Nature + Computing

Nature + Computing

The intersection of computer science and the natural sciences

Computer science research and applications have grown increasingly data driven. At the same time, the natural sciences have experienced an explosion of data, and are being increasingly driven by computation. While historically the tools created in these two disciplines have been created in relative isolation of each other, increasingly there is bidirectional flow, with insights from machine learning, system modeling, visualization, and software engineering rapidly advancing the pace of scientific discovery, and the statistical rigor of the empirical sciences, driven by a desire to fundamentally understand how the world works, pushing the computational sciences.

The Nature + Computing team at MSR-Redmond is a diverse collection of researchers drawn from across the organization who develop and apply the tools of data science to scientific data and whose research interests are focused on the study of nature.

Precision Medicine

The broad aim of precision medicine is to understand the causal mechanisms underlying variation in clinical outcomes and to improve the efficiency of all aspects of medicine—from scientific discovery to bedside application and disease prevention. Our group is working on projects ranging from vaccine design, to cancer therapeutics, knowledge extraction and basic science using the tools of computational biology.

Heath & Wellbeing

Our group focuses on improving mental health, developing personalized systems to recommend behavioral changes that affect a wide variety of outcomes, and developing technologies that transform the lives of individuals living with physical impairments.


We are committed to using the tools of computer science and machine learning to tackle some of the hardest challenges in environmental sustainability, including conserving biodiversity, ensuring robust food systems, and mitigating climate change.

Engineering with Biology

The recent advances in biotechnology and the increasing challenges in electronics make this a good time to study how these two areas may interact. We are investigating how to apply biology to address current engineering challenges and how to apply engineering principles to the design and optimization of biological systems.