Bill Gates Challenges Academia to Collaborate With Microsoft To Define the Future of Computing

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 2, 2004 — Today at the fifth annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates shared his vision and excitement for how Microsoft and academic researchers can team up to help develop the breakthroughs that will define the future of software computing in this decade. Speaking to 400 faculty researchers from top institutions worldwide, Gates encouraged his listeners that the industry is on track to make some incredible advances that also will impact how science is done in many other areas.

In addition, Microsoft Research University Relations unveiled the Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship Program, a $1 million endowment to stimulate and support new computer science faculty members’ creative research, and announced the Phoenix Academic Program and Phoenix Research Development Kit (RDK), which give faculty new avenues to collaborate and research with Microsoft’s future compiler infrastructure.

“Our commitment to higher education has been and will continue to be broad and strong,” Gates said. “Academic institutions worldwide remain at the forefront of software innovation, driven by the possibilities of pure research and a limitless imagination. This is the model for research at Microsoft as well, and together, we’re exploring new research frontiers of innovation that will transform computing and create a better future for people around the world.”

Gates called specific attention to security, reliability, software modeling, business productivity and natural interfaces as just a few of the key areas where Microsoft will continue to make an investment in research and development, but insisted that the combined effort of academic researchers and the industry will be necessary to make real progress.

Empowering Academic Thought Leaders

Today Microsoft unveiled a major effort with academia to support the next generation of innovators, called the Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship Program. The program will identify, recognize and support exceptional new faculty members who are taking computing research in novel directions with the potential for strong impact. The objectives are to stimulate “out-of-the-box” thinking and research that might not normally be supported by other funding sources, and advance the state of the art in faculty members’ chosen research discipline. Microsoft will award five fellowships per year, at $200,000 each, as well as other Microsoft resources such as software, conference attendance and mentoring opportunities with Microsoft researchers. Winners will be announced in the first quarter of 2005. Applications from women and underrepresented minorities will be encouraged. More information about the program can be found online at .

Partnering to Build the Future of Software

The Phoenix Academic Program is an ambitious project to simplify the complex engineering issues associated with research in areas including code generation, optimization and program analysis. Microsoft Research University Relations will provide academic researchers with cutting-edge technology and infrastructure to enable new research and teaching in software engineering through the Phoenix RDK, which offers a first glimpse of Microsoft’s future compiler infrastructure, code-named “Phoenix,” being developed in Microsoft Research. More information about “Phoenix” can be found at .

About the Faculty Summit: Improving Partnerships With Academia

Microsoft Research University Relations created the annual Faculty Summit in 2000 to provide another forum for the exchange of information and ideas, discussions on key computing problems, and potential collaborations to shape the future of computing. Faculty also come to campus to learn more about University Relations programs, initiatives, software toolkits, curriculum materials and Microsoft®
technologies that have the potential to enhance and extend their research agendas. This year’s event brings together 400 academic researchers, representing more than 135 institutions in 20 countries.

In fiscal year 2005, Microsoft Research University Relations is focused on promoting research and curriculum innovation in computing programs with all major schools through initiatives in areas where Microsoft can add special value to higher education. As such, collaborative research relationships with academia will center on three primary themes: the emerging computing environment, the transformation of science through computing and the advancement of a computer science curriculum.

About Microsoft Research University Relations

Microsoft Research University Relations, a division of Microsoft Research, is dedicated to building world-class relationships with colleges and universities that enhance the teaching and learning experience, inspire technological innovation and establish Microsoft as a leading technology partner for higher education.

More information on Microsoft Research University Relations can be found at .

About Microsoft

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