Links to the idea of computer scientist as toolsmith
“Great discoveries have happened more when people actually engage in problem-solving. Take Louis Pasteur – he was engaged in trying to solve a problem with fermentation in the brewing process, and through that research he went on to make all his famous discoveries in microbiology.
“That’s the way it actually happens: it’s not blue sky research to practice, it’s the other way around... When you are doing research you always want to see how things actually affect outcomes, then you’ve got something that can be fed back into practice.”
Whilst real-world problem solving really drives her passion for her subject, how those solutions then become knowledge has also been an abiding interest for Shirley, and has led to some of her most important work. (Source)