Financial technology, usually shortened to FinTech, is one of the oldest pairings of domain specific knowledge and computing. It’s origins can technically be traced back to 1918 when the US Federal Reserve Bank first developed Fedwire Funds Service. The service made it possible for the transfer of funds between the 12 Reserve Banks, the Federal Reserve Board, and the U.S. Treasury by telegraph using Morse code. Needless to say, technology has developed quite a bit since then.

Digital Banking and Trading

Computing in the mid-20th century brought huge changes to banking. In 1950, Diner’s Club introduced the first credit card , and in 1967, Barclays Bank installed the first ATM machines. The two inventions were huge. The combination of easy-to-carry cards and widely available ATMs allowed for the quick, mobile transferring of funds. But things weren’t just changing for consumers.

While credit cards were catching on, the stock market was beginning to undergo a digital transformation of its own. Quotron, the first dedicated financial technology company, began selling terminals that displayed stock quotes on electronic screens instead of printed ticker tape. Gaining traction in the early 1970s, the Quotron terminals greatly impacted the speed of which brokers could obtain a quote. Instead of waiting throughout a lengthy printing and manual communications process, brokers could receive a by-the-minute update right in front of their eyes.

Online Banking and Payment Systems

The 1980s brought several major changes to fintech, revolutionizing the industry and forming the bases for the ways in which the modern financial sector operates. The first was instantiated by the company TradePlus, now known as E-Trade, in 1982. The company became the first online stock brokerage firm. It still serves customers to this day.

The second innovation was the introduction of online banking a year later in 1983. Although online banking is the norm today, at the time, there was limited access. Several companies tried their hand at online banking, they mostly scrapped the idea throughout the next decade. A bit ahead of its time, online banking is now the preferred method of transferring funds.

Modern Trends

Modern trends in fintech revolve around modern technologies. The most prominent and impactful of these are the use of data science and artificial intelligence technologies. AI forecasting methods provide to-the-second forecasts to help traders maximize gains. Additionally, predictive analytics give insights and judge risk of potential borrowers. These techniques are so valuable that in 2018, organizations invested $59.5 million globally into new technologies. The huge demand points to an increase in financial automation in the years to come. Whatever innovations come next, it’s certain that they will be cutting edge and likely immensely profitable.

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During the month of May, the United States officially observes Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI Heritage Month). The commemorative holiday celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander heritage. Originally designated to last a single week by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, AAPI Heritage Week was extended to the full month of May in 1990 by George H.W. Bush. As a premiere IT services company, we owe a lot of our success to many hardworking, innovative AAPI computer scientists, engineers, and other STEM professionals who came before us. In today’s blog, we will be paying tribute to their work by highlighting a host of AAPI researchers who contributed to their respective scientific fields.

Ted Fujita

Dr. Tetsuya “Ted” Fujita was living in Kokura during WWII. The city was the original target of Fat Man, but the target was changed to Nagasaki when Kokura was obscured by cloud and smoke. The atomic explosions inspired Fujita to become a researcher. He is credited with discovering downbursts and microbursts and inventing the Fujita scale (F scale) for tornados, which was later popularized in the movie Twister (1996). His work at the University of Chicago greatly impacted our understanding of severe weather systems, including thunderstorms, tornados, hurricanes, and typhoons.

Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu

Often referred to as the First Lady of Physics, Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu was the daughter of an engineer father and educator mother. Her parents encouraged her pursuit of mathematics, and after more than a bit of self-studying, was accepted into and graduated from the National Central University with a major in physics. Wu’s most famous contribution came when she was asked to be part of the Manhattan project. She famously invented the process for splitting uranium, instrumental to the bomb’s development. Scientifically, she is most known for the Wu experiment, earning her the 1957 Noble Prize in Physics.

