Microsoft Research Director Judith Bishop to Lecture

Posted February 18th, 2010 at 3:44 pm.

photo of Judith BishopJudith Bishop, a trailblazing computer scientist who has contributed to the development of numerous widely used programming languages, will give a talk titled “The Hot under the Cool—Patterns, Programming and Performance” in Room 234 of  Bryn Mawr’s Park Science Building on Thursday Feb. 25, from 4-5 p.m. A tea will precede the lecture at 3:30 p.m.; both tea and talk are free and open to the public.

Bishop is now the Director of Computer Science in External Research at Microsoft Research, where she aims to foster strong links between Microsoft’s research groups and top computer-science departments worldwide. She came to Microsoft from a highly distinguished career as an academic, having served on the faculties of institutions in Canada, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and most recently at the university of Pretoria in her native South Africa. She has over 90 publications, including 15 books on programming languages that are available in six languages and read worldwide.

Bishop’s talk will focus on the research that undergirds popular consumer electronics. “So much of what computer science produces is labeled as cool,” Bishop says, “that it is easy for the public to miss the real hard science that goes into getting the graphics, the communications or the devices out there into the consumer space. Yet it is the hot topics under the cool that attract the best students and the biggest grants and should be as visible to the public and to policy makers.”

“This talk,” Bishop continues, “looks at research underneath user interfaces and in the quest for performance in the past decade as seen through my years as an academic, but more recently in Microsoft. Patterns and abstraction are not evident to the naked eye, but they drive reusable, safe and cost-effective software. I will examine the progress that has been made, the current research that is ongoing, and the steps that will need to be taken—technical and social—to meet the massive estimated needs of computer specialists in the future.

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