Christopher Steger, ’08, NETFLIX
Under the tutelage of Behnaam Aazhang and Ashu Sabharwal, Chris concluded his protracted Rice career by completing his Ph.D. in 2008. Upon graduation into a global financial crisis, he found the market for asymptotic bounds on communication over two-way wireless channels to be fairly soft, so instead he joined a startup facing some interesting estimation and detection problems. At Skyhook Wireless, he helped to develop algorithms for location estimation and organic bootstrapping of a positioning system based on wi-fi access points. Then, after the wi-fi positioning market was commoditized by the entry of a succession of technology giants, Chris pivoted to product management to develop a suite of products for mining mobile location data. From there, he made the move to Netflix, a streaming video entertainment company, where he is currently Director of Product Innovation for Personalization Systems, and he leads development of Netflix search and homepage algorithms.