The 2013 Microsoft eScience Workshop was held October 22 to 25 at the China National Convention Center, Beijing, in conjunction with the ninth IEEE International Conference on e-Science. Discussions and presentations explored how computing continues to take us From Data to Discovery.
This tenth annual Microsoft eScience Workshop continued the ongoing dialogue centered on applications in broad areas of scientific investigation, such as environmental studies, bioinformatics, and climate understanding; presented new results in data modeling; and provided an opportunity for open discourse on developments in urban computing. Discussions covered eScience computing needs from data collection, data analytics, and machine learning to visualization. The topics selected for this year’s program created the opportunity for a rich, interdisciplinary exchange of ideas.
eScience Workshop co-chairs
About the workshop
Each year, the eScience Workshop provides a forum for scientists and researchers to share their experiences and expertise with the academic and research communities. The eScience Workshop fosters collaboration, facilitates the sharing of software components and techniques, and defines rich, open scientific challenges. Microsoft has been actively pursuing research in eScience for more than 10 years; the book, The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery, provides a background on its many areas of focus.
- Science@Microsoft: The Fourth Paradigm in Practice (PDF, 10 MB)
- Science@Microsoft: The Fourth Paradigm in Practice (Kindle Edition)
- The Fourth Paradigm (PDF, 6.5 MB)
- Chinese edition of The Fourth Paradigm
- Jim Gray eScience Award Datasheet (PDF, 4.4 MB)
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Tutorial 1: Azure Platform for Cloud Computing | video
Chair: Gebi Liang, Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group
Speakers: Michael Wang, Larry Zhang, and Wei Sun, Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group
Tutorial 2: Kinect for Windows in Science Applications | video
Chair: Stewart Tansley, Microsoft Research Redmond
Speakers: Wei Liu, Microsoft Server and Tools; Cherry Wang, Microsoft Kinect for Windows China; Stewart Tansley, Microsoft Research Redmond
Tutorial 3: Data-Constrained Environmental Modeling: FetchClimate, Filzbach, and Distribution Modeller | video
Speaker: Drew Purves, Microsoft Research Cambridge
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
What’s eScience? | video
Speaker: Kenji Takeda, Microsoft Research Cambridge
The nature of scientific discovery is continuously accelerating as the culture of research is profoundly affected by technology. From the development of instruments such as the microscope, to developments in mathematics and the tremendous advances in scientific computing, scientists are able to explore, understand, and describe the world around us in more ways than ever before. We are now in the midst of a Fourth Paradigm of data-intensive science in which instruments, sensors, and simulations are generating huge amounts of data that must be processed, analyzed, shared, and discussed to generate knowledge and opportunities to solve the major challenges of our global society. This new collaborative approach to research is the core of eScience. This talk will explore how eScience is transforming every discipline, and how cloud computing provides new opportunities for all researchers.
Data Driven Applications | video
Speaker: Prakash Sundaresan, CTO, Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group
Data has always been at the heart of applications. Over the last 30 years, application architectures have gone through some key paradigm shifts: from monolithic mainframe applications, to client-server architecture, to three-tier web architectures, and now converging on device+cloud as the dominant contemporary application architecture. The relationship of data to the application has also evolved through these paradigm shifts. A convergence of technology trends—proliferation of devices, cloud computing and big data techniques—is now putting data at the center of a new generation of data driven applications that are transforming fields as diverse as technology, commerce, government, and science. In this talk, we’ll examine these trends and show some examples of leading-edge data driven applications from a variety of fields from around the world. We’ll also look at some of the innovative tools and technologies that are enabling these new applications.
Emerging Trends in Online Education and Research | video
Speaker: Roy Zimmermann, director of Education and Scholarly Communication, Microsoft Research Connections
While online education and research services continue to emerge, it is still debatable whether they will bring revolutionary change or more evolutionary enhancements to existing platforms and services. Some services, like MOOCs, that just a short while ago were expected to be disruptive and to flip the entire education domain on its head, are now nesting themselves in more traditional education systems. The result is they are working more as background service providers than radical paradigm shifting mechanisms. Likewise, the emerging field of online research services is growing more crowded and niche driven with some entire services dedicated to bibliometrics, citation analysis, and alternative metrics for evaluating impact. This session will highlight a few education and research services as trend setters for the rest of their domains.
eScience in the Medical Domain | video
Chair: Junichi Tsujii, Microsoft Research Asia
Speakers: Simon Mercer, Microsoft Research; Lai Maode, China Pharmaceutical University; Hoifung Poon, Microsoft Research; James Hogan, Queensland University of Technology
eScience research has the potential to change future scientific endeavors in the medical domain through the promotion of community-wide efforts to share data, software, and services, the advantages of big data and big text for the extraction of new knowledge, and the dissemination of knowledge in new ways, such as visualization and the collaborative construction of biological pathways. This session will explore a range of research projects seeking to provide elements of the infrastructure needed to realize this vision.
