Craig Mundie is one of the two executives who assumed Bill Gates’ responsibilities at Microsoft. (Bill Gates visited UC San Diego in 2003). Mundie is responsible for directing Microsoft’s long-term technical strategy and investments and oversees Microsoft Research, which employs more than 1,000 Ph.D. level researchers.
At UCSD, Mundie connected with students through a dynamic demo presentation and lecture that ended with a Q&A moderated by Amin Vahdat, a Jacobs School of Engineering computer science professor and director of UCSD’s Center for Networked Systems . Watch Calit2'swebcast of the talk here.
“Microsoft Research is one of the last remaining corporate research laboratories in the world dedicated to computer science and engineering—and a consistent and important source of fundamental advances in computing. I can’t overestimate the importance of our research collaborations with Microsoft Research, or the valuable experiences our students gain when they intern or take full time jobs there,” said Vahdat.
“It’s amazing to see the surface computer up close. Everyone joins in…so many people,” noted Shah as he peered over shoulders to get a closer glimpse of the tabletop computing surface that allows several users to work independently or together without a mouse or a keyboard.
Bioengineering major Deepthi Vijay was part of the crowd of students waiting for a chance to play with Microsoft Surface. “The argument that technology makes people antisocial is nullified by applications like this,” she said.
Computer science Ph.D. student Justin Ma thought the presentation “showcased the breadth of Microsoft.” He described Microsoft’s efforts to integrate various technologies as “very impressive.”
Ma was one of the students who asked questions during the Q&A. “During the Q&A, I thought Craig Mundie provided some insights into Microsoft’s role in technology and how that technology will affect the ways people will interact socially in the future.”
Communications major Mandy Gallegos called Mundie’s demos “fascinating.” Gallegos said it was great to get an inside look at how technology will change during her working life. She attended the lecture with her Fluency in Information Technology course, taught by computer science lecturer Susan Marx. Exposing students to the highest levels of Microsoft gave them an excellent perspective on industry versus academia, said Marx.
Daniel Kane, Jacobs School of Engineering, 858-534-3262, firstname.lastname@example.org