Dr. Chao graduated with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in December 2015. Her current research focuses on supporting learners in resource- constrained environments, to learn programming using mobile devices. She has received a number of grants to support her research from organizations such as Hasso Plattner Institut and Kenya Education Network.
Her research has been published in several peer-reviewed conferences such as Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), and peer-reviewed journals such as IADIS International Journal on WWW/Internet. Dr. Chao holds an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Oxford and a BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science from Kenya Methodist University.
Dr. Chao has received several awards for her academic achievements, demonstrated leadership skills, and community involvement. She was a winner of the 2014 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship (EMEA). She was a recipient of the 2015 Schlumberger Faculty for the Future award for women in STEM. She was also selected as one of 200 young researchers worldwide to attend the 2015 Heidelberg Laureate Forum, a week-long forum with laureates of the highest prizes in Mathematics and Computer Science.
Dr. Chao is an active advocate for quality education and research. She demonstrates this through continually offering practical-oriented teaching and problem-based learning. She also adds to the voice towards quality education through presentations at renown conferences such as the Grace Hopper Celebration. She is also an active mentor to students in Computer Science, with previous involvements including as a committee member for Women in Computer Science society at UCT and leading outreach activities through Google’s Women Techmakers. She currently runs an active all-gender mentorship program consisting of 35 students.
Dr. Chao is currently a Researcher and Lecturer in the department of Computer Science at Kenya Methodist University.