UCF Math Alumna Named TV Pioneer

Kanouff picUCF Mathematics alumna, Yvette Kanouff, ’88, ’93,// //  is among 14 named to the 50th anniversary class of Cable TV Pioneers. She will be inducted into the 2016 class of Cable TV Pioneers at a banquet kicking off the Internet and Television Expo on May 15 in Boston. This event celebrates TV pioneers who represent the industry’s top multiple system operators, independent operators, programming networks, and technology companies.

Yvette Kanouff is the senior Vice President and General Manager of the Service Provider Business for Cisco. Yvette leads the development strategy for Cisco’s Service Provider segment and a global team of engineers, architects, product line managers, technical marketing engineers, and business development managers delivering innovation for the service provider customer segment.

Yvette explained that “…[B]eing nominated as a Cable Pioneer is very special. It indicates that I have made significant contributions to the cable industry over the past 20 years. I am very proud of what we (the industry) have done to truly turn around an industry from being one-way television to supporting broadband, on demand, voice services, etc. It has been fun.

Yvette holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics from UCF, with a focus on compression. She helped lay the foundation for the Industrial mathematics program at UCF with Piotr Mikusinski, Ph.D., and she also founded the Yvette Kanouff Industrial Mathematics Scholarship, which is awarded to graduate students in the department of Mathematics with an interest in working on industry problems.

Prior to joining Cisco in 2014, Yvette served as the Executive Vice President of Corporate Engineering and Technology at Cablevision. There she was responsible for the implementation of the company’s strategic technology and critical engineering objectives, as well as identifying emerging technology opportunities.

Over the years, Yvette received multiple awards such as the National Cable and Television Association’s 2014 Vanguard Award for Leadership in Science and Technology and an Emmy for her work on video-on-demand (VOD) with SeaChange. Broadcasting & Cable named her one of the 11 most influential women in the television industry. Yvette also holds several patents on VOD-related digital technologies.

CableFAX has also included her numerous times on its Top 100 Women list, naming her the industry’s “Top Techie” for 2011, and included her in its CableFAX “Digital Hot List” for 2012.

Yvette is thankful for her time at UCF and explained the importance of mathematics in career development. “Math makes you so flexible in career choices – something that we need given today’s tough job market. Now is a better time than ever to study math!”

Yvette shares more about her time at UCF, her career, and advice to students in the spotlight responses below.

What originally inspired you to pursue a career in Mathematics?

I was not interested in mathematics at all as a child. But I fell in love with mathematics when a teacher in the 8th grade made me solve a problem in front of the whole class. I was so nervous, but when he walked me through it, I thought it was so much fun – and I never looked back. All we need is someone to give us a kick start in STEM fields.

How has a degree in Mathematics from UCF helped you achieve your goals?

It’s all about the people. I had wonderful professors like Piotr Mikusinski, and a superb thesis advisor in Ahmed Zayed. I remember Ahmed loving my research as much as I did, and he went on to present and publish the work. I have kept in touch with Piotr and Ahmed since then. All of my professors deeply cared about the material and success of their students. It was very special and I have only the fondest memories of my years at UCF.

 Do you use math in your current job?

I worked as a mathematician doing digital signal processing for years. This was one of the reasons I helped kick start the industrial mathematics program – to help show master’s students the applications of mathematics. I have worked in pattern recognition and compression and transport and today, I head up teams that specialize in various technologies (at Cisco in Silicon Valley). So many of which involve mathematics.


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