Daniel T. Ling retired from Microsoft Corporation in 2015. Ling joined Microsoft in March 1992 as one of the founders of Microsoft Research, which is dedicated to a broad program of basic and applied research in computer science and related areas. The laboratory’s mission is to advance the state of the art, develop new technologies which benefit Microsoft customers, and engage with the worldwide research community.
Ling served as director of the Redmond laboratory from 1995 until his promotion to corporate vice president in April 2000. During this period, Microsoft Research grew from a handful of scientists to six labs on three continents. During that time, research expanded into a variety of new areas including artificial intelligence and learning, computer vision, quantum computing, computer systems and networking, big data and data mining, cloud-based services, cybersecurity, and software development tools.
Previously, Ling was senior manager at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. He initially worked on special-purpose VLSI chips for displays and was a co-inventor of video-RAM dynamic memory. He subsequently managed departments that conducted research on advanced microsystems based on 370 and RISC architectures, and the associated systems and VLSI design tools. One of these departments initiated work on a novel machine architecture, organization and design, code-named “America,” that led to the IBM RS/6000 workstations. Ling subsequently managed the veridical user environments department, which conducted research in virtual worlds technology, user interfaces and data visualization.
Ling received his bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University.