Faculty Summit 2019 | The future of work

Faculty Summit 2019 | The future of work


This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit to be held in Redmond at the Microsoft Conference Center, July 17-18, 2019. The Faculty Summit brings together the intellectual power of researchers from across Microsoft and academia for two days to meet, discuss and share ideas about the future of work. New advances in computing are transforming existing work and productivity paradigms. Tomorrow, we will work more places, faster, more collaboratively, and our output will be ever more thoughtful, creative, and impactful. We are excited that this year’s Faculty Summit investigates how researchers are augmenting, improving, and even changing the future of work, for individuals and organizations alike.

Program Chairs


Day 1 | Wednesday, July 17

Time (PDT) Session Speaker
8:30 AM–9:00 AM Welcome & Intro Sandy Blyth, Global Managing Director, Microsoft Research
9:00 AM–10:00 AM Keynote: An Expansive View of Productivity Jaime Teevan, Microsoft
Keynote: Understanding Workplace Well-Being and Productivity through Sensor Tracking Gloria Mark, University of California, Irvine
10:00 AM–10:15 AM Transition & Break
10:15 AM–11:45 AM Breakout Sessions
Microproductivity: Getting Big Things Done Using Smaller Moments Chair: Shamsi Iqbal, Microsoft


  • Steven Dow, University of California, San Diego
  • Lydia Chilton, Columbia University
  • Walter Lasecki, University of Michigan
  • Victor Poznanski, Microsoft
Techniques for ML Model Transparency and Debugging Chair: Steven Drucker, Microsoft


  • Daniel Weld, University of Washington
  • Rich Caruana, Microsoft
Envisioning Fluid Cross-Device Experiences Chair: Nathalie Richie, Microsoft


  • Caroline Appert, Université Paris-Sud / Paris Saclay
  • Nicolai Marquardt, University College London
  • Ken Hinckley, Microsoft
  • Xiao Tu, Microsoft
  • Saul Greenberg, University of Calgary
12:00 PM–1:00 PM Networking Lunch – One Table | One Topic
1:00 PM–2:30 PM Breakout Sessions
AI-Driven Image Captioning For Inclusive Productivity Chair: Ed Cutrell, Microsoft


  • Danna Gurari, University of Texas, Austin
  • Kathleen McCoy, University of Delaware
  • Walter Lasecki, University of Michigan
  • Ece Kamar, Microsoft
Recommendation and Learning to Improve Personal Productivity Chair: Paul Bennett, Microsoft


  • Claudia Perlich, IBM
  • Jennifer Neville, Purdue University
  • Yejin Choi, University of Washington
  • Chris Re, Stanford University
The Future of Communication Chair: Sean Rintel, Microsoft


  • Elizabeth Stokoe, Loughborough University
  • Constantine Sandis, University of Hertsfordshire
  • Yvonne Rogers, University College London
  • Bill Buxton, Microsoft
2:30 PM–3:00 PM Networking Break
3:00 PM–4:30 PM Breakout Sessions
Workforce of the Future Chair: Ehsan Hoque, University of Rochester


  • Jon Kleinberg, Cornell University
  • Skip Rizzo, University of Southern California
  • Shamsi Iqbal, Microsoft
  • Phil Pizzo, Stanford University
  • Ehsan Hoque, University of Rochester
Task Intelligence: Doing More with Less Chair: Ryen White, Microsoft


  • Flora Salim, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
  • Keith Ballinger, Microsoft
  • Caitlin Hart, Microsoft
  • Shree Sahasrabudhe, Microsoft
  • Howard Crow, Microsoft
Augmented and Virtual Productivity Experiences Chair: Mar Gonzalez-Franco, Microsoft


  • Bobby Bodenheimer, Vanderbilt University
  • Sarah Creem-Regehr, University of Utah
  • Henry Fuchs, University of North Carolina
  • Eyal Ofek, Microsoft
4:30 PM–4:45 PM Transition break
4:45 PM–5:45 PM A Conversation with Bill Gates hosted by Eric Horvitz
5:45 PM–6:00 PM Closing

