Microsoft Research Blog

The Microsoft Research blog provides in-depth views and perspectives from our researchers, scientists and engineers, plus posts about noteworthy events and conferences, scholarships, and fellowships designed for academic and scientific communities.

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  1. Deep Learning for Program Synthesis

    By Rishabh Singh, Jacob Devlin, Abdelrahman Mohamed, and Pushmeet Kohli, Microsoft Research Despite the many advances in computing over the past decades, the actual process of writing computer software has not fundamentally changed — a programmer must manually code the exact algorithmic logic of a program in a step-by-step manner using a specialized programming language. Although programming languages have become much more user-friendly over the years, learning how to program is still a major endeavor that most computer…

    April 21st, 2017

  2. From cancer to crop genomics — using Research as a Service at the intersection of computers and biology

    By Kenji Takeda, Director, Azure for Research, AI and Research Ever since Nicola Bonzanni was a little boy playing in the tiny Italian village of Bonate Sotto, just north of Milan, he was fascinated by nature and by building things. As he grew up, he wondered how computing and nature might be intertwined. “While I was studying computer science I was inspired by nature in building new algorithms. But then I thought perhaps you could…

    March 28th, 2017

  3. Microsoft challenge: Build a collaborative AI in Minecraft

    By John Roach, Writer, Microsoft Research A Microsoft Research team has created a competition using Project Malmo, a platform that uses Minecraft as a testing ground for advanced artificial intelligence research. The team is challenging PhD students to develop an AI that learns to collaborate with other randomly assigned players to achieve a high score in a mini-game within the virtual world. The field of collaborative AI research involves the development of technologies that work…

    March 14th, 2017

  4. Democratizing AI to improve citizen health

    By Kenji Takeda, Director, Azure for Research Doctors make life-saving — and life-changing — decisions every day. But how do they know that they are making the best decisions? Can artificial intelligence (AI) help? “Before evidence-based medicine, decision-making in health care was heavily reliant on the expertise and knowledge of the health professional, usually a doctor. What has happened in the last 20, 30 years is that the health care literature has exploded way beyond…

    March 13th, 2017

  5. A new understanding of the world through grassroots Data Science education at UC Berkeley

    By Vani Mandava, Director, Data Science, Microsoft Research While some may regard data science as an easy passport to a job for the tech savvy, Luis Macias has different ideas. The fourth-year undergraduate student, who is majoring in American Studies at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), wants to turn the hype of data science into hope for low-income communities like the one he grew up in. Luis was among the first students to take…

    March 9th, 2017

  6. New Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant provides support to under-represented groups in computing

    By Dr. Meredith Ringel Morris, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research I am pleased to announce that Microsoft Research is funding a new academic program, the Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant. This grant program offers selected doctoral students doing computing research at U.S. and Canadian universities up to US $20,000 to fund their dissertation work. This program is open to students currently under-represented in the technology sector, including women, people with disabilities, and people who are African-American/Black, Hispanic/Latino,…

    March 7th, 2017

  7. From improving a golf swing to reducing energy in datacenters

    2017 Swiss Joint Research Center kick off By Scarlet Schwiderski-Grosche, Senior Research Program Manager Recently, we celebrated an important milestone for our Swiss Joint Research Center (Swiss JRC). We welcomed top researchers from all partners to a workshop at the Microsoft Research Cambridge Lab, to kick off a new phase in our collaboration. This workshop represented the end of a busy 10-month period for the Swiss JRC during which we ramped down projects from the…

    February 21st, 2017

  8. Partnership yields key breakthroughs in VR’s “grand challenge”

    By Noboru Sean Kuno, Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research Asia The potential for virtual reality (VR) to upend industrial design, medicine, and other specialized fields has now vaulted the emerging field into the ranks of what the National Academy of Engineering calls its 14 grand challenges of the 21st century, an eclectic list of endeavors from preventing nuclear terror to securing cyberspace. The importance of improving VR and 3D immersive communication has been a cornerstone…

    February 6th, 2017

  9. AI is getting smarter; Microsoft researchers want to ensure it’s also getting more accurate

    By Allison Linn, Senior Writer, Microsoft Just a decade ago, the idea of using technology to do things like automatically translate conversations, identify objects in pictures — or even write a sentence describing those pictures — seemed like interesting research projects, but not practical for real-world use. The recent improvements in artificial intelligence have changed that. These days more and more people are starting to rely on systems built with technologies such as machine learning. That’s raising…

    February 3rd, 2017

  10. Microsoft Research PhD fellowships provide financial support to promising researchers

    By Jim Pinkelman, Senior Director, Microsoft Research Since 2008, Microsoft Research has been awarding two-year PhD fellowships to computer science and related researchers at leading universities in the United States and Canada. These awards are designed to help promising young researchers focus on their studies, not their finances! This year’s program provides fellowships to 10, second- or third-year PhD students who are studying computer science, electrical engineering or mathematics. Recipients receive full tuition for their…

    February 2nd, 2017

  11. 2017 Microsoft Research PhD scholarships support break-through projects in six countries

    By Jim Pinkelman, Senior Director, Microsoft Research Since 2004, the Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship Programme in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) has supported groundbreaking PhD projects. This year we have 17 projects that span six countries, and include research areas such as computational biology, machine learning, and health science. The winning PhD projects for the 2017-2018 school academic year were selected from 33 PhD supervisor-led proposals. These PhD supervisors will collaborate with an assigned…

    January 31st, 2017

  12. Microsoft Research and the industrial research cycle

    A personal view By Thomas Ball, Research Manager, Research in Software Engineering (RiSE) group, Microsoft Research The industrial research cycle Here is what I have told new hires of Microsoft Research (MSR) since I became a manager some 14 years ago: MSR gives you the freedom to explore and expand the bounds of scientific knowledge, as in academia, but with the added challenge to align your scientific pursuits with company problems and to drive for…

    January 30th, 2017