualization of multidimensional databases. That research provided the basis for Tableau, a company he co-founded in 2003. Tableau’s products have been used by millions of users across tens of thousands of companies to more easily "see and understand data." Tableau went public in 2013 and was acquired by Salesforce in 2019. Prior to Tableau, Chris also co-founded Beeline Systems, a digital mapping startup, that was acquired by Vicinity. Chris's research has focused on the use of
technology to support and augment human creativity and intelligence.
Heidi Stolte is a mother, former educator, community volunteer and philanthropist. Before moving to Seattle in 2003, Heidi was an elementary school teacher in Northern California where she grew up. She received her B.A. in Communication from UC San Diego and her Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. Heidi feels a strong passion for education and families and has focused her work in education equity.