Dirk Karis is a Software Engineering Architect at Tableau. He has a bachelor’s degree in Math and Computer Science from MIT, and spent a couple of years exploring a PhD at the university of Rochester, focusing on linguistics, language acquisition, and natural language processing. He first became convinced there should be a better way to work with data as a technical support engineer at Oracle. After that, he worked at the static program analysis firm Intrinsa before and after its acquisition by Microsoft, both in customer problem-solving and as an engineer. He joined Tableau in 2007 as the 20th member of the engineering team. His first work activity was the Tableau Server 1.0 ship party–he then went on to build the first map renderer, combination charts, and other features you use today. His current work focuses on extending the VizQL formalism to help you see and understand your calculations.