Conducting Scientific Research in the Cloud | video
Chair: Dennis Gannon, Microsoft Research
Speakers: Honglin He, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Chunmiao Zheng and Yingying Yao, Peking University; Liang Lin, Sun Yat-Sen University
Cloud computing is based on harnessing the power of massive online data centers to support dynamically deployed user applications and data collections. Because clouds can scale on-demand from single core virtual machines to large numbers of servers, they are ideal for many eScience applications that require analysis of large data collections. Clouds are the engines of the fourth paradigm of science. This session describes three examples of new research projects in China that are using the Windows Azure cloud platform for eScience applications.
Interactive Visual Analytics for Scientific Discovery | video
Chair: Shixia Liu, Microsoft Research Asia
Speakers: Klaus Mueller, Stony Brook University; Huamin Qu, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Daniel Keim, University of Konstanz
Interactive visual analytics, the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces, could help analysts explore and understand large-scale, complex data to support the analysts’ sense-making processes. It has been successfully applied to solving a wide range of real-world problems. Nevertheless, designing an effective visual analytics system remains challenging. This panel brings together recognized leaders in visual analytics to share their success stories and rich expertise in designing effective visual analytics systems for a variety of eScience applications. The panelists will describe the practical problems they explore, the visualization techniques they develop, and the interesting findings they discover. Finally, the panelists will provide guidance and suggestions for how scientists can effectively apply visual analytics techniques to facilitating scientific discovery and decision making.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
IEEE eScience Keynote: From Genes to Stars | video
Speaker: Alex Szalay, Johns Hopkins University
Student Session: Learning Cloud Computing, Environmental Science, and You | video
Speaker: Wenming Ye, Microsoft Research
Studies revealing the impact of human activities on nature demonstrate the increasing importance of environmental science to help control pollution and reverse its effects. While social media and Web 2.0 companies have been enjoying the growth and benefits of cloud computing and Big Data, the general research and scientific computing communities are just starting to discover this powerful new computing paradigm. In this session, we will explore ways to use cloud computing and sensor networks to help solve interesting problems in environmental science today. Learning to use cloud computing and Big Data tools enables future scientists to better understand and solve the most challenging problems in protecting and preserving our environmental resources.
From Smart Sensors to City OS (I) | video
Chair: Feng Zhao, Microsoft Research Asia
Speakers: Yuqi Bai, Tsinghua University; Hao-Hua Chu, National Taiwan University; Rajesh Krishna Balan, Singapre Management University; Huayi Wu, Wuhan University
With the proliferation of the IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystem, mobile sensors, and “soft” sensors, we are increasingly seeing opportunities to collect rich data sets that were previously unavailable. In turn, the market demands an end-to-end Big Sensor Data (BSD) platform for data collection, data storage, data-driven analysis, and feedback loop. The significance of BSD is not just in the data quantity, but also in the real-world insights that they reveal. In this session, we will discuss research challenges that are related to the four stages of BSD above.
First, how have the limits and boundaries of sensing and actuation been pushed by technological advances, such as the maturity of cloud-computing and the miniaturization of devices? Second, how should techniques and analytical tools from years of Big Data research impact the work on BSD, and streamline the BSD adaption? Third, from the pioneering work on modeling parts of our physical world with data, what do we need to model the missing pieces?
Data-Constrained Environmental Modelling: FetchClimate, Filzbach, and Distribution Modeller | video
Chair: Drew Purves, Microsoft Research Cambridge
Speakers: Youngryel Ryu, Seoul National University; Peng Gong, Tsinghua University; Drew Purves, Microsoft Research Cambridge
There is an obvious and urgent need to build predictive models of important environmental phenomena. Such models need to describe how variation in different aspects of the environment—such as climate and soil—affect the phenomenon of interest, for example, primary productivity of plants, agricultural yield, or even land-use change. But to date, the building of such predictive models has been held back by a host of technical barriers, placing it outside the reach of many environmental scientists (and making it annoyingly difficult and slow for the rest!).