Day 2 | Thursday, July 18

Time (PDT) Session Speaker
8:30 AM–9:00 AM Welcome & Tech Showcase Lightning Round
9:00 AM–10:00 AM Keynote: Intentional Approaches to Computer-Machine Collaboration Mira Lane, Microsoft
10:00 AM–12:00 PM Technology Showcase | The Future of Work Demos
12:00 PM–1:00 PM Networking Lunch
1:00 PM–2:30 PM Breakout Sessions
Human-AI Collaboration for Decision-Making Co-Chairs: Besmira Nushi and Ece Kamar, Microsoft


  • Ayanna Howard, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Jon Kleinberg, Cornell University
  • Besmira Nushi, Purdue University
  • Ece Kamar, Microsoft
Using AI to Increase Programmer Productivity Co-Chairs: Sarah Bird and Markus Weimer, Microsoft


  • Chandu Thekkath, Microsoft
  • Gustavo Alonso, ETH Zurich
  • Ce Zhang, ETH Zurich
  • Luis Ceze, University of Washington
  • Sarah Bird, Microsoft
  • Markus Weimer, Microsoft
Future of Spreadsheeting Co-Chairs: Andy Gordon, Shi Han, and Ben Zorn, Microsoft


  • Felienne Hermans, Universiteit Leiden
  • Shi Han, Microsoft
  • Daniel Barowy, Williams College
  • Andy Gordon, Microsoft
  • Ben Zorn, Microsoft
2:30 PM–3:00 PM Networking Break
3:00 PM–4:30 PM Breakout Sessions
Productivity in Software Development Chair: Neel Sundaresan, Microsoft


  • Margaret-Anne Storey, University of Victoria
  • Ahmed E. Hassan, Queens University
  • Premkumar Devanbu, University of California, Davis
  • Andrej Karpathy, Tesla
Workers of the World, Connect! Tech Innovations and Organizational Change for the Future of Work(ers) Co-Chairs: Mary Gray and Jacki O’Neill, Microsoft


  • Louise Hickman, University of California, San Diego
  • Jamie Woodcock, Oxford Internet Institute
  • Elizabeth Gerber, Northwestern University
  • Jacki O’Neill, Microsoft
  • Mary Gray, Microsoft
Artificial Emotional Intelligence, Social Systems, and the Future of Collaboration Chair: Mary Czerwinski, Microsoft


  • Mark Ackerman, University of Michigan
  • Sidney D’Mello, University of Colorado
  • Gloria Mark, University of California, Irvine
  • Eoin Whelan, National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Steve Whittaker, University of California, Santa Cruz
4:30 PM–4:45 PM Break
4:45 PM–5:45 PM Keynote: The Future of Work And the Power of Data Johannes Gehrke, Microsoft

*Agenda subject to change



An Expansive View of Productivity

Speaker: Jaime Teevan, Microsoft

Productivity is the cornerstone of the experiences and devices that Microsoft builds. And yet the nature of productivity is fundamentally changing with the emergence of the intelligent cloud and edge, increasing use of digital media, and an explosion of devices. No longer is it enough for the tools we build to merely help people be faster, more efficient, and better organized. Our tools must now help people approach problems in new ways. The future of productivity is collaborative, intelligent, and deeply embedded in the world around us. This talk will explore the research breakthroughs necessary to bring this expansive view of productivity to life.

Intentional Approaches to Computer-Machine Collaboration

Speaker: Mira Lane, Microsoft

Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and mixed reality have the potential to upend the way we create, work, and interact with one another. This disruption is an opportunity and a challenge. As we see technologies begin to closely replicate aspects of creative human output, we must consider the evolution of work and our relationship to machines. New technologies alter our connections with one other, they have the potential to rapidly turn our ideas into tangibles, and yet… we all know that we must tread intentionally in this new era. Should we aim for more ambitious relationships between computers and ourselves and what does responsible innovation mean in a future of human-machine collaboration?

The Future of Work And the Power of Data

Speaker: Johannes Gehrke, Microsoft

Automation, digital platforms, and AI are changing the fundamental nature of work. Many activities that we do today have the potential to be automated, but there is also huge potential to dramatically enhance individual productivity. The cloud plays a key role here. Beyond multi-tenancy, elasticity, and unlimited resources, the cloud allows us to learn and to make our users more successful through data. In this session, we provide several examples of how we work across research and product groups empowering our users through data and lay out several challenges that we hope to solve together with the academic community.

