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Otterbein University Announces Commencement Speaker

February 29, 2012

Photo of Mr. LeeWesterville, OH—Otterbein University has selected Dr. Peter Lee, corporate vice president of Microsoft Research Redmond, to address the class of 2012 at the University’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20, in the Rike Center on the Otterbein campus in Westerville. Otterbein will present Lee with an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree.

"Dr. Lee’s passion for the sciences is inspiring, as is the innovative work he has produced in his years of academic and professional research," said Otterbein President Kathy Krendl. "This class of Otterbein students will be graduating into a continuously changing world, and Dr. Lee is the ideal person to show them the possibilities that exist for them if they are passionate and dedicated to their goals."

Lee leads a computing research laboratory that delivers product-focused research for Microsoft to support innovation development and contributes to the broader scientific community by openly publishing basic research results. Lee was previously a Distinguished Scientist and managing director of Microsoft Research Redmond.

Before he joined Microsoft, he held key positions in both government and academia. His most recent position was at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he challenged conventional Department of Defense (DoD) approaches to computer science. One of the highlights of his work at DARPA was the DARPA Network Challenge, which mobilized millions of people worldwide in a hunt for red weather balloons — a unique experiment in social media and open innovation that fundamentally altered the thinking throughout the DoD on the power of social networks.

Prior to joining DARPA, Lee was head of Carnegie Mellon University’s nationally top-ranked computer science department and vice provost for research. Lee earned his doctorate in computer and communication sciences and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and computer sciences from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. 

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