Microsoft Research Blog

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

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  1. Microsoft and intelligent markets at ACM EC’17

    By David Pennock, Principal Researcher and Assistant Managing Director  The 18th ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (EC'17) starts today at MIT in Cambridge, MA, featuring some of the latest research findings at the interdisciplinary boundary between economics and computer science. Microsoft researchers will have a significant presence at the conference, co-authoring many papers, serving in leadership roles, giving an invited talk, and receiving an award. One theme at the conference is the design and…

    June 26th, 2017

  2. Getting compilers right: a reliable foundation for secure software

    By Nuno Lopes, Researcher, Microsoft Research Cambridge Think compilers cannot compromise the security of your application? Think twice! Compiler writers work around the clock to continuously deliver better compilers. They are driven by the ever-increasing importance of: Increasing performance (everyone wants their code to run faster!); Reducing code size (so that your app can fit on people’s phones); Reducing energy consumption (it’s nice to not drain phone batteries and to save power in energy-hungry datacenters).…

    June 22nd, 2017

  3. Honoring Charles P. Thacker, a visionary computer scientist who changed the world

    By John Roach, Writer, Microsoft Research Charles P. Thacker, a visionary and hands-on electrical engineer who designed the first instances of key computing technologies that define modern life, died June 12 at his home in Palo Alto, California. He was 74. Bringing an idea to life: The personal computer Chuck, as he was known to friends and colleagues designed the Alto, the first modern personal computer with a mouse and graphical user interface, in the…

    June 20th, 2017

  4. Researchers develop new visual intelligence techniques to boost smart home security

    By Kangping Liu, Senior Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research Asia Imagine when you leave your house or apartment that a smart home security system can automatically "look after" your home, giving you real-time notices about events happening at home, or providing you with a short video including all events of interest that happened while you were gone. With this system, parents could keep track of their older kids' activities, and get real-time alarms about potential…

    June 16th, 2017

  5. NSF Big Data Innovation Hubs collaboration — looking back after one year

    By Vani Mandava, Director, Data Science Significant technical advancements in cloud computing have led to lower infrastructure costs, making possible big storage and big computing. Big data technology, though, requires cross-discipline research within and beyond non-computing domains. This is where domain experts collaborate with computing teams, industry, and government agencies to discover new insights that may fundamentally change the way we think about science. The Big Data Innovation Hubs initiative, launched by the National Science…

    June 8th, 2017

  6. Presenting the winners of the Project Malmo Collaborative AI Challenge

    By Noburu Kuno, Senior Research Program Manager; Scarlet Schwiderski-Grosche, Principal Research Program Manager As we move from narrow AI to more general AI, it will be important to instill machines with the ability to work together with both other agents and humans. Project Malmo, which is built on the popular multiplayer game Minecraft, is an AI research tool for investigating how to train intelligent agents to collaborate. Our recent Project Malmo Collaborative AI Challenge asked…

    June 5th, 2017

  7. Project Vermont: Improving camera performance through curved image sensors

    By Richard Stoakley, Microsoft Research It's hard to remember when our world wasn't full of cameras. They're in our phones and tablets, posted on street corners and in our buildings and cars. We rely on them not just to capture moments and memories, but for security, navigation, 3D spatial mapping and processing medical data. While significant advances have been made to camera sensors and the algorithms that process images, optical systems have not seen the…

    May 30th, 2017

  8. Toward AI that operates in the real world

    By Ashish Kapoor, Microsoft Research It’s an exciting time to be a machine intelligence researcher. Recent successes in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), which span from achieving human-level parity in speech recognition to beating world champions in board games, indicate the promise of the recent methods. Most of these successes, however, are limited to agents that live and operate in the closed world of software. Such closed-world operations provide two significant advantages to…

    May 29th, 2017

  9. Holograms: The future of near-eye display?

    By Andrew Maimone, Researcher; Andreas Georgiou, Researcher; Joel Kollin, Principal Research Hardware Development Engineer Last week at the SCIEN Workshop on Augmented and Mixed Reality, a group of industry and academic researchers met to discuss the future of virtual and mixed reality (VR/MR). One goal was clear: we’d all like to put on devices that look and feel like ordinary eyeglasses but can bring us to new places. We also want to maintain the full fidelity of human…

    May 19th, 2017

  10. P: A programming language designed for asynchrony, fault-tolerance and uncertainty

    By Shaz Qadeer, Principal Researcher The complexity of emerging software applications requires new approaches to understanding and then efficiently building, testing and debugging these systems. Today’s software uses cloud resources, is often embedded in devices in the physical world and employs artificial intelligence techniques. These three factors make today’s software systems an order of magnitude more difficult to develop. Often, these modern applications feature asynchrony, which happens when, to improve performance, the requestor of an…

    May 19th, 2017

  11. Where cryptography and quantum computing intersect

    By Kristin Lauter, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research Last week I spent time at the American Institute of Mathematics in San Jose, working with a group of 20 or so mathematicians and computer scientists on questions related to quantum arithmetic, at a conference co-organized by researchers in the Microsoft Research (MSR) Quantum Architectures and Computation (QuArC) group. You might ask, why is a cryptographer working on this topic? (And also, when will we have a quantum…

    May 8th, 2017

  12. CHI Part 2: Creating technologies that enhance lives in the areas of health and eye tracking

    By Justin Cranshaw, Researcher, Microsoft Research With its focus on the relationships between people and computation, the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) excels at creating technologies that marry human skills with computational functionality, to enable outcomes neither humans nor computers could achieve by themselves. This year at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Microsoft is presenting several ground-breaking works showcasing how humans and machines can work better together. Building a healthier…

    May 8th, 2017