In this session, we’ll continue to walk you through three useful tools: FetchClimate, Filzbach, and Distribution Modeller, and will demonstrate how and why researchers are using them in real-world research.
From Smart Sensors to City OS (II)
Chair: Xing Xie, Microsoft Research Asia
Speakers: Ryosuke Shibasaki, University of Tokyo; Lei Chen, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Guangzhong Sun, University of Science and Technology of China; Zhen Liu, Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group
In recent years, real-world data reflecting city dynamics has become widely available, including users’ mobile phone signal, GPS traces of vehicles and people, ticketing data in public transportation systems, data from transportation sensor networks (camera and loop sensors), and environment sensor networks (temperature and air quality), as well as data from the Internet of Things. As a result, we are ready to carry out real urban computing activities that lead to better and smarter cities. By better sensing and understanding the city dynamics, we are more likely to design effective strategies and intelligent systems for improving life in urban areas. In this session, we are interested in discussing how we use the huge amount of sensor data to benefit different urban application scenarios, including, but not limited to, e-campus, environment, transportation, and smart building.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Dr. Yuqi Bai is an associate professor in the Center for Earth System Science (CESS), Tsinghua University. He is an IEEE senior member and a member of the OpenGIS Catalogue Service Standards Working Group. He received his Ph.D. degree in Cartography and GIS from the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, Chinese Academy of Science in 2003. Formerly, he was the task leader of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems Component and Service Registry, and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites WGISS Integrated Catalogue. He is leading efforts in the CESS on establishing Cyberinfrastructure for Global Change studies. He has published more than 50 scientific papers in the area of geo-information science. His research interests include large-scale geospatial data integration and system interoperability, geospatial semantic and ontology, and high-performance and high-throughput geospatial computing.
Rajesh Balan is assistant professor at Singapore Management University’s School of Information Systems. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University and has more than 15 years of research experience in the broad area of mobile systems and software. Some of the diverse areas that he has worked on include infrastructure support for multiplayer mobile games, improvements to public transportation networks, understanding and improving the software development process in outsourced environments, and developing and testing novel retail-focused mobile applications.
Rajesh is also a director of the new LiveLabs Urban LifeStyle Innovation Platform. The goal of this platform is to allow mobile applications and services to be tested with real users on real phones in real-world environments. These environments include a university campus, an airport, a resort island, and a large mall.
Weidong (Tom) Cai
Weidong Cai is an associate professor, the founder/director of Multimedia Laboratory, and the senior member of the Biomedical & Multimedia Information Technology (BMIT) Research Group in the School of Information Technologies, the Faculty of Engineering & IT at the University of Sydney, Australia. He is also the senior staff member of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology (BMET) at the university. He received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science at the University of Sydney in 2001. His research interests include biomedical and multimedia data coding and retrieval, medical image processing and analysis, fast algorithms for functional imaging, computer vision and pattern recognition, mixed and augmented reality, and digital interactive media. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers in leading international journals and proceedings of top international conferences.
Eric Chang joined Microsoft Research Asia in July 1999 to work in the area of speech technologies. Eric is currently the senior director of Technology Strategy and Communications of Microsoft Research Asia, where his responsibilities include communications, IP portfolio management, and driving new research themes such as eHealth. Prior to his current responsibilities at Microsoft Research Asia, Chang co-founded Microsoft Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in 2003 as the assistant managing director. At ATC, he led teams to ship features for Windows and Windows Mobile and started a multi-disciplinary incubation team. Before joining ATC, Chang was the research manager of the speech group at Microsoft Research Asia and the acting University Relations director for one year. A technology transfer result from his group is the Chinese version of Microsoft Office XP, which incorporates the Mandarin speech-recognition engine that was developed at Microsoft Research Asia.
Lei Chen is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He received the B.S. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Tianjin University, China, in 1994; the M.A. degree from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, in 1997; and the Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of Waterloo, Canada, in 2005. His research interests include crowd sourcing on social media, social media analysis, probabilistic and uncertain databases, and privacy-preserved data publishing. He has published nearly 200 conference and journal papers. He received the best paper awards in DASFAA 2009 and 2010. He is PC Track chair for VLDB 2014, ICDE 2012, CIKM 2012, and SIGMM 2011. He has served as PC members for SIGMOD, VLDB, ICDE, SIGMM, and WWW. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for IEEE Transaction on Data and Knowledge Engineering and Distributed and Parallel Databases[. He is a member of the ACM and the chairman of ACM Hong Kong Chapter.
