Andy Wilson

Senior Researcher




Text Box: Department of Computer Science at Cornell University
Text Box: Text Box: The Conway-Walker Lecture is supported by Drs. Richard and Edythe Conway

Richard Conway and Robert Walker were instrumental in the founding of Cornellís Computer Science Department in 1965, convincing senior administrators of the need for a PhD program and securing generous funding from the Sloan Foundation to help launch the fledgling unit.


Richard Conway, during his long and varied career at Cornell, held a faculty position in Computer Science from 1965 to1983, serving as Chair of the Department 1978-79 and 1983-84. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is widely known for his fundamental contributions to scheduling and computer simulation. Dick is a faculty emeritus of the Johnson School of Management.

Robert Walker was a Professor in the Department of Mathematics from 1938 to 1974, serving as its Chair for ten of those years. Bobís interest in computing and its connections to mathematics grew during his career. He held a half-time faculty appointment in the CS Department until 1968. Bob became emeritus in 1974 and died in 1992.



Text Box: What started as a modest incubation effort has grown into the Surface Computing group at Microsoft. Surface, its first product, is but one example of an exciting new category of form factors and user experiences. In this talk I would like to present a number of research projects that share the Surface Computing vision but push in different directions. For example, PlayAnywhere is a compact tabletop projection-vision system which explores a number of new interactions on everyday surfaces, while TouchLight combines a transparent projection screen material with computer vision techniques, and FourBySix allows multiple designers to gather around a large-format Surface. We've even brought Surface technology to spherical displays, and, most recently, dome projection displays. In addition to new form factors, we are also examining ways to structure Surface interactions that go beyond traditional point cursor models. For example, Surface input may be embedded in a gaming physics simulation to obtain realistic manipulations based on friction and collisions. Finally, I will describe some recent work applying newly developed range-sensing cameras to enable new interactions above the surface. All of these new systems have the potential of changing the way we relate to computing, but they also pose serious challenges because they are so different from today's desktop computing systems.
Text Box:                The      
                Distinguished Lecture          
Text Box: Thursday
August 27, 2009
Text Box: 4:15 pm
B17 Upson Hall
Reception - 4th Floor Atrium at 3:45pm
Text Box: Surface Computing:

Andy Wilson is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research. There he has been applying sensing technologies to enable new styles of human-computer interaction. His interests include gesture-based interfaces, computer vision, inertial sensing, display technologies and machine learning. In 2002 he helped found the Surface Computing group at Microsoft. Before joining Microsoft, Andy obtained his BA at Cornell University in 1993, and PhD at the MIT Media Laboratory in 2000.


Publications and videos of his work are located at: