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The Future Is Here

Microsoft’s chief research officer will discuss how computers are “more like us” Oct. 4

September 20, 2011 | by Megan Fellman

Craig Mundie

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A fundamental transformation is under way in how people interact with computers and what can be expected from them.

Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft Corporation, will discuss how the computing interface has evolved from something we drive to something that’s “more like us” at a free public talk Tuesday, Oct. 4, at Northwestern University. (Note: The event is now sold out.)

Some of the newest computing power -- five Windows Phone 7.5 devices and two Xbox 4GB Kinect Bundles -- will be given away to audience members following Mundie’s presentation.

The talk, “Converging Worlds: A New Era in Computing,” will be held at 3 p.m. in the Ryan Family Auditorium of the Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Road, on the Evanston campus. The event is sponsored by Northwestern’s N. W. Harris Distinguished Lecture Series.

“Today, we find ourselves embarking on one of the biggest transformations in computing ever,” Mundie said earlier this year, “where the computer shifts from being a tool to being a helper.”

Powered by insights from big data, more natural user interfaces and a merging of the physical and digital worlds, this new era of computing will enable exciting new capabilities. Mundie will discuss how we can harness these new technologies to take on some of the world’s most complex challenges.

A question-and-answer session, opportunities to interact with the tools demonstrated by Mundie, a raffle for Microsoft products and a dessert reception will follow the talk.

Mundie oversees Microsoft Research, one of the world’s largest computer-science research organizations, and is responsible for Microsoft's long-term technology strategy. He also directs a number of technology incubations and works with government and business leaders around the world on technology policy, regulation and standards. Mundie joined Microsoft in 1992.

The N. W. Harris Lecture Fund was established as a gift from Norman W. Harris in 1906 to provide “for the establishment and maintenance of a course of lectures.” Harris designed the fund to bring “scholarly investigation covering the whole field of human knowledge” to the “students and friends of Northwestern” and, by extension, to the world.

Topics: Campus Life