Inspiring Girls to Stay in STEM and #MakeWhatsNext

As a new college graduate, my first job was to speak at high schools across the U.S. to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. As part of this program, called “Previews of Progress,” I demonstrated “new” technologies in areas like lasers, turbine engines and hydraulics to get students excited about the possibilities. The world, and STEM, has certainly changed since then, and I Read more »

Washington state math wiz takes first prize in national MathCounts competition

This week, Edward Wan, a seventh grader from Lakeside Middle School in Seattle, Washington, became the first-place champion of the 2016 Raytheon MathCounts National Competition. Approximately 140,000 students in the United States participate annually in school MathCounts competitions, leading up to this big event. It was a particularly proud moment for those of us at Microsoft. For the past 10 years, we’ve hosted on our campus the MathCounts Lake Washington Read more »

Washington state computer science students urge applications for unique STEM scholarship by Feb. 29

STEM, scholarship, education

Katy McClintic, a senior at Western Washington University, is set to receive her degree this June in computer science, with a minor in mathematics. And she’s already accepted a job offer to start as a program manager at Microsoft. She’s thrilled at how far she’s come, but it wasn’t always easy. “Getting a computer science degree is time-intensive and stressful at times,” she says. But along the way Katy found Read more »

Every Student Succeeds Act will increase access to STEM learning

Today, a major K-12 education overhaul took one step closer to becoming law when the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act, a bill that will reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  This legislation will increase access to STEM and computer science learning nationwide and will advance some of the goals outlined in Microsoft’s National Talent Strategy.  And its passage comes at a unique time during Read more »

Why research remains so important to innovation – and to a vital economy

Microsoft’s research investments in speech, natural language processing and machine learning have contributed to the development of Skype Translator and Cortana. The company’s investments in biological computing and quantum computing are examples of “our bets on the future of computing,” writes Jeannette Wing, corporate vice president at Microsoft Research, who oversees the company’s core research labs. At Microsoft, basic research is supported through Microsoft Research labs because “we believe that Read more »

Microsoft makes additional investment in Washington state STEM students

STEM, education, scholarships, University of Washington

Yarelly Gomez knows what hard work feels like. “My parents would leave before 3 a.m. to pick asparagus, and they would pick cherries in the afternoon,” said the 20-year-old from Sunnyside, a town of 16,000 in the state of Washington. “Before we were old enough for school, my brothers and I would come with our parents to work, and we wouldn’t get back home until late in the afternoon.” Yarelly Read more »

Every Child Achieves Act will improve access to K-12 STEM learning nationwide

The U.S. Senate this week completed work on a major education overhaul that will increase access to STEM learning nationwide. We applaud the leadership of HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) for ushering through legislation on a strong, bipartisan basis that advances some of the goals outlined in Microsoft’s National Talent Strategy. Specifically, the Every Child Achieves Act includes: A provision offered by Sen. Al Read more »

Why we need to pass House Bill 1813 in Washington state

Hour of Code, education, computer science

Over the past two years, Microsoft and our allies worked to broaden access to computer science in high school. Half the states now allow computer science courses to count toward high school graduation. Yet every student should be able to learn this subject. It’s time for Washington state to make computer science really count by passing House Bill 1813. That’s why I joined leaders from education, non-profits, and business in Read more »

Microsoft and The Seattle Times team up to host discussion on importance of early learning

On Wednesday, Microsoft had the opportunity to host an important discussion about early learning in Washington state. We sponsored the conversation as part of The Seattle Times’ new LiveWire event series. LiveWire events address vital issues impacting our region and its people by bringing together local and national experts for provocative conversations moderated by a Seattle Times journalist. The early learning program did just that. Last night’s event was moderated by The Seattle Read more »

California lawmakers consider legislation allowing computer science to count toward high school graduation requirements

Continuing the momentum on computer science education, on Wednesday the California State Assembly Committee on Education held a hearing to consider legislation that would allow computer science to count toward high school graduation requirements. The legislation, AB 1764, sponsored by California State Assembly members Kristin Olsen and Joan Buchanan, was passed by the committee and would allow computer science courses to count as a math or science credit. Why does Read more »