Understanding Workplace Well-Being and Productivity through Sensor Tracking

Speaker: Gloria Mark, University of California, Irvine

The future of work will involve gaining a deep understanding of people’s workplace experience and use that understanding to develop solutions that improve health, mood, and productivity. Using wearable sensors, computer logging, and experience sampling data, we can analyze digital media use and how attention varies over the workday. Our goal is to leverage this data to design custom interfaces and interventions that people can use to promote well-being and productivity.

Breakout Sessions

Artificial Emotional Intelligence, Social Systems, and the Future of Collaboration

Chair: Mary Czerwinski, Microsoft

We’re on a path to a future where artificial intelligence (AI) and humans collaborate; one could argue that time is already here. Issues of trust in teams, building rapport, and group formation will dramatically change with the infusion of AI into our social workplace. As AI begins to further augment user interactions and interfaces, there is a pressing need to think about how we want to design such AI-powered social systems and experiences. In this breakout session, we bring together experts from the social sciences, AI and machine learning, and computer science to discuss this integration, particularly how emotional intelligence can be realized to make AI-powered systems more human-like and how this may influence collaborative practices at both the practical and ethical levels.

Augmented and Virtual Productivity Experiences

Chair: Mar Gonzalez-Franco, Microsoft

Important questions about how the productivity of VR/AR applications is measured remain. This panel discusses ways of conceptualizing and measuring productivity. Ideally, objective measures of the experience can be developed that evaluate the realism of any mediated scenario being presented, and these measures could be developed with such precision that components of an AR or VR system could be identified for weaknesses and be improved upon. The panel brings together researchers from different backgrounds and perspectives in the context of this issue, using approaches of calibration, interaction, realism and presence, and the use of behavior as objective measures to compare across real world and mediated environments. The questions that the panel will discuss include:

  • What types of productivity are there? How are they similar and different?
  • What are the best ways of measuring productivity?
  • How has productivity changed with new technologies?
  • Is productivity different between AR and VR?
  • What new areas of VR/AR will help increase productivity?

Envisioning Fluid Cross-Device Experiences

Chair: Nathalie Richie, Microsoft

The future of work is beyond the desktop, existing in a more natural environment where individuals can grab a pen to annotate a document on any device and share it effortlessly with others, including themselves. The future of work is identifying relevant information on the web or in email on a phone while commuting and seamlessly transitioning it to a large interactive whiteboard for a collaborative team meeting at the office. In this session we offer several complementary perspectives of this near future in which pen and touch play a central role in leveraging Office 365 and cross-device experiences are easy and fluid.

Future of Spreadsheeting

Co-Chairs: Andy Gordon, Shi Han, Ben Zorn, Microsoft

The spreadsheet has continually evolved to remain at the forefront of productivity tools and work practices for over forty years. For example, today’s spreadsheets embrace collaboration, serve as databases, are mobile, and encompass AI-powered interaction via natural language. Going forward, research advances in AI, program synthesis, visualization, and programming languages are being integrated into spreadsheets to improve user productivity and experience. This session examines recent innovations in spreadsheeting, from both Microsoft Research and the academic research community.

Human-AI Collaboration for Decision-Making

Chair: Besmira Nushi and Ece Kamar, Microsoft

Currently, there is an increasing ambition in industry and research for building artificial intelligence (AI) that will support people in their everyday life and work. Decision-making is a central aspect in this ambit. AI and machine learning algorithms are being used to assist doctors, lawyers, and governments in diagnosing diseases, making judicial decisions, and defining policies. It is more important than ever that these algorithms are designed and optimized in a way that simplifies and accounts for human-AI collaboration. Addressing these challenges requires methods and techniques at the intersection of cognition, sociology, and artificial intelligence. In this breakout session, we bring together expertise from these different perspectives and enable the speakers, as well as the audience, to share emerging theoretical results, experimental findings, and applications involving human-AI decision-making.

