Imagine a YouTube where only geniuses can upload videos, and you’ve pretty much got the idea behind the new Microsoft Research Video Library app for Windows 8. But you don’t need a Ph.D. to enjoy this wide-ranging collection of over 4,000 seminal lectures, interviews and more from computer science luminaries. Most of the videos will be of interest to anyone with a passing interest in the role of technology in our lives.
Here are a few of my favorite discoveries so far:
Richard Feynman’s Messenger Lectures
The format of these landmark lectures by Nobel-winning physicist Richard Feynman couldn’t be more basic – it’s just the man and his blackboard. Yet they’re absolutely captivating, and remarkably accessible given the hard science subject matter.
“I think someone who can make science interesting is magical,” Bill Gates once said of the lectures. “And the person who did that better than anybody was Richard Feynman. He took the mystery of science, the importance of science, the strangeness of science, and made it fun and interesting and approachable.”
Jim Gray on “Behind the Code”
Database guru Jim Gray pioneered technology for e-commerce, online ticketing and ATM terminals, and his work is still used by scientists in fields like geology, oceanography and astronomy.
In this candid 2005 interview, Gray traces his journey to computer science, considers the evolution of the field and reveals his “Hairy Smoking Golf Balls” theory.
Remarks by Senator Barack Obama
President Barack Obama was an Illinois Senator when he gave this brief speech in 2006 on the importance of encouraging more women to pursue careers in science, math and technology.
Microsoft Research Faculty Summit
Microsoft Research’s annual Faculty Summit is a can’t-miss event that brings together many of the industry’s brightest minds. The Video Library app includes Faculty Summit highlights from years past, as well as some of the most interesting moments from this year’s sessions, such as remarks by Bill Gates, Doug Burger, Clay Shirky and many more thought leaders in computing research.
These are just a few of the many treasures waiting for you in the Microsoft Research Video Library app, available now in the Windows Store.