Asking questions, even if the answers seem impossible, can lead to the most amazing discoveries. Just ask AT&T researcher Taniya Mishra, who works primarily on speech synthesis and speech analysis. In this video, Mishra discusses how her computer science, math and speech technology degrees led to a satisfying career creating entirely new solutions to common problems.

Mishra developed an app that uses text-to-speech technology to read children's stories aloud using computer-generated voices. The text from the books doesn't need to be pre-recorded; the sound is synthesized from the text on the fly. The computer uses a different voice for each character, so it's engaging for kids, and even highlights each word as it's spoken to boost reading and pronunciation skills.

An early interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects encouraged Mishra to develop the skills that led to her dream job. AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have donated nearly $87 million to support STEM initiatives since 1995, including scholarship programs, hands-on technology labs and science-focused summer camps for at-risk youth.

"For the next generation of young scientists and engineers, my advice would perhaps be the same as what my math teacher gave me — be curious,” says Mishra. “Ask why. Ask lots and lots of whys. Be undaunted by problems that seem really big, because maybe you are the first person to be thinking about that problem."

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AT&T Cool Jobs: Helping kids learn how to read with fun text-to-speech apps
Developing apps that use cutting-edge speech synthesis technologies is one of the cool science- and math-focused jobs at AT&T.