AI-Driven Image Captioning For Inclusive Productivity

Chair: Ed Cutrell, Microsoft

Advances in hybrid intelligence, deep learning, and related artificial intelligence techniques have provided us with a remarkable opportunity to ensure the future of work will be even more inclusive to more people than ever before. Because the communication and products of work increasingly comprise images—photos, charts, maps, and the like—that are often not accessible, people who are blind or low vision face unique challenges. One promising technology is the automated understanding and captioning of images. Office 365 applications, for example, can use APIs from Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services to automatically add alt text to images. But there remain many hurdles to making these captions truly useful and usable. In this breakout session, we will explore the state of the art and potential for advancement in automated image captioning, including data capture and curation for training, caption presentation and interactivity, and computer vision.

Microproductivity: Getting Big Things Done Using Smaller Moments

Chair: Shamsi Iqbal, Microsoft

In today’s world, people have to attend to a number of tasks near simultaneously, and with the widespread use of mobile devices, tasks can be tackled almost anywhere at any time. It is not surprising, then, that being able to address any one task for an extended period is becoming increasingly difficult. A new research area is focusing on “microproductivity,” breaking larger tasks down into manageable components conducive to small moments throughout the day. In this breakout session, we bring together experts from academia and the product side to share their vision of a future where traditional tasks can be accomplished via both focused attention and microproductivity. We will unpack how microproductivity may manifest across different domains and scenarios, identify key challenges in designing for microproductivity, discuss how expected outcomes may be impacted, and put forward an agenda that can move the field toward real-life adaptation.

Networking Lunch – One Table | One Topic

By attending the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit you have the exclusive opportunity to meet with some of our senior technical leaders from product groups across the company. Over lunch, you are encouraged to join a table hosted by one of Microsoft’s Distinguished Engineers to discuss a specific technology topic. This is your chance to ask questions, share your opinions and views on the future of the technology, and build relationships within our product teams. These frank and informal conversations with strategic leaders are sure to pique your interest and inspire you.

Productivity in Software Development

Chair: Neel Sundaresan, Microsoft

In this era of “Internet of Code”, data and metadata around open source projects are available in abundance. While research in program synthesis is not new, deep learning systems that take advantage of large scale code as data is starting to show new promise in improving developer productivity. The availability of GPU machines and cloud-based distributed systems help build deeper networks and scale them to production systems. In addition to passive input from open repos, crowdsourcing software expertise and integrating this with software systems has shown positive results. AI promises assistance and automation in every aspect of software development from edit and build stage to test and deploy stage. What traditional compiler and run time systems did with rules and analyzers can be replaced with AI-driven algorithmic systems. The concept of Software 2.0 is being discussed where code appears as data and where traditional software development processes give way to AI-based systems. In this panel, we explore opportunities for research and technology to improve productivity in software engineering and how AI plays a role in it.

Recommendation and Learning to Improve Personal Productivity

Chair: Paul Bennett, Microsoft

Artificial intelligence has the potential to improve productivity throughout the workplace by leveraging how people communicate to proactively connect a person to the right people and information. Providing this benefit requires key system capabilities, including understanding how language in communications relates to the actions people take, how behavioral traces can be used to measure personal productivity, how we can make recommendations from the personal web, and—critical to all of these—how we can learn from each person’s data in a privacy-preserving way. This breakout session will consist of 10-minute talks to review recent progress in related areas and a panel discussion on how research can address the challenges in this arena. We will explore how machine learning methods can be applied to customer-level data to improve personalization and facilitate productivity without sacrificing privacy and address such technical issues as data sources/feedback, modeling objectives, and accurate evaluation.

Task Intelligence: Doing More with Less

Chair: Ryen White, Microsoft

Tasks—defined pieces of work ranging in scope from the specific, such as sending an email, to the broad, such as shipping a feature—are central to all aspects of personal and team productivity. Task intelligence spans technologies and experiences to extract, understand, and support the completion of short- and long-term goals. Helping people complete tasks is a key capability of search systems, digital assistants, and productivity applications. We will discuss work on task support across three Microsoft products: Office 365, Bing, and Azure DevOps. Invited speakers will discuss how their respective products help users do more with less effort. We will also spotlight our ongoing collaboration with RMIT University on the Cortana Intelligence Institute, an initiative to co-develop task intelligence technologies.

