Portrait of Rick Rashid

Rick Rashid

Emeritus Researcher


Dr. Richard (Rick) Rashid founded Microsoft Research in 1991, and between 1991 and 2013, he oversaw the worldwide operations for Microsoft Research, an organization that grew to encompass more than 850 researchers across nearly a dozen labs worldwide. Under Rashid’s leadership, Microsoft Research conducted both basic and applied research across disciplines that include algorithms and theory; human-computer interaction; machine learning; multimedia and graphics; search; security; social computing; and systems, architecture, mobility and networking. His teams collaborated with the world’s foremost researchers in academia, industry, and government on initiatives that expanded the state of the art across the breadth of computing and helped ensure the future of Microsoft’s products. During his time at Microsoft, Dr. Rashid has held the positions of director, vice president, senior vice president and chief research officer.

Before joining Microsoft, Rashid was professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University (opens in new tab) (CMU). As a faculty member, he directed the design and implementation of several influential network operating systems and published extensively about computer vision, operating systems, network protocols and communications security. During his tenure, Rashid developed the Mach multiprocessor operating system, which has been influential in the design of modern operating systems and remains at the core of several commercial systems.

Rashid’s research interests have focused on artificial intelligence, operating systems, networking and multiprocessors. He has participated in the design and implementation of the University of Rochester’s (opens in new tab) Rochester Intelligent Gateway operating system, the Rochester Virtual Terminal Management System, the CMU Distributed Sensor Network Test bed, and CMU’s SPICE distributed personal computing environment. He also co-developed of one of the earliest networked computer games, Alto Trek, during the mid-1970s.

Rashid was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering (opens in new tab) in 2003, and he received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Emanuel R. Piore Award (opens in new tab) in 2008. He was also inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (opens in new tab) and received the SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award (opens in new tab) in 2008. In 2009, Rashid was given the Microsoft Technical Recognition Award for exceptional career achievements. Dr. Rashid was inducted into the Royal Academy of Engineering (opens in new tab) in 2014. He is a past member of the National Science Foundation (opens in new tab) Computer Directorate Advisory Committee, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (opens in new tab) (DARPA) UNIX Steering Committee and the Computer Science Network Executive Committee. He is a Trustee for the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (opens in new tab), as well as a former chairman of the Association for Computing Machinery (opens in new tab) Software System Awards Committee.

Rashid received master of science (1977) and doctoral (1980) degrees in computer science from the University of Rochester (opens in new tab). He graduated with honors in mathematics and comparative literature from Stanford University (opens in new tab) in 1974.