Posted by Rob Knies

Jeannette Wing

Jeannette Wing is corporate vice president of Microsoft Research. As such, she oversees Microsoft Research’s core research laboratories around the world—and Microsoft Research Connections.

That much is true, indisputably. But her personal biography goes so much deeper than that. The above description doesn’t mention her academic career, which included more than 27 years at Carnegie Mellon University, where she served on two occasions as head of the Computer Science Department. It doesn’t include her three years as assistant director of the Computer & Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation. Nor does that bare-bones bio refer to her fervent belief in the concept of computational thinking.

Now, though, there is a resource that can provide a deeper, more well-rounded introduction to Wing, her research passions, and her vision for the future. That can be found on Channel 9, beginning Oct. 29, as part of its Microsoft Research Luminaries series.

The series launched Oct. 16 with a video about Ivan Tashev and his significant contributions to the audio system behind Kinect in both Xbox 360 and the forthcoming Xbox One.

Now, it’s Wing’s turn. One of the most interesting parts of her interview comes when she is discussing one of her favorite subjects.

“Computational thinking is the thought processes for formulating a problem, and expressing a solution to that problem, in a way that a computer, either a human or a machine, can effectively carry out,” she explains. “More simply, I like to think of computational thinking as just the thought processes that a computer scientist would use in solving a problem.”

Interest piqued? If you want to hear more—and you do—Channel 9 is where you need to go next.