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.

Give your dissertation a boost with a grant from Microsoft Research

Need funding to clear a hurdle in the final stages of your dissertation research? Microsoft Research is offering grants of up to US $25,000 to help a select group of doctoral students cross the finish line and enter the workforce. The Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant is for PhD students at U.S. and Canadian universities from underrepresented groups in computing, including women, African-Americans/Blacks, Latinos, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders and/or people with disabilities. The program…

February 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

NSF Big Data Innovation Hubs collaboration

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 2017

Microsoft Research Blog

Researchers team up with Chinese botanists on machine learning, flower-recognition project

By Guobin Wu, Senior Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research Asia Has this ever happened to you? You’re out walking with your daughter. She finds a beautiful flower, quizzes you on it, but you’re stumped — you have no idea what it is. Instead of having to admit you don’t know, what if you could quickly identify the flower or any other plant wherever you happen to be? But how? At least 250,000 species of flowers…

July 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Securing safe water through Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud

By Kenji Takeda, Solution Architect and Technical Manager, Microsoft Research Jacob Katuva used to get up at dawn to cycle 12 miles from his village to collect water with his uncles and cousins when he was growing up in Kenya.  Now he is part of a research team at the University of Oxford using cloud computing and mobile sensors to monitor water wells and help ensure that thousands of villages in rural Africa and Asia…

April 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Expeditions: Exploring the unknown

Jeannette M. Wing Photo credit: Scott Eklund/Red Box pictures By Jeannette M. Wing, corporate vice president, Microsoft Research “Think Bolder, Aim Higher” is a mantra I’ve been chanting since my arrival at Microsoft three years ago. I’ve wanted to encourage our scientists and engineers to imagine the technology trends and societal needs we will have in 10 years: What will it take to get us there? What scientific advances are needed to realize the vision?…

February 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

2016 Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship Projects Announced

By Daron Green, Director, Microsoft Research  Every year since 2004, the Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship Programme has awarded scholarships to fund PhD students’ work on selected projects in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. We are pleased to announce the selected PhD projects for 2016. This year we received 40 eligible project proposals, which we assessed via a two-stage review process. During Stage 1, a panel of Microsoft Researchers determined whether the proposed…

February 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Predicting ocean chemistry using Microsoft Azure

By Daron Green, Deputy Director, Microsoft Research Shellfish farmer Bill Dewey remembers the first year he heard of ocean acidification, a phrase that means a change in chemistry for ocean water. It was around 2008, and Dewey worked for Taylor Shellfish, a company that farms oysters in ocean waters off the coast of Washington. That year, thousands of tiny “seed” oysters died off suddenly. Today, a cloud-based predictive system from the University of Washington (UW) and…

February 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Announcing the USDA-Microsoft Innovation Challenge awardees

By Daron Green, Deputy Managing Director, Microsoft Research Today, the USDA and Microsoft announced the winners of the Innovation Challenge. The Innovation Challenge was created in July 2015 to support President Obama’s Climate Data Initiative, which aims to harness climate data to increase the resilience of the American food system and foster innovation which will help prepare communities and businesses across the United States for the impacts of climate change. In response to the President’s…

January 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Meeting the data challenges of urban computing

Many people living in the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong have a new habit: they check the air pollution index before venturing outside. Air quality has deteriorated rapidly in China, with nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter levels frequently exceeding safety guidelines set by the World Health Organization. While poor air quality clearly impacts public health, many cities have a dearth of air-quality monitoring stations: there are just 35 in Beijing and 15 in Hong…

September 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

Announcing the Innovation Challenge: using data science to create “food resilience”

While we know that climate change will likely affect every aspect of the food system—from our ability to grow food, to the reliability of food transportation and food safety, to the dynamics of international trade in agricultural goods—we don’t yet know how to anticipate and mitigate against what may be negative changes. With this in mind, on July 24, 2015, Microsoft, in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), will launch the Innovation…

July 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

Coping with floods—of water and data

Halloween 2013 brought real terror to an Austin, Texas, neighborhood, when a flash flood killed four residents and damaged roughly 1,200 homes. Following torrential rains, Onion Creek swept over its banks and inundated the surrounding community. At its peak, the rampaging water flowed at twice the force of Niagara Falls (source: USA Today). While studying the flood site shortly afterwards, David Maidment, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Texas, ran into an…

December 2014

Microsoft Research Blog

Cloud computing helps make sense of cloud forests

The forests that surround Campos do Jordao are among the foggiest places on Earth. With a canopy shrouded in mist much of time, these are the renowned cloud forests of the Brazilian state of São Paulo. It is here that researchers from the São Paulo Research Foundation—better known by its Portuguese acronym, FAPESP—have partnered with Rafael Olivier, professor of ecology at the University of Campinas, in an ambitious effort to understand the climate and ecology…

December 2014

Microsoft Research Blog