Hao-Hua (Hao) Chu is a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering. He received his B.S. in computer science from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining NTU, he worked at NTT DoCoMo USA Labs and Intel. His research areas are in ubiquitous computing, sensor/wireless networks, and persuasive technologies.
Daniel Fay is the director of Earth, Energy, and Environment for Microsoft Research Connections, where he works with academic research projects focused on utilizing computing technologies to aid in scientific and engineering research. This includes his teams’ projects in Astronomy and Earth Visualization using the Microsoft Research technologies, WorldWide Telescope and Layerscape.org. Fay has project experience working with high-performance computing, grid computing, collaboration, and visualization tools in scientific research. He was previously the manager of the eScience Program at Microsoft Research, where he started Microsoft’s engagements in eScience—including the Microsoft Research eScience Workshop.
Prof. Peng Gong is the director of the Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, and a professor at the department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Waterloo in 1990.
He has published more than 300 papers and edited seven books. His achievements in remote sensing image processing, analysis and application, GIS theory, techniques and application, and global change studies have been acknowledged both nationally and internationally by the receipt of numerous awards, including Overseas Assessor (1999, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Distinguished Young Scientist Award (1998, NSF China), the Talbert Abrams Grand Award from ASPRS for Best Paper in Photogrammetry (1994), the ASPRS ERDAS Award for Best Scientific Paper in Remote Sensing (1993), and the John I. Davidson ASPRS President’s Award for Practical Papers (1993).
Dr. Honglin He is a professor at the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). His research focuses primarily on ecological informatics, remote sensing and geographic information system applications, and using model-data fusion in terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycling. He is currently the deputy director of the Chinese Ecosystem Research Network’s (CERN) Synthesis Center. Dr. He has been awarded both first and second place of the prestigious National Scientific and Technological Progress prize from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and was granted the title of “Existing Key Technical Talent” from the CAS in 2010. He has published more than 40 papers, authored three books and participated in the development of national standards. He has hosted and participated in more than 10 projects, including the National 973 program initiated by the Chinese government and CAS information technology projects, as well as projects serving the State Council’s National Natural Science Foundation.
James M. Hogan
Professor Hogan leads the Bioinformatics group within the Microsoft Queensland University of Technology eResearch Centre, with its focus on new methods for navigating and visualizing large biological data sets. The resulting tools have included BLAST Explorer and BLAST Atlas for visualizing sequence similarity, TRNDiff for analyzing transcriptional regulatory networks at scale, and the BioPatML pattern description language and parsers. The group also works on the application of machine learning methods to pattern discovery problems in bioinformatics, specifically the discovery of regulatory motifs in bacteria, sequence identification, and the inference of regulatory relationships and their properties.
Dr. Kun Huang is an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at The Ohio State University (OSU) and the co-director of the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center Biomedical Informatics Shared Resource. He received B.S. degrees in Biological Sciences and Computer Sciences from Tsinghua University in 1996 and M.S. degrees in Physiology, Electrical Engineering, and Mathematics all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He then received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UIUC in 2004 with a focus on computer vision and machine learning. His research interests include computational biology, bioinformatics, bioimage informatics, and machine learning. He has co-authored more than 110 research papers.
Daniel A. Keim
Daniel A. Keim is full professor and head of the Information Visualization and Data Analysis Research Group in the Computer Science Department of the University of Konstanz, Germany. He has been active in database, data analysis, and information visualization research for more than 20 years and developed a number of novel visual analysis techniques for very large data sets. He has been program co-chair of the IEEE InfoVis and IEEE VAST symposia as well as the SIGKDD conference, and he is member of the IEEE VAST as well as EuroVis steering committees. He is an associate editor of the journal Information Visualization (since 2001) and has been an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (1999–2004), the German database technology journal Datenbank-Spektrum (2011–2009), IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering (2002–2007), and the journal Knowledge and Information System (2006–2011). He is coordinator of the DFG (German Research Foundation) German Strategic Research Initiative “Scalable Visual Analytics, the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) research initiative on “Visual Analytics for Security Applications,” and he has been the scientific coordinator of the EU Coordination Action “Visual Analytics—Mastering the Information Age.” Dr. Keim got his Ph.D. and habilitation degrees in computer science from the University of Munich. Before joining the University of Konstanz, Dr. Keim was associate professor at the University of Halle, Germany and Technology Consultant at AT&T Shannon Research Labs, New Jersey, United States.
