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Posted by Rob Knies
John Cleese, the acclaimed Monty Python actor, spent time as an A.D. White Professor-at-Large. So did renowned primatologist Jane Goodall. And Oliver Sacks, noted author and neurologist. And epic novelist Toni Morrison. And short-story writer Eudora Welty.Add to that esteemed list the name of Duncan Watts, principal researcher at Microsoft Research New York City. On May 6, Watts’ name joined the roster of honorees for that Cornell University program, established in 1965 in conjunction with the university’s centenary and named for the school’s co-founder and first president, Andrew Dickson White.“The A.D. White program brings some of the world’s most distinguished scholars, thinkers, and artists to Cornell as ‘professors-at-large,’” said Steven H Strogatz, Jac
Boaz Barak specializes in theoretical computer science. He has a Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science, has been a member in the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study, based in Princeton, N.J., and then moved across town to serve as an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University.Now, as a senior researcher at Microsoft Research New England, he is helping to verify the presence of nuclear warheads.That might seem an unlikely turn of events, but it just goes to show the unusual opportunities Microsoft Research scientists get to improve our world for the better.