Microsoft Faculty Summit 2001 Forges Bridge Between Technology Industry and Education World

SEATTLE, July 24, 2001 — To foster greater interaction among technology professionals, educators and researchers, Microsoft has gathered some 300 faculty from 85 universities worldwide for the second annual Microsoft Faculty Summit here this week.

The two-day event (July 23-24) features talks by Rick Rashid, senior vice president of Microsoft Research, and Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect, as well as leading researchers, developers and educators.

Discussion topics range from Microsoft’s technology and its direction in the information-technology industry to specific areas of research, such as human-computer interaction; learning technologies; mobile and wireless; .NET; and operating systems and networks.

Douglas Leland, director of Microsoft Research’s University Relations group, which organized the Faculty Summit, sees it as a key opportunity to open discussions among some of the world’s leaders in research on top computing issues, such as ubiquitous computing, and to find solutions through collaborative research.

“The Faculty Summit is a good forum to learn about Microsoft and our technologies and to build peer-to-peer relationships that will lead to research projects that serve the industry as a whole,” Leland says.

Professor James Whittaker of the Florida Institute of Technology and of Florida HEAT (Hostile Environment Application Tester), says the faculty summit is a “great opportunity” to meet with faculty from other schools and share ideas and opportunities.

“Working with the industry lends more realism to academic research,” Whittaker says. “It makes our research more relevant to real problems, and everyone benefits from that.”

Microsoft Research’s University Relations group exists to facilitate the benefits that can be achieved through relationships with educators, students and Microsoft employees. The goal is to build world-class partnerships with universities, government agencies, industry partners and Microsoft employees to enhance the teaching and learning experience. The group also encourages technological innovation.

“It’s our mission to reinforce that Microsoft is a great resource for educators and students alike,” Leland says. “We all have similar goals — to tackle the industry’s toughest problems and advance the state of the art in computing.”

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