Gebi Liang is the senior director for the Microsoft China Cloud Innovation Center (CCIC), which is dedicated to help governments, partners, and customers in China to embark on the journey to the cloud. CCIC consists of a customer advisory team providing local customers and partners with technical guidance in adopting cloud solutions, an engineering team delivering the last mile innovation for the China market, an interoperability and standards team collaborating in China standards and interoperability practices, as well as a user experience team maximizing end-user satisfaction with cloud offerings. The CCIC features a dedicated lab that customers and partners can use for rapid prototyping, proof of concepts, and testing on Microsoft’s cloud platforms. CCIC also works closely with Microsoft China Sales & Marketing and key partners to be an effective link between the China cloud market and Microsoft product development teams.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Liang was a 15-year veteran of Intel and held several key technical and leadership roles in the United States and China. Liang holds a master’s degree in Computer Science from the College of William and Mary.
Liang Lin received the B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China, in 1999 and 2008, respectively. From 2006 to 2007, he was a joint Ph.D. student with the Department of Statistics, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the Center for Vision, Cognition, Learning, and Art of UCLA. He is currently an associate professor with the Software School of Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU), China. He was awarded by the “Hundred Talents Program” of SYSU in 2009 and by the “Program for New Century Excellent Talents” of Ministry of Education, China, in 2012. He received several academic honors, including China National Excellent Ph.D. Thesis Award Nomination in 2010, Best Paper Runners-Up Award in ACM NPAR 2010, and Google Faculty Award in 2012. His current research interests include, but are not limited to, computer vision, machine learning, and multimedia technology.
Dr. Zhen Liu joined Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research and Development Center in 2012 as head of the China Innovation Group, based in Beijing. Before joining Microsoft, Zhen was with Nokia as the head of Nokia Research Center (NRC) Beijing, and then became the head of NRC Growth Economies Lab. Prior to this experience, Zhen was with IBM T. J. Watson Research Center where he served as the manager of System Analysis and Optimization group and the senior manager of the Next Generation Distributed Systems department. Zhen also worked in INRIA (the French national research center on information and automation), first as a researcher, then became a research director.
Zhen is a fellow of IEEE. He has published more than 200 papers and obtained more than 80 granted patents. He was the general chair of the ACM Sigmetrics 2008 Conference, co-chair of ACM HotMetrics 2008, program co-chair of the Joint Conference of ACM Sigmetrics and IFIP Performance 2004, technical program co-chair of Sensorcomm 2009, and area technical program committee chair for INFOCOM 2008 and INFOCOM 2009. Zhen is on the editorial boards of several journals including IEEE Transactions on Service Computing and the journal of Performance Evaluation.
Professor Lai Maode graduated from Zhejiang Medical University with bachelor degree of medicine in December 1982, and received an M.S. degree in Zhejiang Medical University in July 1987, and an M.D. degree in Luebeck Medical University in Germany in December 1990. He is a professor of pathology (since 1994). He served as vice president of Zhejiang Medical University from 1996 to 1998. He has served as vice president of Zhejiang University since 1998, and as president of China Pharmaceutical University since 2013. Professor Lai is committed to teaching and research, and he has received many awards for his research and scholarly writing. He is the author of more than 100 articles in professional and scholarly journals. As a scientist, Professor Lai is chairman of the Chinese Society of Pathology and vice president of the Chinese Association of Pathologists. He is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (since 2011).
Dr. Mercer has a background in zoology and has worked in various aspects of biomedical informatics over the years. He was director of Bioinformatics and Strategic IT at the National Research Council of Canada’s Institute for Marine Biosciences with responsibility for a national network dedicated to bioinformatics research support, and later worked as director of Software Engineering at Gene Codes Corporation before moving to Microsoft Research in 2005. Dr. Mercer’s interests include the extraction of information from medical images bioinformatics, translational medicine, and the challenges of managing scientific data.