Daniel C. Tsui

Another Chinese-American Noble Prize winner, ‘Dr. Tsui was born in an impoverished and war-torn Henan, China in 1939. Due to the destruction, top university graduates took school teaching positions, which benefited Daniel Tsui’s early education. Eventually making his way to the University of Chicago, he received a Ph.D. in physics in 1967. He would later be 1/3 of a team that would win the Noble Prize in Physics for the “discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations” while working at Bell Laboratories. He would spend nearly 30 years working as a faculty member in both the computer science and electrical engineering departments at Princeton University.

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

The first astrophysicist on our list, Dr. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was an Indian-American scientist who focused on a wide range topics. Much of our modern knowledge and theories come from his work on quantum theory, relativity, stochastic processes, black holes, white dwarfs, and other stellar objects. His discovering of the phenomena in which a star with a mass more than 1.44 times that of the Sun does not form a white dwarf but instead becomes a neutron star after a super nova explosion was given his namesake. He was one half of the team that won the 1983 Noble Prize in Physics along with his partner and nuclear physicist William A. Fowler.

Ellison Onizuka

Ellison Onizuka was an aeronautical engineer and astronaut. The native Hawaiian excelled throughout his entire life. As a youth, he obtained the rank of Eagle Scout and participated in FFA and 4-H programs. He received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and an M.S. later the same year in 1969. After graduation, Onizuka entered the U.S. Air Force on active duty, as a flight test engineer and pilot, attending the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. He later joined NASA and became the first Asian American to reach space on the shuttle Discovery. Tragically, he lost his life onboard the Challenger when it exploded shortly after launch in 1986. Several astrological features and scientific awards are named after him. Recent U.S. passports include his most famous quote:

“Every generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds… to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation.” – Ellison Onizuka

Ajay Bhatt

Ajay Bhatt is responsible for one of the most iconic pieces of computer technology: the USB flash drive. A Master of Electrical Engineering, Bhatt developed the technology while working at Intel in the 90s, and the rest is history. The device holds the distinct advantage over optic discs in that it is smaller, more durable, rewritable, and easy to transport. The computer architect also helped develop the AGP (accelerated graphics port) and PCI express. He now acts as the Chief Client Platform Architect at Intel.

Steven Chen

Steven Chen has entered the chat. Chen helped revolutionized how we consume media as one of the co-founders and former Chief Technology Officer of YouTube. The video-sharing entrepreneur immigrated to the US from Taiwan when he was just eight years old. Before changing the world, Chen was an employee at PayPal and Facebook. He has started several other projects, including the now-defunct live streaming food network Nom.

Isabella Abott

Dr. Isabella Abott had a lifelong interest in seaweed and ethnobotany growing in Maui, Hawaiia. She was the first Hawaiian woman to receive a Ph.D. when she graduated from University of California in 1950. Over the span of her decades-long career, she authored eight books and over 150 publications. During her lifetime, she was considered the world’s foremost expert on Hawaiian seaweed and algae of the Pacific Ocean basin. She was credited with discovering over 200 new species of seaweed. Her legacy remains in the form of the Dr.’Isabella’Aiona’Abbott Scholarship’Fund‘for graduate research in marine and ethnobotany.

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ePATHUSA turns 16! Founded in 2005 with the belief that IT services can be of high quality while being affordable and available, we have been providing our premiere expertise to commercial, state, and federal organizations. A lot has happened since then, and the world is a different place. To celebrate this milestone, we are opening a time capsule from 16 years ago. Take a look at what was going on back in 2005!

First YouTube Video Uploaded

On April 23, 2005, a little known site called YouTube went live. It’s sole video, ‘”Me at the zoo,’ was uploaded by its co-founder Jawed Karim. The nineteen second video would usher in a new era of digital media, transforming the way we consumed information. Over 2 billion users frequent the site each month, watching a combined total of over 1 billion hours of video content each day.


YouTube wasn’t the only social platform to make its debut in ‘…05. Reddit, the self-proclaimed ‘”front page of the internet,’ was created by Steven Huffman, Alexis Ohanian, and Aaron Swartz as a social news aggregation and discussion platform. The platform now ranks at the 18th month visited site in the world and the 7th in the US, boasting more than 430 million users.

