Computing Science Alumnus Receives 2022 Outstanding Alumni Award
Christopher Stolte, BSc ’97
Co-founder, Tableau Software and co-founder, Stolte Family Foundation
Award Category: Professional Achievement
Christopher Stolte creates solutions for the benefit of society by combining his acute understanding of computer graphics and information visualization with entrepreneurial acumen. He received his BS. in Computer Science at SFU, and followed this with a Master’s and PhD from Stanford University in 2003. As a doctoral student at Stanford, he studied multidimensional data sets, researching how analytics could be made dramatically easier in order to empower many more people to work with data and make better data-driven decisions.
That research provided the basis for Chris to co-found Tableau with Christian Chabot and Pat Hanrahan in 2003. Alongside his co-founders, he built Tableau from a small start-up to a large company whose software helps millions of people across tens of thousands of companies to more easily "see and understand data." Prior to Tableau, he also co-founded Beeline Systems, a digital mapping start-up that was acquired by Vicinity. Chris's research across his career has focused on the use of technology to support and augment human creativity and intelligence and has resulted in 15 research publications and more than 20 software patents.
Together with his wife Heidi Stolte, Chris is also co-founder of the Stolte Family Foundation, and is working to create a sustainable future where everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential. To that end, the foundation focuses on empowering organizations and non-profits working to build climate solutions, improve education equity and increase civic engagement.