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Tech industry guru Ellen Hancock shares her wisdom on interdisciplinary collaboration.

Years before Ellen Hancock became one of the highest-ranking women in technology, she was a young New Yorker with two math degrees, reviewing career options. The future seemed to be in computer science and applications like the burgeoning space program.

Problem: “I knew nothing about space and I didn’t know anything about computer science,” she says. She set her sights on computer-science giant IBM, acing the entrance test.

A 29-year career followed, then stints as COO of National Semiconductor and CTO of Apple.

Now, Hancock is making a generous gift of $1 million to support Santa Clara’s Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation—to give future brilliant leaders interdisciplinary exposure to fields of the future.

Says Hancock: “The way the sciences and other disciplines will reinforce each other is very healthy.”

post-image Illustration by Sam Kalda.
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