Microsoft Research Podcast

Microsoft Research Podcast

An ongoing series of conversations bringing you right up to the cutting edge of Microsoft Research.

The productive software engineer with Dr. Tom Zimmermann

Episode 77, May 22, 2019- If you’re in software development, Dr. Tom Zimmermann, a senior researcher at Microsoft Research in Redmond, wants you to be more productive, and he’s here to help. How, you might ask? Well, while productivity can be hard to measure, his research in the Empirical Software Engineering group is attempting to do just that by using insights from actual data, rather than just gut feelings, to improve the software development process.…

May 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Speech and language: the crown jewel of AI with Dr. Xuedong Huang

Episode 76, May 15, 2019 When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation with your computer… and felt like it truly understood you? Well, if Dr. Xuedong Huang, a Microsoft Technical Fellow and head of Microsoft’s Speech and Language group, is successful, you will. And if his track record holds true, it’ll be sooner than you think! On today’s podcast, Dr. Huang talks about his role as Microsoft’s Chief Speech Scientist, gives us…

May 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Reinforcement learning for the real world with Dr. John Langford and Rafah Hosn

Episode 75, May 8, 2019 Dr. John Langford, a partner researcher in the Machine Learning group at Microsoft Research New York City, is a reinforcement learning expert who is working, in his own words, to solve machine learning. Rafah Hosn, also of MSR New York, is a principal program manager who’s working to take that work to the world. If that sounds like big thinking in the Big Apple, well, New York City has always…

May 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

CHI squared with Dr. Ken Hinckley and Dr. Meredith Ringel Morris

Episode 74, May 1, 2019 – If you want to know what’s going on in the world of human computer interaction research, or what’s new at the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, you should hang out with Dr. Ken Hinckley, a principal researcher and research manager in the EPIC group at Microsoft Research, and Dr. Merrie Ringel Morris, a principal researcher and research manager in the Ability group. Both are prolific HCI…

May 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Froid and the relational database query quandry with Dr. Karthik Ramachandra

Episode 73, April 24, 2019 – In the world of relational databases, structured query language, or SQL, has long been King of the Queries, primarily because of its ubiquity and unparalleled performance. But many users prefer a mix of imperative programming, along with declarative SQL, because its user-defined functions (or UDFs) allow for good software engineering practices like modularity, readability and re-usability. Sadly, these benefits have traditionally come with a huge performance penalty, rendering them…

April 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

AI for Earth with Dr. Lucas Joppa

Episode 72, April 17, 2019 – We hear a lot these days about “AI for good” and the efforts of many companies to harness the power of artificial intelligence to solve some of our biggest environmental challenges. It’s rare, however, that you find a company willing to bring its environmental bona fides all the way to the C Suite. Well, meet Dr. Lucas Joppa. A former environmental and computer science researcher at MSR who was…

April 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Holograms, spatial anchors and the future of computer vision with Dr. Marc Pollefeys

On today’s podcast, Dr. Pollefeys brings us up to speed on the latest in computer vision research, including his innovative work with Azure Spatial Anchors, tells us how devices like Kinect and HoloLens may have cut their teeth in gaming, but turned out to be game changers for both research and industrial applications, and explains how, while it’s still early days now, in the future, you’re much more likely to put your computer on your…

April 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Enabling design with Ann Paradiso

Episode 70, April 3, 2019 – On today’s podcast, Ann tells us all about life in the extreme constraint design lane, explains what a PALS is, and tells us some incredibly entertaining stories about how the eye tracking technology behind the Eye Controlled Wheelchair and the Hands-Free Music Project has made its way from Microsoft’s campus to some surprising events around the country, including South by Southwest and Mardi Gras.

April 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Project Triton and the physics of sound with Dr. Nikunj Raghuvanshi

Episode 68, March 20, 2019 – Today, Dr. Raghuvanshi talks about the unique challenges of simulating realistic sound on a budget (both money and CPU), explains how classic ideas in concert hall acoustics need a fresh take for complex games like Gears of War, reveals the computational secret sauce you need to deliver the right sound at the right time, and tells us about Project Triton, an acoustic system that models how real sound waves…

March 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Programming biology with Dr. Andrew Phillips

Episode 67, March 13, 2019 – Today, Dr. Phillips talks about the challenges and rewards inherent in reverse engineering biological systems to see how they perform information processing. He also explains what we can learn from stressed out bacteria, and tells us about Station B, a new end-to-end platform his team is working on that aims to reduce the trial and error nature of lab experiments and help scientists turn biological cells into super-factories that…

March 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Josh Benaloh

Securing the vote with Dr. Josh Benaloh

Episode 65, February 27, 2019 – Dr. Josh Benaloh gives us a brief but fascinating history of elections, explains how the trade-offs among privacy, security and verifiability make the relatively easy math of elections such a hard problem for the internet, and tells the story of how the University of Michigan fight song forced the cancellation of an internet voting pilot.

February 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Talking with machines with Dr. Layla El Asri

Episode 64, February 20, 2019 – Dr. Layla El Asri talks about the particular challenges she and other scientists face in building sophisticated dialogue systems that lay the foundation for talking machines. She also explains how reinforcement learning, in the form of a text game generator called TextWorld, is helping us get there, and relates a fascinating story from more than fifty years ago that reveals some of the safeguards necessary to ensure that when…

February 2019

Microsoft Research Blog