Curtis Wong

Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research

Curtis Wong is a Principal Researcher at the Microsoft Redmond Research Laboratory. His interests include data visualization, interactive media, and natural user interaction. He formed the NextMedia group which developed a number of technologies to enhance browsing and sharing of interactive media experiences. His research with Jonathan Fay working on spatial temporal interactive data visualization led to the WorldWide Telescope (WWT) which empowered millions of users around the globe to explore and understand the Universe. WWT debuted at TED in 2008 and has now been acquired by the American Astronomical Society to advance astrophysical research, public outreach and education. Soon after WWT’s launch Curtis formed a team that would go on to create PowerMap and 3D Maps in Office Excel allowing everyone to be able to visualize spatial and temporal data on a map/globe to understand the patterns of activity over time. Curtis collaborated with Dave Brown to develop 3D visualization platforms including Holograph and NUIGraph for visualization of complex multidimensional unit data across a number of Microsoft platforms and devices.

Curtis also conceived and developed Project Tuva in collaboration with Bill Gates to make the Messenger Series Lectures by acclaimed Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist Richard P. Feynman freely available to the public on the Web. Tuva featured an innovative interactive player with links to simulations and detailed reference information directly from key points in the lecture. Project TUVA was a WEBBY Award finalist 2011 in the intensely competitive Best Video on the Web.

Curtis has a long history working with Public Broadcasting serving on advisory boards for PBS Online, PBS KIDS, WGBH and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He worked closely with WGBH’s Frontline to lead the vision for Commanding Heights: the Battle for the Global Economy which was awarded the British Academy Award for Online Learning in 2002.

Curtis joined Microsoft Research from Intel Corp in Santa Clara where he was Director of Content/Technology and conceived and developed ArtMuseum.net which was the first broadband 3D virtual museum on the Web featuring the National Gallery’s Van Gogh’s Van Goghs, and the Whitney museum’s American Century exhibition and presented at TED in 1999.

In early days Curtis was at the Voyager Company, a pioneer in interactive media technology which created the first eBooks, interactive laserdiscs for education and the produced the first multimedia CD-ROM’s for Windows such as Multimedia Beethoven and the first children’s CD-ROM: Amanda Stories.

My Sessions

Learning from Leonardo: Inside Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester

Limelight A & B

Microsoft Principal Researcher Curtis Wong will take us on a journey through his 37-year quest to understand Leonardo da Vinci. In this unique fireside chat interview, Curtis will share with us the new insights he’s drawn about the man and his work through his research and collaboration with leading Leonardo scholars from all over the […]