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Our people: Kate Hake

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People
Product Management

“What sets Learnosity apart for me is the people. It’s inspiring to work with such dedicated people who seem to genuinely care about the impact of our work but also don’t take themselves too seriously.”

Kate Hake is a Product Manager at Learnosity focusing on the K12 and Higher Ed markets. Here, she tells us about career change, steep learning curves, and the many wonders of the great outdoors.

What do you do at Learnosity?

I am a Product Manager focusing on the K-12 and Higher Ed markets.

How did you get into that area?

Before Learnosity, I was a mathematician. After earning my PhD, I spent a few years at Carleton College teaching math and continuing my research in Geometric Knot Theory. I was looking for a change and joined Learnosity as a STEM Product Manager, to help advance the math and science product offerings.

What would you say has been your biggest challenge at Learnosity to date?

I think one of the most complex areas I work on is accessibility.

While I was familiar with academic accommodations, I didn’t have any direct experience with web accessibility. After joining Learnosity, I quickly realized that it was an essential part of our product development and not an isolated component or separate consideration. It was a steep learning curve to learn about the various types of disabilities to consider, assistive technologies and methods used to access the web, different laws and guidelines, and the overall core principles of accessibility and universal design. While it was a challenging task, and I continue to expand my knowledge in the space, I think it is really important work and definitely worth the investment.

What work project are you most proud of and why?

I’m very proud of a project that my team worked on focusing on enhancing our math scoring engine. The project was challenging, ensuring that we can quickly and accurately score advanced math and science content while also handling the scale we expect from our customers.

The success of the project was the product of an incredible amount of work from the team as well as contributions from many others across the Engineering, Platform, and SRE (site reliability engineering) teams. When I was a teaching assistant in graduate school, I helped a lot of students with their online math homework and we would spend time just trying to figure out how to enter their answer so that the system would accept it. So it is especially exciting to see the advancements we’ve made to scoring that support students tackling problems in different ways.

"I’m very proud of a project that my team worked on focusing on enhancing our math scoring engine…it's especially exciting to see the advancements we’ve made to scoring that support students tackling problems in different ways." Click To Tweet

In your opinion, what makes working at Learnosity different?

What sets Learnosity apart for me is the people. It’s inspiring to work with such dedicated people who seem to genuinely care about the impact of our work but also don’t take themselves too seriously. In addition to that, I’ve found everyone to be incredibly supportive. People are always happy to help out and share their insights and knowledge. That made a huge difference for me when I first joined, having transitioned from a different career.

What do you do to relax in your spare time?

I love to spend time outdoors, often hiking or camping. I’ve recently gotten back into tennis, playing with my dad once a week, which has been really fun. In the winter, I enjoy skiing and I’m fortunate to get to spend time in Lake Tahoe, which is amazing for all of that depending on the season! I also enjoy baking. I’ve made a few wedding cakes for friends and family and every year my cousin and I make an elaborate gingerbread house, often inspired by a cabin we like or a place we’ve visited.

One of our annual gingerbread houses, inspired by our favorite cabin in the area we often walk.
Skiing with my nephew in Tahoe, CA.

Micheál Heffernan

Senior Editor

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