Royal Institution Christmas Lectures with Microsoft Research

I drove from Liverpool to London this afternoon and was delighted to stumble across Chris Bishop of Microsoft Research in Cambridge who has the honour of being the selected lecturer for the 2008 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures – a 180 year old tradition. 

Whilst ably dodging callers to Radio 5 who wanted technical support on Windows XP, Chris came across as a likeable chap and convinced me that I’ll be watching all 5 of the lectures this week on Channel 5 here in the UK. The promise to be both educational and fun as is the Royal Institution website for the lectures at where each lecture is supported by a fun challenge. For those not able to grab it via Channel 5, you can pre-order a DVD.

Chris will tackle topics such as the speed of computing and how long we can sustain Moores Law – all without the aid of PowerPoint – and with lots of audience involvement. It sounds like a great way to learn about some fascinating topics and hopefully get some children interested in the science of computing. The RI website also includes some terrific links on related aspects of each lecture which I’ve included below.

On a personal note, I’m delighted for Chris and MSR. I was at our labs in Cambridge recently and was shown some of the truly breathtaking work they undertake – the majority of it has no direct relation to Microsoft’s commercial business and it’s something I wish more people were exposed to their work. I think it’d change a few opinions of Microsoft pretty quickly if people could see the impact of this work could have on all of our lives.


Don’t forget, Channel 5 at 19:30 this tonight and for the rest of the week!

Breaking the speed limit


Chips with everything


Ghost in the machine


Untangling the web


Digital intelligence
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