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. Robots Invade Upstate New York

    On a chilly autumn day, robots descended on Altamont Elementary School in Altamont, New York. Were the students terrified? Far from it: they were enchanted and energized, as they explored the realm of social robotics under the guidance of Jennifer Goodall and Katy DeCorah of the University at Albany-State University of New York (UAlbany). Goodall and DeCorah presented UAlbany's Social Robotics Workshop, an innovative program designed to introduce K-12 students to the roles that robots…

    February 28th, 2011

  2. WorldWide Telescope: The Interactive Sky on Your Desktop

    A free, interactive virtual learning environment, WorldWide Telescope enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope. Through its interactive dashboard, you can browse high-resolution imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes, giving you a visually powerful perspective of the size, scale, and features of the universe. Curtis Wong, principal researcher for Microsoft Research eScience and co-creator of WorldWide Telescope, demonstrated some of the capabilities of this versatile technology at TEDxCaltech on January 14,…

    February 23rd, 2011

  3. New Year, New Name: Introducing Microsoft Research Connections

    February is a time when many of us seek ways to improve and change for the better while refining elements that already work. The spirit of evolution doesn't have to stop at the individual level, however. I'm pleased to announce that, starting today, our organization will go by a name that better reflects who we are: Microsoft Research Connections. While our name is changing, our commitment to our previously established charter remains strong. Microsoft Research…

    February 21st, 2011

  4. Registration Now Open for Microsoft Biology Foundation Workshop

    We recently posted a preview of the Microsoft Biology Foundation (MBF) for development evaluation purposes. Now, we're following up with a special, free, one-day MBF workshop on March 11, 2011, in Redmond, Washington, hosted by the Microsoft Biology Initiative. The workshop includes a quick introduction to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, the Microsoft .NET Framework, C#, and the MBF Object Model. Plus, our hands-on lab will give you the opportunity to write a sample application that…

    February 15th, 2011

  5. Faster Servers, Services with FlashStore

    By Doug Gantenbein Memory has its faults—and not only the human variety. Hard drives, for instance, can hold terabytes cheaply. But they’re slow. Random-access memory (RAM) is fast but expensive, and data in RAM disappear the instant the power goes off. Flash memory is faster than hard drives and cheaper than RAM, and it retains information. But the way it handles data writes handicaps its usefulness in server environments. Still, the distinct advantages of flash—particularly…

    February 14th, 2011

  6. SenseCam Documents Daily Life for Patients with Memory Loss

    Human memory is all too fallible. We all misplace items or forget to run an errand occasionally; our memories of specific events can fade with time as well. But severe memory issues can have a devastating impact on quality of life for individuals with clinically diagnosed memory disorders that are related to acquired brain injury (for example, an accident) or neurodegenerative diseases (for example, Alzheimer's disease). There is no cure for memory loss. In the…

    February 10th, 2011

  7. Celebrating Richard Feynman at TEDxCaltech

    One of the responsibilities for us as researchers is to have the courage to challenge accepted "truths" and to seek out new insights. Richard Feynman was a physicist who not only epitomized both of these qualities in his research but also took enormous pleasure in communicating the ideas of physics to students. Feynman won the Nobel Prize for his computational toolkit that we now call Feynman Diagrams. The techniques he developed helped the physics community…

    February 4th, 2011

  8. Chemistry Add-in for Word Helps Bridge the Gap between Science and Technology

    Could a semantic, chemical authoring tool be developed for Microsoft Word? The paper and PDF formats that are the standard vehicles for scholarly communication are great at presenting natural language for people to read, but are not as good at carrying the machine-interpretable semantic data that is becoming an increasingly important aspect of making sense of today's "data deluge." Tony Hey, Savas Parastatidis, and Lee Dirks from Microsoft Research initially discussed this possibility with Dr.…

    February 1st, 2011

  9. VENUS-C Open Call Invites Research Groups to Innovate in the Cloud

    Interest in cloud computing is growing at a rapid pace, particularly in commercial environments. We believe there is a real opportunity to fulfill the potential of cloud computing—and we're working to bring about that full potential. We have partnered with the European Union to develop the VENUS-C (Virtual Multidisciplinary EnviroNments Using Cloud Infrastructures) project, which is designed to develop, test, and deploy an industry-quality cloud computing service for industry and research firms. On January 11,…

    January 31st, 2011

  10. Sho Brings Together 2 Computing Worlds

    By Douglas Gantenbein, Senior Writer, Microsoft News Center Today’s world, says Sumit Basu, increasingly is driven by massive amounts of data. “Take sociology,” says Basu, a researcher with the Knowledge Tools group at Microsoft Research Redmond. “In the past, most sociologists would use surveys and ethnographic studies as their primary research tools, but now, there are a growing number of sociologists working on topics such as social networks and gathering all their data from a…

    January 31st, 2011

  11. Microsoft Research Project Hawaii Launches New Cloud Services

    Innovations in wireless networking technology are driving our increasingly connected world, with smartphones gaining acceptance for both professional and private use. In the future, we foresee a vast majority of smartphone apps relying on cloud services to enhance the mobile experiences. Project Hawaii, a research and academic outreach program by Microsoft Research, envisions the next generation of mobile experiences to rely heavily on cloud services—with services being a natural extension of the mobile platform. New…

    January 27th, 2011

  12. Customers Get Dryad, DryadLINQ

    By Douglas Gantenbein, Senior Writer, Microsoft News Center Researchers and businesspeople around the world now have at their disposal a new way to perform massive computations over large quantities of unstructured data more quickly and easily than they’ve ever imagined. The reason: a Microsoft Research-developed computing tool called Dryad, a name derived from shy tree deities found in Greek mythology. Dryad and a related programming model called DryadLINQ constitute technology that simplifies running complex data-analysis…

    January 26th, 2011