Xbox 360 Released

On the hardware side of things, Microsoft launched the long-awaited follow up to their original Xbox gaming console. While the early versions suffered from the infamous ‘”Red Ring of Death,’ It’s expanded online features helped it become the first living room multimedia hub. The console ended its product lifecycle with over 84 million units sold worldwide.

Revenge Of The Sith Becomes Highest Grossing Film

Always managing to find its way to lists, the Star Wars franchise left its mark on the movie industry with the final entry in the prequel trilogy. After two disappointing entries, director George Lucas finally delivered a critical and commercial hit worthy of the franchise name. Grossing over 860 million worldwide, Revenge of the Sith remained 2005’s highest grossing film in the US and maintains the record for a Thursday opening.

We Belong Together

Mariah Carey made her musical comeback with ‘”We Belong Together.’ The lead single off her 10th album, the song reached number on the US Billboard top 100 and currently holds the rank of 14 on the US billboard all-time rankings. The hit also hit the top spot in Australia, Canada, and the UK.

Lance Armstrong Wins Tour De France For 7th Time

American road-racing cyclist Lance Armstrong now infamously won the Tour De France for the 7th time. His reputation later took a hit after a much publicized doping scandal which saw him stripped of his seven wins. 

Airbus A380

In a win for Airbus aeronautical engineers, the superjumbo, wide-bodied passenger plane A380 made its first successful flight. With a maximum takeoff weight of 575 t and capable of transporting 800 passengers, it is the largest passenger plane ever built. In a somewhat bittersweet coincidence, production of the Airbus A380 is slated to end this year.


As the internet and cellphones spread throughout the world’s population, so did a variety of interesting and colorful slang. Self-taken cell phone photos, now able to be quickly uploaded and shared on rising social media sites, became known as ‘”selfies.’ The term stuck and is still used to this day.

Spanish Flu Reconstructed

A collaboration between the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, USDA, National Institute of Health, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York successfully reconstructed the Spanish flu. The research proved that the virus was related to the avian flu virus and helped determine the lethality of H1N1. 

Pluto Gets Some Competition

A team of astronomers successfully identified the dwarf planet Eris. The trans-Neptunian object is the most massive in the solar system and second largest after Pluto. The same year, astronomers identified Eris’ only known moon, Dysnomia.

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After several perceived mishaps in polls’ ability to accurately predict the outcome or the scale of victories in recent elections, notably the US general elections in 2016 and 2020, the public has grown weary of polling accuracy. this sentiment is reflected in the media as well. Headlines such as ‘”WRONG. WRONG. WRONG’ and ‘”Polling Blows It Again’ don’t inspire much confidence in readers. The industry is estimated to be worth over $20 billion annually, so it is safe to say polling isn’t dead. Maybe, pollsters just need a little extra help?

Machine Learning & Electoral Outcomes

Much of what we call artificial intelligence (AI) is really machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics. These are computational statistical methods used to predict the likelihood of particular event occurrences, quantities, and outcomes. Many researchers exploring these techniques are arguing that they may boost the accuracy of polls. And it isn’t just theory: early methods of implementing AI polling have already seen some success.

Take for instance Italian company‘s system predicted that Democratic candidate Joe Biden would win by a 50.2% margin of the popular vote to Republican candidate Donald Trump’s 47.3%. That’s a narrow 2.9%. When the dust had settled, Joe Biden won with 51.31% or a 4.45% margin of victory. While the AI system underestimated Biden, in predicting state victories, it performed better. Traditional pollsters had expected Biden to carry states like Florida by a 2 to 3-point lead; Trump carried the state by just shy of 3.5%.

How is AI getting a more precise feel of voters before election? Partly by analyzing voter’s social media and other online activity data. The advantage to looking at digital conversations over in person questioning is partly due to the social desirability bias (SDB). SDB explains the phenomena that humans, when responding in person, are more likely to give a response they deem to be more socially or situationally desirable. The internet largely negates this effect. Online, there is a sense of anonymity, even if there isn’t. What people share, comment on, like, and follow are more indicative of their actual viewpoints and preferences. By utilizing aggregated data retrieved from online activity, AI researchers argue that voter sentiment can more accurately be obtained.