Techniques for ML Model Transparency and Debugging

Chair: Steven Drucker, Microsoft

As we move into a world where machine learning is increasingly involved in our decision-making, we need more effective tools for understanding and troubleshooting our models. In this panel discussion, we will explore techniques for visualizing and debugging machine learning models, building on work started by Rich Caruana and his team on generalized additive models (GAM), Hohman and his team on interacting with GAMs, and Marco Tulio Ribeiro with LIME—Local Interpretable Model-Agnostic Explanations.

The Future of Communication

Chair: Sean Rintel, Microsoft

Communication is the foundation on which our efforts toward accomplishing goals and tasks are built. We articulate needs and results and tell and react to stories about what we do and how we do it. The modern working world consists of a myriad tools and technologies by which to convey this information, providing for choice, integration, and analysis, and these options will only increase in the future. This breakout session aims to unpack the communicative backbone of the work environment to explore how communication patterns are changing and to discuss new ways to understand how communication relates to productivity. We will cover issues from different disciplines and perspectives across diverse domains and outline both challenges and opportunities.

Using AI to Increase Programmer Productivity

Co-Chairs: Sarah Bird and Markus Weimer, Microsoft

With the advent of machine learning techniques, programmer productivity is poised to significantly improve. The job of a software engineer is changing into one where they learn a model for a function by using vast amounts of data, and then apply this model to predict or infer the value of this function on new and unknown data.

But for this new model of software development to become the dominant approach, we will need advances in several areas, including in program synthesis, compilers, high-performance computer systems, and neural network architectures. This session will identify the new programmer paradigm and identify what is needed to realize the potential productivity improvements it promises.

Workers of the World, Connect! Tech Innovations and Organizational Change for the Future of Work(ers)

Chair: Mary Gray, Microsoft

From Uber-like services dishing up physical labor to startups “taskifying” information services, tech companies shaping the platform-driven, on-demand economy have paid little attention to the value of connected workers. What could the future of work look like if tech facilitated new worker-centered organizational structures? How might we build these structures while both delivering job opportunities and supporting worker groups, even in resource-constrained settings? What are the opportunities for capitalizing on technology innovation to design new economic markets that benefit workers and more fairly distribute jobs to a global workforce? We will address these questions and more, drawing on their research to outline how technologies could be used to counter the trend toward isolating on-demand workers.

Workforce of the Future

Chair: Ehsan Hoque, University of Rochester

The workforce of the future will have to be creative and innovative, rather than merely good at performing specific tasks. However, many individuals lack these skills, particularly if they suffer from cognitive disabilities or difficulties. Many argue that those skills are either innate or require extensive practice with human experts. We show that using technology we can improve human skills across a variety of domain including public speaking, job interviews, aging, autism, music training, negotiations, collaborations, end-of-life communication and deception.



Portrait of Bill GatesBill Gates
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 1975, Bill Gates founded Microsoft with Paul Allen and led the company to become the worldwide leader in business and personal software and services. In 2008, Bill transitioned to focus full-time on his foundation’s work to expand opportunity to the world’s most disadvantaged people. Along with co-chair Melinda Gates, he leads the foundation’s development of strategies and sets the overall direction of the organization. In 2010, Bill, Melinda, and Warren Buffett founded the Giving Pledge, an effort to encourage the wealthiest families and individuals to publicly commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropic causes and charitable organizations during their lifetime or in their will. In 2015, Bill created the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a group of individuals and entities committed to clean energy innovation, followed by Breakthrough Energy Ventures in 2016, an investor-led fund focused on providing patient capital to support cutting-edge clean energy companies.

Portrait of Johannes GehrkeJohannes Gehrke


Johannes Gehrke is a Technical Fellow at Microsoft in the Experiences and Devices Group, working on machine learning and Big Data. From 1999 to 2015, he was on the faculty in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University where he graduated 25 PhD students. Johannes has received an NSF Career Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, a Humboldt Research Award, the 2011 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award, and he is an ACM Fellow. He co-authored the undergraduate textbook “Database Management Systems (McGrawHill (2002),” currently in its third edition), and he was Program co-Chair of ACM KDD 2004, VLDB 2007, IEEE ICDE 2012, ACM SOCC 2014, and IEEE ICDE 2015.