Klaus Mueller received a Ph.D. in computer science from Ohio State University. He is currently a professor in the Computer Science Department at Stony Brook University and the chair of the Computer Science Department at SUNY Korea. His current research interests are computer graphics, visual analytics, medical imaging, and high-performance computing. He won the US National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2001 and the SUNY Chancellor Award in 2011. Mueller has authored more than 160 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, which have been cited more than 4,500 times. He is a frequent speaker at international conferences, has participated in 15 tutorials on various topics, and is a currently the chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Visualization and Computer Graphics. He is an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics and a senior member of the IEEE.
Dr. Okatani joined the Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University in 1999, where he currently is an associate professor in the department of System Information Sciences. Dr. Okatani received his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo in 1994 and 1999, respectively. His research interests are in computer vision, particularly statistical methods and their applications to practical problems. He served as a theme chair of the Pacific-Rim Symposium on Image and Video Technology 2009 and an area chair of the Asian Conference on Computer Vision 2010. He was an associate editor of IEICE Transaction on Information and Systems from 2006 to 2010 and since 2011 is an associate editor of IPSJ Transactions on Computer Vision and Applications.
Hoifung Poon is a researcher at Microsoft Research. His research interest is in advancing machine learning and natural language processing to automate discovery in genomics and precision medicine. His most recent work focuses on scaling semantic parsing to PubMed for extracting biological pathways, and on developing probabilistic methods to incorporate pathways with high-throughput genomics data in cancer system biology. He has received Best Paper Awards in NAACL, EMNLP, and UAI.
Drew Purves is head of the Computational Ecology and Environmental Science group (CEES) at Microsoft Research Cambridge. Before joining Microsoft, Purves studied ecology at Cambridge University, did a Ph.D. in ecological modeling at the University of York (UK), and a five-year postdoc at Princeton University. Purves’ research interest is in combining ecological theory, with large and varied datasets, via computational statistics, in order to produce quantitative, predictive models of ecological phenomena. Following Purves’ lead, the CEES group is using this approach to build new models to address global environmental challenges—for example, carbon-climate, food security, wood production, biodiversity and ecosystem function, and pandemics—whilst developing new software tools to enable others to carry out this kind of ecological modeling.
Purves has published more than 30 research papers in top peer-reviewed journals, including Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, and most of the top ecology-specific journals. In 2012, he was one of 40 “young scientists” worldwide invited to attend the World Economic Forum “Summer Davos” meeting in Tianjin, China. He lectures at Cambridge University and is the treasurer of the British Ecological Society, the world’s oldest ecological society.
Huamin Qu is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His main research interests are in visualization and computer graphics. He is on the steering committee of the IEEE Pacific Visualization Conferences, and served as the program co-chair for IEEE PacificVis 2011 and 2012. He has co-edited five special issues/sections for the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, and ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems. He received the Honorable Mention for Best Paper Award at IEEE Visualization 2009 and is a winner of 2009 IBM Faculty Award. He obtained a B.S. in Mathematics from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. (2004) in Computer Science from the Stony Brook University.
Youngryel Ryu is assistant professor of Environmental Ecology at Seoul National University, South Korea. He received his B.S. degree in Landscape Architecture from Seoul National University. After obtaining MCP degree at Seoul National University, he proceeded to University of California Berkeley where he received his Ph.D. in Biometeorology in 2010 under direction of Dennis Baldocchi. He joined the faculty of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Rural Systems Engineering at Seoul National University in 2011 after a research internship at Microsoft Research and a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. His research interests include terrestrial water and carbon cycles, and data-intensive science in ecological studies.
Ryosuke Shibasaki is a professor at the Center for Spatial Information Science, University of Tokyo. His research interests cover geospatial data acquisition, data assimilation for moving objects like people and vehicles, geo-intelligence, and context-aware services based on personal behavior model. He obtained a Ph.D. in remote sensing/GIS from the University of Tokyo in 1986. His past work experience includes associate professor at the Department of Civil Engineering (1988–1991) and at the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo (1991–98), professor at the Center for Spatial Information Science (1998–present), and director of the University of Tokyo (2005–2010). He was a former president of the Asian GIS Association and former president of the GIS Association of Japan. He served as board member of the Japanese Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, the Infrastructure Implementation Board (IIB) and Group of Earth Observations (GEO), and as member of Scientific Committee of WDS (World Data System) and ICSU (International Council of Scientific Union).
