|Intro||Japanese computer scientist|
|Is||Computer scientist Engineer Athlete Tennis player Researcher|
|From||United States of America|
|Type||Academia Engineering Technology Science Sports|
|Birth||10 June 1971, Japan, Japan|
Yoky Matsuoka (松岡陽子 Matsuoka Yōko, born c. 1972 in Japan) is the CTO of Google Nest. She was a co-founder of Google X and previously held roles as CEO of Quantus, as a technology leader at Apple, and as VP of Technology at Nest.
Previously, she was an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University and an associate professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, director of Washington's Neurobotics Laboratory, director of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering. She is a 2007 MacArthur Fellow, commonly referred to as Genius Award. At University of Washington, her research combined neuroscience and robotics—sometimes referred to by Matsuoka by the portmanteau neurobotics—to create more realistic prosthetics.
Early life and education
She was born in Japan and moved to California at the age of 16. In her youth, she was a semi-professional tennis player, once ranking 21st in Japan, but was eventually sidelined by injuries (she broke her ankle for the third time); her interest in robotics began with the idea of a robotic tennis player, which she later decided was unrealistic.
She received her B.S. degree in 1993 from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.S. (1995) and PhD (1998) in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Outside academia, she was chief engineer at Barrett Technology in 1995 and 1996 where she developed the microcode for the BarrettHand. From 2001 to 2006, Yoky was an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University. During this time, she held the Anna Loomis McCandless Faculty Chair (from 2004), received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2004) and an IEEE Early Career Award in Robotics and Automation (2005), and was nominated for the MacArthur Fellowship (2006), winning and joining the class of 2007. She continued her career at the University of Washington as an associate professor, and is currently working for Apple on wellness related products.
Matthew O'Donnell, dean of the Washington College of Engineering characterizes her as "a mechanical engineer, neuroscientist, bioengineer, robotics expert and computer scientist, all in one… [with] …the ability to see what is possible by combining all these disciplines." The MacArthur Foundation characterizes her work as "transforming our understanding of how the central nervous system coordinates musculoskeletal action and of how robotic technology can enhance the mobility of people with manipulation disabilities.
In 2011, she joined Google X as one of its three founding members. There she helped on-boarding Babak Parviz (who led the Google Glass team) and developed Google X's portfolio in medical space. She then joined Nest as VP of Technology, in charge of machine learning and UX. There she led the development of the adaptive component of the Nest Thermostat, which is a key component of the product to date. Currently, she is an advisor to Brain of Things, that provides a home that learns. In 2015 she left for Apple and worked there until Dec 2016 on Apple's HealthKit tracking software, the CareKit tool for managing patient medical care, and the ResearchKit framework. She is currently Chief Technology Officer at Nest.
She is married to a computer vision specialist and has four children.