Portrait of Mira LaneMira Lane


Mira Lane is the Partner Director of Ethics & Society within Cloud & AI at Microsoft. Mira runs a multidisciplinary team within an engineering context that is responsible for guiding technical and experience innovation towards ethical, responsible, and sustainable outcomes. The technology areas of interest to her team include speech & language, computer vision, ambient devices, intelligent meetings, intelligent agents, and mixed reality (AR, VR, HoloLens). Mira’s history at Microsoft has focused on experience strategy, incubation of new product concepts, and bringing products to market. She holds numerous patents across platforms and collaborative interfaces. She has held various roles through her technology career in development, product management, UX architect and design. Mira has a background in art, computer science, and mathematics. Her video art has been featured in film festivals and galleries.

Portrait of Gloria MarkGloria Mark
University of California, Irvine


Gloria Mark is a Professor in the Department of Informatics, University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on studying how the use of digital technology impacts our lives in real-world contexts. She has studied in situ workplace behavior in a number of different organizations. She received her PhD in Psychology from Columbia University. Prior to UCI she worked at the German National Research Center for Information Technology (GMD, now Fraunhofer Institute), has been an ongoing visiting researcher at Microsoft Research since 2012 and had been a visiting researcher at IBM, National University of Singapore, and the MIT Media Lab. She was inducted into the ACM SIGCHI Academy in 2017, has been a Fulbright scholar and has received a number of best paper awards. She was the general co-chair for the ACM CHI 2017 conference and is on the editorial boards of the ACM TOCHI and Human-Computer Interaction journals. Her work has appeared in the popular press such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, the BBC, NPR, Time, The Wall Street Journal and she has presented her work at SXSW and the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Portrait of Jaime TeevanJaime Teevan


Jaime Teevan is Chief Scientist for Microsoft‘s Experiences and Devices, where she is helping Microsoft create the future of productivity. Previously she was the Technical Advisor to Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, and a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research AI, where she led the Productivity team. Dr. Teevan has published hundreds of award-winning technical articles, books, and patents, and given keynotes around the world. Her groundbreaking research earned her the Technology Review TR35 Young Innovator, BECA, Karen Spärck Jones, and SIGIR Test of Time awards. She was most recently named Distinguished Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for her significant contributions that have revolutionized how we live, work, and play. She holds a Ph.D. from MIT and a B.S. from Yale, and is an affiliate professor at the University of Washington.


Portrait of Mark AckermanMark Ackerman
University of Michigan


Mark Ackerman is the George Herbert Mead Collegiate Professor of Human-Computer Interaction, and a Professor in the School of Information and in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His major research area is Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), primarily Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). Ackerman has published widely in HCI and CSCW, investigating collaborative information access in online knowledge communities, medical settings, expertise sharing, and most recently, pervasive environments. Ackerman is a member of the CHI Academy (HCI Fellow) and an ACM Fellow.

Previously, Ackerman was a faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, and a research scientist at MIT’s Laboratory for Computer Science (now CSAIL). Before becoming an academic, Ackerman led the development of the first home-banking system, had three Billboard Top-10 games for the Atari 2600, and worked on the X Window System’s first user-interface widget set. Ackerman has degrees from the University of Chicago, Ohio State, and MIT.

Portrait of Gustavo AlonsoGustavo Alonso
ETH Zurich


Gustavo Alonso is a professor at the Department of Computer Science of ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Alonso studied Telecommunications, with a focus in Electrical Engineering, at the Madrid Technical University (ETSIT, Politecnica de Madrid). As a Fulbright scholar, Alonso completed an MS and PhD in Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara. After graduating from Santa Barbara, he worked at the IBM Almaden Research Center before joining ETH Zurich. At ETH, Alonso is part of the Systems Group. Alonso is a Fellow of the ACM and of the IEEE, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of the Department of Computer Science of UC Santa Barbara.

His research interests encompass almost all aspects of systems, from design to run time. Alonso works in distributed systems, databases, cloud computing, and hardware acceleration of data science. His recent research is related to multi-core architectures, large clusters, FPGAs, and big data, mainly working on adapting traditional system software (OS, databases, networking) to modern hardware platforms.

