Microsoft Research Releases Details About "Daytona" at Faculty Summit
July 18, 2011
Designed to help access and manipulate large data sets, this tool kit brings the cloud to scientists’ fingertips.

REDMOND, Wash. — July 18, 2011 — At the 12th annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit today, Microsoft Corp. unveiled details about a new platform that will expand the tool set for scientists in need of large-scale data computation capabilities. Currently code-named “Daytona,” this tool kit is designed to run a wide class of analytics and machine-learning algorithms on Windows Azure to allow scientists to analyze their largest data collections.

“‘Daytona’ gives scientists more ways to use the cloud without being tied to one computer or needing detailed knowledge of cloud programming — ultimately letting scientists be scientists,” said Dan Reed, corporate vice president of the Technology Policy Group at Microsoft. “We’re very excited to empower the research community with this enhanced tool kit that will hopefully lead to greater scientific insights as a result of large-scale data analytics capabilities.”

The Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2011 is a three-day event where leading computer scientists, academics, educators and government officials gather with Microsoft researchers to discuss computing challenges and trends. This year’s event, themed “Future World,” brings together more than 300 thought leaders who will explore topics such as Natural User Interface, cloud computing initiatives and machine learning.

Tony Hey, corporate vice president of Microsoft Research Connections at Microsoft, said executives chose this year’s theme based on their commitment to forward-looking technology.

“This event lays the groundwork for Microsoft’s future collaboration with universities, industry and government,” Hey said. “It is our goal to advance research, inspire technological innovation and cultivate the next generation of thought leaders.”

Microsoft Research Awards $1.4 Million in Funding to Next Generation of Scientists

During the Faculty Summit, officials are also announcing the recipients of the 2011 Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship grants, which are awarded to eight promising young researchers around the world for a total grant distribution of $1.4 million. Now in its seventh year, the Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship Program rewards innovative new faculty members who are exploring breakthrough, high-impact research that has the potential to help solve some of today’s most challenging societal problems. The eight Microsoft Research Faculty Fellows for 2011 and their areas of interest can be found at http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/collaboration/awards/msrff_all.aspx.

Project Hawaii

The Faculty Summit will also serve as a venue to showcase student work from an ongoing Microsoft initiative called Project Hawaii. Launched in 2010, Project Hawaii is an experimental program that provides students with tools, services and equipment to create their own, cloud-enabled mobile applications using Windows Azure and Windows Phone 7.

Students from more than 20 universities participated last year. For example, this spring a group of computer science students at Stanford University created myscience. Computer science lecturer Jay Borenstein oversaw the project and said Project Hawaii gave him and his class valuable resources. “The tools made it possible for a team of students to create a full-featured application serving two audiences — scientists and ordinary citizens with Windows phones — in less than five months,” Borenstein said.

The Project Hawaii team is working on expanding the program and will use the Faculty Summit to preview upcoming services for the next school year. Examples of student work from previous semesters can be found here.

About Microsoft Research

Founded in 1991, Microsoft Research is dedicated to conducting both basic and applied research in computer science and software engineering. More than 850 Ph.D. researchers focus on more than 55 areas of computing and openly collaborate with leading academic, government, and industry researchers to advance the state of the art of computing, help fuel the long-term growth of Microsoft and its products, and solve some of the world’s toughest problems through technological innovation. Microsoft Research has expanded over the years to six countries worldwide and brings together the best minds in computer science to advance a research agenda based on an array of unique talents and interests. Microsoft Research operates in Redmond; Cambridge, Mass.; Mountain View, Calif.; Cambridge, U.K.; Beijing; and Bangalore, India; and also conducts research at the Cairo Microsoft Innovation Center in Egypt; the European Microsoft Innovation Center in Aachen, Germany; FUSE Labs in Redmond and Cambridge, U.K.; and Microsoft Research Connections and the eXtreme Computing Group in Redmond. More information can be found at http://research.microsoft.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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