Dr. Guangzhong Sun is an associate professor in School of Computer Science and Technology, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). He is a member of National High Performance Computing Center (Hefei). He got his Ph.D. in computer science at USTC in 2005. He worked as a visiting researcher in Microsoft Research Asia from October 2007 to August 2008 and from September 2010 to February 2011. He has published more than 40 papers, including papers in reputed journals and major international conferences. He is a member of ACM and IEEE. His research interests include pervasive computing, data processing, parallel computing, and combinatorial algorithms.
Senior program manager of the China Cloud Innovation Center (CCIC) in the Server and Tools Division at Microsoft, Wei focuses on solution architecture design on Microsoft SQL Server and Windows Azure. Before joining CCIC, he worked as chief technology officer for a Microsoft Golden Partner, where his main responsibilities were to design and implement a cloud system based on Windows Server Hyper-V technology and to lead a team in the design of a natural UI interactive system based on Microsoft Kinect. For the past six years, Wei was recognized as a SQL Server MVP for his contributions to the technology community. He has experience with VLDB (very large database) design and distribution systems.
As chief technology officer for Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group (ARD), Prakash Sundaresan assists Dr. Ya-Qin Zhang, ARD chairman, chart ARD’s strategy and agenda for both the global and China markets, as well as facilitate ARD’s transformation into a key global research, innovation, and product development base for Microsoft. Prior to this position, Sundaresan served as general manager of Server & Tools Business (STB) China since 2009. Under his leadership, STB China set up the China Cloud Innovation Center (CCIC) in 2010, specifically to help the government, partners, and customers in China successfully adopt Microsoft’s cloud technologies. Since joining Microsoft in 1998, Sundaresan has held various leadership positions in the SQL Server division, including director of Strategy. In 2007, he moved to China to establish the SQL Server China R&D Center within ARD.
Before joining Microsoft, Sundaresan worked at Informix Software and Digital Equipment Corp. Sundaresan holds an MBA from the University of Washington, Seattle, a master’s in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.
Alexander Szalay is the Alumni Centennial Professor of Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University, and professor in the Department of Computer Science. He is the director of the Institute for Data Intensive Science. He is a cosmologist, working on the statistical measures of the spatial distribution of galaxies and galaxy formation. He is a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004, he received an Alexander Von Humboldt Award in Physical Sciences, in 2007 the Microsoft Jim Gray Award. In 2008, he became Doctor Honoris Causa of the Eotvos University, Budapest. He enjoys playing with Big Data.
Stewart Tansley is a director at Microsoft Research Connections. He is responsible for Microsoft’s academic research partnerships related to natural user interface (NUI), especially device-oriented, including cyber-physical systems (CPS), robotics and sensor networks. In 2011, he was acting product manager for the Kinect for Windows SDK from Microsoft Research. Before joining Microsoft in 2001, he spent 13 years in the telecommunications industry in software research and development, focusing on technology transfer. Stewart has a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence applied to Engineering from Loughborough University, UK. He has published a variety of papers on robotics for education, artificial intelligence, and network management as well as several patents, and co-authored a book on software engineering for artificial intelligence applications. In 2009, he co-edited The Fourth Paradigm, a book that collates visionary essays on the emerging field of data-intensive science. His recent research interests have centered on multi-device NUI, social human-robot interaction, robotics as a context for computer science education, sensor networks, and ubiquitous computing.
Junichi Tsujii is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research Asia. Before joining Microsoft Research Asia in2011, Junichi Tsuji was professor of Natural Language Processing, University of Tokyo, Japan, and professor of Text Mining, University of Manchester, UK. He remains the scientific advisor of the UK National Centre for Text Mining (NaCTeM) at the University of Manchester. He has received a number of awards, such as the IBM Science Award (1989), SEYMF Visiting Professorship (2000), Daiwa-Adrian Prize (2004), IBM Faculty Award (2005), Achievement Award of Japan Society for Artificial Intelligence (2008), Fellow of Information Processing Society Japan (2010), and the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbons (2010).
Professor Tsuji has also been president of ACL (Association for Computational Linguistics, 2006), president of IAMT (International Association for Machine Translation, 2002–2004), and president of AFNLP (Asian Association for Natural Language Processing, 2007). He is a permanent member of the ICCL (International Committee for Computational Linguistics, 1992–present) and its vice-chair (2012–present).