Some of the research awards Alonso has received include the Middleware 2017 Test-of-Time Award, the FCCM 2013 Best Paper Award, the AOSD 2012 Most Influential Paper Award, the VLDB 2010 Ten Year Best Paper Award, and the 2009 ICDCS Best Paper Award.

Portrait of Margaret-Anne StoreyMargaret-Anne Storey
University of Victoria


Margaret-Anne Storey is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Victoria. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Human and Social Aspects of Software Engineering and the Lise Meitner Guest Professorship at Lund University in Sweden.

Storey’s research goal is to understand how technology can help people explore, understand, and share complex information and knowledge. She evaluates and applies techniques from knowledge engineering, social software, and visual interface design to applications such as collaborative software development, program comprehension, biomedical ontology development, and learning in Web-based environments. Storey regularly collaborates with high-tech companies to apply her solutions to real-world problems.

Portrait of Keith BallingerKeith Ballinger


Keith Ballinger is the General Manager of Developer Services at Microsoft, where he drives the mission to engage developers with services they love, make Azure the most developer-friendly cloud, and make 1ES the best engineering system in the world. Before returning to Microsoft, Ballinger was the VP of Product for Xamarin, which Microsoft acquired in March of 2016. Ballinger has a strong background in entrepreneurship, engineering, and product management, dating back to his time as a project manager on the original .NET team. In 2007, he left Microsoft to co-found several startups. Previous to Xamarin, Ballinger was the Chief Architect at the YC-backed startup Standard Treasury, building an API-first bank. He’s the author of two books on programming.

Portrait of Daniel BarowyDaniel Barowy
Williams College


Daniel Barowy is an Assistant Professor in the Williams College Department of Computer Science, where he focuses on programming languages.

In particular, his research is motivated by two questions: “Can this program be made simpler to use?” and “Can this program be made more robust?” Surprisingly, the answers to these questions often complement each other.

Barowy’s work focuses on new language abstractions, end-user programming, and new debugging techniques. In particular, he addresses improving the user experience when programming with spreadsheets and with crowdsourcing. Barowy employs traditional programming language techniques such as program analysis, often blending them with less-common statistical approaches.

Portrait of Paul BennettPaul Bennett


Paul Bennett is a Principal Researcher and manager of the Information and Data Sciences group in Microsoft Research AI. He is interested in the development, improvement, and analysis of machine learning methods, with a focus on systems that can aid in the automatic analysis of natural language as components of adaptive systems or information retrieval systems. Bennett’s current focus is on contextually intelligent assistants. He also maintains an active interest in contextual and personalized search, enriched information retrieval, active sampling and learning, hierarchical and large-scale classification, and human computation and preferences.

Bennett’s past work has examined a variety of areas — primarily ensemble methods, calibrating classifiers, search query classification and characterization, and redundancy and diversity; as well as extending to transfer learning, machine translation, recommender systems, and knowledge bases. In addition to his research, Bennett engages in a variety of professional service activities for the machine learning, data mining, and information retrieval communities.

Before coming to Microsoft, Bennett obtained his PhD from the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University.

Portrait of Sara BirdSarah Bird


Sarah leads research and emerging technology strategy for AI developer products in Azure. Sarah works to accelerate the adoption and impact of AI by bringing together the latest innovations in machine learning and systems research with the best of open source and product expertise to create new tools and technologies. Sarah is active contributor to the open source ecosystem, she co-founded ONNX, an open source standard for machine learning models and was a leader in the PyTorch 1.0 project.

Sarah’s research interests include machine learning systems and responsible AI. She was an early member of the machine learning systems research community and has been active in growing and forming the community. Previously, Sarah was a machine learning systems researcher in Microsoft Research NYC, where she worked on reinforcement learning systems and AI ethics. She co-founded the SysML research conference and the Learning Systems workshops. She has a Ph.D. in computer science from UC Berkeley advised by Dave Patterson, Krste Asanovic, and Burton Smith.

Portrait of Bobby BodenheimerBobby Bodenheimer
Vanderbilt University


Bobby Bodenheimer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Vanderbilt University. His area of focus is computer graphics and computer animation, with a particular interest in human-figure animation.

Portrait of Bill BuxtonBill Buxton


Bill Buxton is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research. Prior to that, he was Principal of Buxton Design, his Toronto-based boutique design and consulting firm.

