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.

  1. CHI ’09: Computing with a Human Touch

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Historically, Microsoft Research has had a big footprint during CHI, the annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction—and this year’s 27th gathering is no exception. More than 12 percent of the papers accepted for this year’s conference—25 of the 204 to be presented to more than 2,000 attendees from 43 countries April 4-9 at…

    March 11th, 2009

  2. Making Virtual Meetings Feel Real

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Zhengyou Zhang has a vision: to bring people together. He also has a strategy to achieve that vision: by utilizing multimedia technology. His latest tactic to reach the goal is the Personal Telepresence Station. That’s the name of the combination of hardware and software that Zhang thinks, someday soon, will enable people half a world away to intermingle and exchange ideas and information as naturally as if they…

    March 9th, 2009

  3. boyd: Taking the Pulse of Social Networks

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Talk about being in the right place at the right time. The newest member of Microsoft Research New England, danah boyd, 31, has been investigating the phenomenon of social network sites since before they took the Internet by storm. boyd—she eschews the capitals—took a little time recently to discuss her work. Q: What enticed you to join Microsoft Research? boyd: I’ve known about Microsoft Research since I was…

    March 5th, 2009

  4. Songsmith: Music Creation for the Masses

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research When you look in the mirror, do you see Leona Lewis? Do your shower walls reverberate each morning with “Womanizer”? Are you convinced that you just might be the next Taylor Swift? Let’s face it: We all fantasize occasionally that we could sing our way into the spotlight. Guys, too; they’re just channeling Justin or Bono or T.I. instead. It’s part of human nature. For most of us,…

    January 8th, 2009

  5. Cambridge Researcher’s Special Christmas Gift

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research In 1825, Michael Faraday, the great British physicist/chemist, had a brilliant idea: Let’s find a way to get children more interested in science. He proceeded to inaugurate the Christmas Lectures, hosted annually by the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Each year, a rigorous selection process is held to determine who will deliver that year’s lectures. This year Chris Bishop, chief research scientist at Microsoft Research Cambridge, has been…

    December 28th, 2008

  6. New Area in Microsoft Research: Looking for a RiSE in Developer Productivity

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research In the summer of 2008, the leadership at Microsoft Research Redmond reorganized an existing set of research groups with a refreshed, more encompassing mandate: reinventing all aspects of software development. The revamped area, Research in Software Engineering (RiSE), headed by Wolfram Schulte, includes a diverse set of topics such as experimental software engineering, human interactions in programming, software reliability, programming-language design and implementation, and theorem proving. He recently…

    December 28th, 2008

  7. Microsoft Research Asia’s Guo Discusses the Future of Graphics

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Microsoft Research Asia, celebrating its 10th anniversary, recently presented its annual Computing in the 21st Century academic symposium, held over two days, Nov. 4 in Beijing and Nov. 7 in Singapore. For the second consecutive year, Baining Guo, assistant managing director of the lab, served as chair of the event. “We’re very excited,” Guo said of the anniversary festivities. “It’s a big celebration.” The morning after the Singapore…

    December 11th, 2008

  8. Dryad: Programming the Datacenter

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Concurrent programming is demanding. While part of a program is modifying data, the other parts must be prevented from doing likewise. Manually organizing such tasks is challenging for the most adept experts. People have been trying for decades to make it easier. Concurrent programming is in demand. More programs are communicating with Web services. Fundamental limitations in physics are dictating a move to multicore chips that enable many…

    October 27th, 2008

  9. Innovation Inquiries: The Birth of a Research Lab

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Since Microsoft Research New England was announced on Feb. 4, Jennifer Chayes, managing director of the lab, based in Cambridge, Mass., has been hard at work along with her deputy managing director, Christian Borgs. Chayes and Borgs moved east from Redmond facing a prodigious challenge: Offices had to be planned and prepared, relationships with the Boston-area academic community had to be forged, and researchers and associates had to…

    September 22nd, 2008

  10. AutoCollage: Summarize Your Adventures with a Click

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research You’ve got photos—lots and lots of photos. Everybody does these days, thanks to the digital-photography revolution. Hundreds, thousands, a veritable treasure trove of image-based memories. Sometimes, though, you don’t need thousands of photos. Sometimes, you just need that one representative shot to convey the fun you had during your day at the beach. But which one? The kids frolicking in their new swimsuits? The adults soaking in some…

    September 4th, 2008

  11. Collabio Game Explores Social-Network Data Mining…And Social Psychology

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research What’s the most powerful, untapped information repository on the Web today? If you said Wikipedia, please go stand in the corner. Actually, it’s people, the billion or so of you who are tapping your keyboards and clicking your mice right now. Increasingly, researchers are getting curious about the power of people’s knowledge, and how social networks can potentially be used to tap into that vast reservoir. This summer,…

    August 20th, 2008

  12. Tweaking Channel Widths to Improve Wireless Communication

    By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research We’ve been spoiled. In this age of virtually instantaneous communication, we have developed a thirst for immediate access to information. Waiting is a pain in the Internet age. Soon is not sufficient; we need it now. Researchers from Microsoft Research Redmond are doing their best to comply. A Case for Adapting Channel Width in Wireless Networks, co-written by Ranveer Chandra, Ratul Mahajan, Thomas Moscibroda, and Paramvir Bahl of…

    August 19th, 2008