Concerns In the AI Era

Utilizing AI prediction methods does carry some ethical issues and raises questions regarding the future state of democracy. If people obtain perceived evidence of the outcome of an election, will this influence their turnout or vote? Given what we know about how humans react to traditional polling information, it’s very possible. As AI becomes further integrated into our social fabric, these issues will soon get a chance to be answered as we move into the era of AI polling.

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February is host to the annual observance of Black History Month (BHM) in the US and Canada. The month is a way of remembering and honoring black figures, events, and communities. This year, we wanted to cover important figures in IT, computing, and STEM. Unfortunately, we couldn’t list them all. So in this week’s blog post, we’re raising awareness for black programmers, inventors, scientists, and engineers that don’t have the immediate name recognition they deserve.

Lewis Temple

Lewis Temple Statute

Born into slavery in Richmond, VA in 1800, Lewis Temple quite possibly had the least likely shot of ending up on this list. After moving to Massachusetts, he became a relatively successful blacksmith. Living in a whaling town, he would use concepts from Eskimo and other native american harpoons to invent a toggling harpoon tip which caught on in the mid-1800s. Sadly, a series of injuries combined with the overt prejudice of the time resulted in Temple living his final days in debt and with little recognition. In modern times, a statue of Lewis Temple and his invention stands in New Bedford, MA.

Patricia Bath

Patricia Bath

Born in 1942, the ophthalmologist holds a number of impressive accomplishments. Most famous for inventing laser cataract surgery, she was also the first woman to lead a post-graduate training program in ophthalmology and the first African-American woman to receive a medical patent, of which she would eventually hold five. If this wasn’t a great enough contribution to mankind, she also helped found the non-profit American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness and frequently traveled the globe treating eyesight. She passed away in 2019, but her contributions to eyesight and human progress will continue to be felt.

Valerie Thomas

Valerie Thomas

Valerie Thomas didn’t gain much support for interest in science from her parents, who enlisted her in an all-girls African American school. Still, a select few teachers offered guidance, and she was admitted to Morgan State University. She began her career as a data analyst for NASA. After witnessing an illusion exhibition, she invented and received a patent for the illusion transmitter. The transmitter, still used by NASA, would allow for the creation of magnetic resonance imaging technology and three-dimensional television. She eventually worked her way up to associate chief of the Space Science Data Operations Office at NASA. The position allowed her to work on projects related to Hailey’s Comet, the Voyager spacecraft, and ozone and satellite research.’

Jerry Lawson

Jerry Lawson

What if you had to buy an entire video game console for each new game? Well, without Jerry Lawson, that would have been the only possibility. Lawson, one of the few African American engineers working in computing at the time, helped create the Fairchild Channel F. The console was notable for being the first home video game system with interchangeable games. This capability was so instrumental to game development that he has been called the Father of Modern Gaming.’

Janet Bashen

Janet Bashen

Software developer, entrepreneur, and business consultant Janet Bashen attended a segregated elementary school in Huntsville, AL until fifth grade. She later graduated with a BS in legal studies and government from the University of Houston and a MJ-LEL from Tulane Law School. In 1994, Bashen founded her own company, the Bashen Corporation, to investigate discrimination claims filed by employees. Here, she received a patent for LinkLine, a web-based application for Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) claims management and documentation. This feat makes her the first African-American woman to receive a patent for web-based software. As part of her social justice advocacy, she has tested before the U.S. House of Representatives on issues surrounding the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

George Robert Carruthers

George Carruthers with his invention, the ultraviolet camera

It may be easier to say what George Robert Carruthers was rather than what he was not. An engineer, scientist, physicist, and space scientist, Cincinnati native’s contributions to science cannot be understated. He developed the ultraviolet camera that allowed astronauts on the Apollo 16 mission to map the outermost atmosphere of Earth and distant stars and galaxies. He also used his instruments to prove that molecular hydrogen exists in gaseous space mediums. Carruthers died of congestive heart failure on December 26, 2020 in Washington D.C. where he had spent most of his working life. His awards include being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and receiving the National Medal of Technology and Invention from Barack Obama in 2012 and 2013. 

