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New cloud computing training for researchers worldwide

September 16, 2013 | By Microsoft blog editor

As part of our Windows Azure for Research program, announced on September 9, Microsoft Research is facilitating cloud training classes designed to show researchers how Windows Azure can accelerate their research.

Cloud computing technical training for researchers

As the global training coordinator for this program, I’m pleased to announce the first of these worldwide classes has been scheduled for September 16–17 at the University of Washington, in Seattle, co-hosted with the university’s eScience Institute. This will be followed by courses in October in Campinas, Brazil, and Beijing, China, with subsequent events scheduled across the globe. We will modify the full schedule as courses are added, so keep checking for updates!

Windows Azure is an open and flexible global cloud platform supporting any language, tool, or framework, and is ideally suited to the needs of researchers across disciplines. After attending our intensive technical course, researchers should feel confident in applying cloud computing in their current and future investigations.

This two-day course is offered free of charge, presented by trainers who specialize in Windows Azure for research. Attendees will be able to access Windows Azure on their own laptops during the training and, for evaluation purposes, for up to six months after the event. The attendee’s laptop does not need to have the Windows operating system installed, as Windows Azure is accessed via your Internet browser.

The course is intended specifically for active scientists who are interested in coding in a modern computing context, as well as for computer scientists who are working with such researchers. This is a hands-on class, so some ability to program in a modern language is useful, but the course is suitable for researchers using any language, framework, or platform. This includes Linux, Python, R, MATLAB, Java, Hadoop, STORM, SPARK, and all appropriate Microsoft technologies, such as C#, F#, .NET, Windows Azure SQL Database, and various Windows Azure services. Some basic exposure to cloud computing is helpful, but no real expertise or usage experience is required; the focus of the class is to teach you this.

The training outcomes of the course include:

  • Gaining an understanding of cloud computing and why and when you would use it in research
  • Acquiring hands-on experience in the major design patterns for successful cloud applications
  • Developing the skills to run your own application or services on Windows Azure

Review the full course description (PDF 561 KB), which includes the schedule, intended audience, prerequisites, and learning objectives.

If you would like to attend one of these courses, please follow the instructions on Windows Azure for Research Training. You will be sent a registration link if space is available in the session. Spaces are limited, so potential attendees are encouraged to register early.

If you can’t find a course in a location near you, we will consider suggestions—you can find instructions for submitting your suggestions on the same webpage. We can’t promise to provide a course in your requested location, but we will consider all requests. Moreover, if there is sufficient interest, an online version of the training may be created.

We look forward to seeing how scientists and researchers use cloud computing in their research!

Stewart Tansley, Director, Microsoft Research Connections

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