Portrait of Thomas Ball

Thomas Ball

Partner Researcher

About

I work in the area of programming languages and software engineering in MSR’s Redmond Lab, as a member of the RiSE group. Over the past five years, I’ve turned my attention from problems plaguing professional software developers to focus on simplifying the creation of physical computing systems for the rest of society.  I led the team from Microsoft that helped to deliver the BBC micro:bit to over 800,000 year-seven students in the UK, and then started Microsoft MakeCode, a web-based platform for bringing physical computing into the classroom. Working with the Micro:bit Education Foundation, over five million micro:bits have been distributed worldwide. A new project, Microsoft TileCode enables the design, coding, and playing of video games on low-cost battery-powered MakeCode Arcade gaming handhelds. Recent papers on this work: