Paul Oka Home Image of Paul Oka Skip Navigation Linkshome > about

Who is Paul Oka


I am a principal research program manager at Microsoft Research, based in Cambridge, Massachussetts. My office is located at Microsoft New England Research & Development Center near Kendall Square. MSR New England lab is pursuing new, interdisciplinary areas of research that bring together core computer scientists and social scientists to understand, model and enable the computing and online experiencees of the future. My job in the lab is to build relationships between product and research groups, to find the right contacts and the best information, basiclly I get to work with really smart and passionate people. I can be contacted at

Prior to joining MSR New England I was a member of MSR external research group where I was the co-chair of the Microsoft/MIT alliance which had the goal of enhancing university education through the use of information technology. In 2006 I helped launch the Microsoft Pen Centric Computing Center at Brown University and in 2007 I launched the Center for Collaborative Technologies at the University of Washington to continue the development of the ConferenceXP platform.

My professional interest is in ubiquitous computing and how we can communicate instantly with each other without limitations of time and/or location. Today mobile devices are helping us be connect no matter where we are.

Some of my past projects are:

Before I joined Microsoft Research in 1999 I helped create the Microsoft Technology Center and managed the MTC in Waltham, MA.  Prior to that I was a code warrior for Microsoft Consulting Services writing line of business applications for fortune 500 companies.


I live in Massachusets with my loving wife Madeline and three kids: Tom, Amanda and Courtney. I first moved to Massachusetts with my family in the early 70’s and surprisingly have never really left. It is quite strange to think that my kids will be alumni from the same High School as me, only thirty years later. Who would have thought! Even though my root run deep in New England I have been lucky enough to travel all over the world and enjoy experiencing new cultures and environments.


It seem that I have more interests/hobbies than time, but when I do get to play here are the things I like to do. I spend the bulk of my free time with photography. I have always enjoyed talking pictures and have been trying to push myself from just snapping pictures to focusing on the composition of each frame. I would love to take a photography class and learn how to using lighting to improve my images but one step at a time.

One thing about photography is it complement my other interests like traveling! I enjoy traveling and explore new places and have the good fortune to travel to places like Canada, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Holland, Greece, Italy, India, China, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Chile, Kenya, Mauritius and many part of the US.

I also have an affinity to things with motors. My favorite motorized toy is my motorcycle, a 1998 Honda Valkyrie with close to 1600cc of power. Since I live in the northeast and have to put away my motorcycle for half the year, I recently started snowmobiling in the winter and have enjoyed exploring the 1000’s of miles of trails in the New Hampshire, Maine and Quebec. 

That is not all, I also enjoy snowboarding, wakeboarding, hiking and a rounds of golf or two. The great thing about many of my interest is that I am able to drag my family along with me and my kids have started to pick up some my interests as well. Last but not least I am a big Patriots and Red Sox fan.