Lonnie Johnson

Lonnie Johnson

Last, but certainly not least, is the man, the myth, the legend: Lonnie Johnson. Born in 1941 to a WWII vet and a nurse’s aid, Johnson always wanted to know how things worked. In one famous story, he almost burned his house down trying to cook up rocket fuel over his stove. His penchant for engineering would serve him well. Johnson would help develop the nuclear power source for the Galileo Jupiter mission and the B-2 stealth bomber project for NASA and the US Air Force. But this success paled in comparison to his own invention, the Super Soaker. With sales approaching over $1 billion, the Super Soaker would be inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 2015 for its role in saving children from summertime boredom.

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In the modern era, Valentine’s Day is celebrated throughout various regions of the world as a time to celebrate romance and love. What better time to celebrate our love of information technology and computer science! In today’s blog post, the ePATHUSA team gives their favorite industry some affection.

1. IT: It’s what we Do!

Getting the obvious out of the way, ePATH employees love computers. Whether it was early on or later in life, we have a passion for reading about and playing and experimenting with computers. For many developers, analysts, and admins, they always knew IT is where they would end up. As Ram states ‘My passion for computers and coding led me to this Industry.’ 

2. Opportunities

From a practical, analytical standpoint, many of us in the IT sphere studied computer science for opportunity. If you choose to take this path, you would not be misguided. The industry has a much higher than average growth rate, being expected to grow by 11% from 2019 to 2029 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you’re looking for a good career path, it’s hard to go wrong with IT!

3. Self-Discovery

Some of us on the team are a bit more philosophical. As developments in computer science continue to progress, AI can help delegate otherwise mundane or short-term tasks from humans. In doing so, we hope that this will free up time for humans to discover our personal, or perhaps even humanity’s, purpose. Assistant Program Director for Government Services Shiva Meduri says we will be able to ‘”…focus on the innate pursuits of why.’

4. Bringing Tech to Life

It’s alive! Sure computer and electronic engineers design computers, but computer programmers bring them to life. From creative software to creative projects, computers are only as useful as their programmers!

5. Growth

IT is ever changing, and thus those who work in the field must forever adapt. But this is why we love it! ‘”The main thing that keeps me motivated in IT has to be the constant learning,’ says Lead Support/DevOps Engineer Suman Kondla. And he’s no outlier. .Net Developer Pravallika Gottam says that ‘”(IT) gave me an opportunity to prove my skills. I learned about bug fixes, debugging existing applications…also I participated in CMMI attainment within our company.’ ‘”Learning new things everyday keeps me motivated,’ added Sr. Software engineer Meenakshi Midde, ‘”so I think IT suits me.’

6. Enhancement of other skills

Not everyone at ePATHUSA originally came from a background in information technology. In fact, accounting, business, mathematics, electronics, and even English majors call the West Des Moines office home. As Marketing Specialist Matthew DeFelice puts it, ‘”Information technology allows me to express my other skill sets in a way that simply wouldn’t have been possible thirty, twenty, or even only a decade ago.’

7. For a Better Tomorrow

IT professionals are constantly looking for ways to pay it forward. ePATHUSA founder Anitha Timiri encourages youth to learn to code as soon as possible, and enjoys donating to and sponsoring youth coding events and competitions. As our CEO stated previously in an interview with the Technology Association of Iowa, ‘”I would also encourage younger kids, if they can, to attend any school or local tech clubs or competitions. It’s a great way to start learning.’ But even “everyday” work projects make an impact. According to .Net Developer Mounish Sai, ‘”the solutions we work on together will help few dozens to thousands of people making their life easier. That’s the beauty of this Industry.’

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