Anne Cutter Schowe

BS ’72, Computer Science, Purdue University
MS ’74, Computer Science, Northwestern University
MBA ’79, College of St. Thomas
(Nominated by: Nominated by Computer Science)

"Purdue provided a great environment in which to learn and to stretch my mind. Not only were my Computer Science classes exciting for me, but also classes in the Humanities, Sciences, and PE. At Purdue, in Computer Science, I was able to take a wide-range of electives. My advisor encouraged me to take several courses in computer design from the EE department — including digital design, microprogramming, and analog design and control systems. This coupled with my software training gave me the skills to develop complex systems that combined hardware, software and control."

A female computer scientist in the 1970s had to be of the pioneering sort. And that’s just who Anne Schowe is. She began her career at AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1972 as a Member of the Technical Staff working on an early Computer Aided Design and Diagnosis system for digital switching systems. From Bell Labs, Schowe moved to Control Data Corporation where she was Advanced Systems Program Manager in the Energy Management Systems Division, which developed turnkey monitoring and control systems for power utility companies.

"While I found all my positions challenging and rewarding, I think my work at Control Data’s Energy Management Systems Division was the most practical and directly useful to society,” Schowe explained. “Our mission was to provide complete command and control systems for power companies using state of the art interactive computer screens and real-time monitoring and control. These systems had to be reliable, relatively simple to operate, and available 24/7, 365 days per year."

Schowe’s work also allowed us to spend wonderful hours on YouTube. 

In the 1980s and ‘90s, Schowe helped lay the foundation for streaming video, as well as digital and HD television. As part of Lucent Technologies, a subsidiary of AT&T, and managing director of the Visual Solutions Business Unit, Schowe led a team responsible for developing chipsets for digital video. She then took her talents to Sun Microsystems as vice president and general manager of Interactive Systems where her unit developed an early streaming video server.

Thank Schowe next time you watch a cat video at work. 

Career Highlights 

  • In 1979 while working at the Energy Management Systems Division of Control Data, I was awarded the Sustained Management Excellence Award for creating and leading organization responsible for standard applications in previously fully-custom so-lutions. In the early 1990’s, while working for Lucent Systems, my organization developed some of the first integrated circuits for digital video processing. 
  • 1997 Helped commercialize one of the first streaming digital media
  • 1979 Awarded the Sustained Management Excellence Award for creating and leading organization responsible for standard applications in previously fully-custom solutions while at Control Data 
  • 1975 Led team that implemented first functional simulator for computer fault simulator for digital telephone switching systems while at Bell Labs

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