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Some Consider Msr India Mecca of Theoretical Computer Science: Jeannette Wing


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Jeannette Wing is corporate vice president, Microsoft Research, with oversight of the organizations core research laboratories around the world and Microsoft Research Connections.

In an interview, Microsoft Research's Jeannette M. Wing discusses innovation in India, women in software research, and this year's research trends.

Credit: Microsoft Corp.

In an interview, Microsoft Research's Jeannette M. Wing discusses innovation in India, women in software research, and this year's research trends.

India's talented workforce helped draw Microsoft Research to the country, says Wing, noting that India has a top theoretical computer science school that stands out worldwide. Developing countries such as India benefit from research and development investment because it boosts the economy, impacts society, and invests in talent. India is focusing on engineering education, which will create a generation of computer scientists who will innovate in business and academia, and train the following generation.

The shortage of women in technology fields is a global problem with no simple solution, Wing says. In the United States, "mathematics and science are usually not the subjects that teachers encourage their female students to pursue," she notes. This discourages many women from pursuing technology careers before they even reach college, and those who do study technology in college often feel out of place. However, Wing says the technology industry is working to encourage more women to participate. "We have some prominent senior women executives now, and they certainly speak well about how one can be a female technical leader," she says.

Top research trends in 2014 include using big data to solve problems in new ways, analytics, and natural user interfaces.

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