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Lunch with Natasa Milic-Frayling, Microsoft Research

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Computing technologies have become an important factor in innovation within their own field and more broadly. This is evident from cross-disciplinary efforts on computational challenges in biology, material sciences, medicine, engineering and other areas. As a field itself, computer science offers great intellectual engagements and opportunities for technical innovation. For all of us who wish to pursue a career in technical fields, it is important to understand the nature of innovation and what is required for us to engage effectively. In a rapidly evolving field that may change over time, just as we evolve in our personal development, preferences and desires. We shall reflect upon the issues and the ways to prepare ourselves for the roles that we need to take on in order to fulfil our personal goals and make a broader impact.



As a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research (MSR) Cambridge, UK, Natasa Milic-Frayling is setting research directions for the Integrated Systems group (, a cross-disciplinary team focused on information and communication systems and services. In her research, Natasa fosters collaboration across academic areas and takes multiple perspectives on research problems. During her tenure at MSR she also served as Director of Research Partnership that promoted collaboration with external partners from academia, industry, and public sector. Through such collaborations MSR expanded the research agenda to include challenges of long term access to digital content, first in collaboration with the partners of the PLANETS EU project ( and now continuing with the SCAPE project (

Natasa received her Doctorate in Applied Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, in 1988 and her BSc in Mathematics from University of Zagreb in 1984. Prior to joining Microsoft Research in 1998, she served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Scence at Seton Hill College and, subsequently, Director of Research at the Claritech Corporation, a spin-off company from Carnegie-Mellon University. She is actively involved with a wider community, promoting research and innovation through public speaking and research engagements. Recently she gave prestigious lectures on Social Computing at the Royal Society of Engineering in London and the Institution of Engineering and Technology in Belfast.

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