As director of the Microsoft China Cloud Innovation Center at the Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group Shanghai center, Michael Wang leads the customer advisory team with solution architecture and product expertise in Microsoft Azure public cloud, Windows Server/System Center, and Big Data platforms. Michael and his team are responsible for the cloud-focused technical deep engagement with the government, customers, and partners to help them migrate, deploy, and develop new business applications and solutions on the Microsoft cloud platform and technologies as well as strengthening the ecosystem.
Previously, Michael served as the director of business operations for the Microsoft Server and Tool business (China). He was responsible for the smooth business operation of the organization as well as driving strategic outsourcing; engagement with local government, key customers, and partners; engineering central services (such as the lab), user experience, and more. Prior to his current assignment in China, Michael served as principal group program manager in the SQL Server team at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, where he was responsible for enabling customers and partners to build and deploy applications and ecosystems on SQL Server. Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Tsinghua University and a master’s degree in Computer Science from University of Massachusetts at Boston.
Dr. Huayi Wu is a full professor and director assistant of the State Key Lab of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping, and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University. He obtained his Ph.D. on Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing from Wuhan University in 1999. His Ph.D. thesis was among the top 100 best Ph.D. theses in China in 2002. In 2006, he was awarded the New Century Talent in University by the Ministry of Education, China. He was appointed to the Distinguished Chair Professor of the Changjiang Scholar Program in 2012. His research works focus on intelligent geospatial information sharing and interoperability. He has served as principal investigator for a series of projects on the “Geospatial Service Web” supported by the Ministry of Science & Technology and the Ministry of Education. He has successfully organized several international academic meetings or sessions. He is currently chairing International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) WG VI/1.
Ms. Yingying Yao, is a Ph.D. candidate in the Center for Water Research, College of Engineering of Peking University, China. Her major research includes regional geographical data model and groundwater flow model simulation and visualization, water resource management. Her paper, “Three-Dimensional Conceptual and Numerical Models for the Groundwater Flow System for the Heihe River Basin,” has received the best student paper award for the international conference “MODFLOW and More 2013: Translating Science into Practice.”
Wenming Ye is senior research program manager with Microsoft Research Connections. After completing his graduate work at University of Colorado Boulder, Mr. Ye joined SRI International, where he focused on design and development of innovative wireless, handheld, and web-based simulation tools and services. Mr. Ye returned to Boulder as a developer on the commercialization team at Tech-X Corp, where he developed and productized large-scale HPC software. Mr. Ye is currently a senior research program manager responsible for cloud-based big data and big compute projects at Microsoft Research Connections.
Larry Zhang is the senior program manager of the China Cloud Innovation Center (CCIC) in the Server and Tools Division at Microsoft. Larry’s responsibilities include managing Windows Server and System Center’s Technology Adoption Program (TAP) and providing support to China Windows Azure Private Beta customers. Before joining CCIC, Larry was architect and senior technical account manager in the Microsoft Enterprise Services organization. Larry has worked in numerous groups at Microsoft, including Customer Support and Services, Premier Field Engineering, Enterprise Services, and the Asia R&D Group. Before joining Microsoft in 2000, Larry worked at COMPAQ. Larry holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Tongji University and an MBA degree from Peking University.
Prof. Chunmiao Zheng has been a visiting professor and founding director of the Center for Water Research at Peking University of China since 2006. Since 2002, Zheng has been a professor at University of Alabama. Zheng’s primary research interests are field, laboratory, and theoretical studies of the effects of aquifer heterogeneities and preferential flow paths on contaminant transport processes and hydrogeology and sustainable water resource management at watershed scales.
Roy Zimmermann is the director of Education and Scholarly Communication in Microsoft Research Connections. In this role, he leads a team that collaborates with higher education institutions around the world to develop next-generation technologies for education. Zimmermann’s primary goal is to work with academics, researchers, and scientists to foster innovations and advancements in teaching and research that help improve education around the world.
Before he joined Microsoft, Zimmermann worked at the American Council on Education’s Office of Higher Education for Development (HED). He oversaw all programmatic activities across all development sectors, including education, health, agriculture, and economic growth. His role was to ensure continuous quality of overall program implementation as well as new program development and strategic planning. He managed HED’s relations with federal, corporate, and other national and international stakeholders. Zimmermann has 20 years of experience in research, education, and international development.
Zimmermann holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree in education and history from Emory University with a minor in Latin American studies.