Buxton focuses on –human-computer interaction, including the appropriate consideration of human values, capacity, and culture in the conception, implementation, and use of new products and technologies. This is reflected in his research, teaching, talks, and writing — including his column on design and innovation for BusinessWeek.com, and his 2007 book, Sketching User Experiences.

Buxton completed an MSc in Computer Science at the University of Toronto, joined the faculty, and continues today as an Adjunct Professor.

He has been a Scientific Director of the Ontario Telepresence Project, and a consulting researcher at Xerox PARC.

Buxton has received many awards and commendations, including the Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society Award for contributions to research in computer graphics and human-computer interaction, and the New Media Visionary of the Year Award. The Hollywood Reporter named him one of the 10 most influential innovators in Hollywood, TIME Magazine named him one of the top five designers in Canada. He received the “Lasting Impact Award”, from ACM UIST 2005 and in 2008, Buxton received the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and is the recipient of the first annual Grand Canadian Digital Media Pioneer Award.

Portrait of Rich CaruanaRich Caruana


Rich Caruana is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research. Before joining Microsoft, Caruana was on the faculty in the Computer Science Department at Cornell University, at UCLA’s Medical School, and at Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Learning and Discovery. Caruana’s PhD is from Carnegie Mellon University. His thesis on multi-task learning helped create interest in a new subfield of machine learning called transfer learning. Caruana received an NSF CAREER Award, co-chaired KDD, and serves as area chair for NIPS, ICML, and KDD. Caruana’s current research focuses on learning for medical decision making, transparent modeling, deep learning, and computational ecology.

Portrait of Luis CezeLuis Ceze
University of Washington


Luis Ceze joined the University of Washington’s Computer Science and Engineering faculty in 2007. His research focuses on the intersection of computer architecture, programming languages, and molecular biology. He recently started exploring using biology to make better computers.

Ceze has had several papers selected as IEEE Micro Top Picks and CACM Research Highlights. He participated in the Blue Gene, Cyclops, and PERCS projects at IBM. He is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship and a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, and the 2013 IEEE TCCA Young Computer Architect Award. Ceze is also a member of the DARPA ISAT and MEC advisory groups.

He co-founded Corensic, a UW Computer Science and Engineering spin-off company.

Ceze received his PhD in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from University of São Paulo, Brazil.

Portrait of Lydia ChiltonLydia Chilton
Columbia University


Lydia Chilton is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department of Columbia University. Her research is in human-computer interaction, crowdsourcing, and computational design.

Chilton builds tools to enhance people’s problem-solving ability.

Portrait of Yejin ChoiYejin Choi
University of Washington


Yejin Choi’s primary research interests are the fields of Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, with broader interests in Computer Vision and Digital Humanities.

Choi’s recent research has been under two broad themes: learning the contextual, grounded meaning of language from various contexts in which language is used — both physical (such as visual inputs) and abstract (such as social or cognitive contexts); and learning the background knowledge about how the world works, latent in large-scale multimodal data. More specifically, Choi’s research interests include: Language Grounding with Vision, Physical Commonsense Reasoning, Social Commonsense Reasoning and Connotation Frames, Language Generation and Conversational AI, and AI for Social Good.

Portrait of Sarah Creem-RegehrSarah Creem-Regehr
University of Utah


Sarah Creem-Regehr works on the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying space perception and spatial cognition, perception and action, spatial transformations and motor imagery, embodied cognition, virtual environments.

A desire to understand space and object perception drives Creem-Regehr’s research in the University of Utah Visual Perception and Spatial Cognition laboratory. She has pursued the interaction between perception and action in several ways, addressing mechanisms underlying space perception, perception of tools, and imagined spatial transformations. Creem-Regehr’s research serves two goals: to further develop theories of perception‐action processing mechanisms and to apply these theories to relevant real‐world problems in order to facilitate observers’ understanding of their spatial environments.

Portrait of Howard CrowHoward Crow


Howard Crow is the Partner GPM of Microsoft Planner and Project. He thinks about work management and stress reduction every day. Before Planner and Project, Howard was a founding member of the SharePoint team. He has ridden motorcycles professionally, has an audiophile addiction and loves raising his daughter more than anything.

Portrait of Ed CutrellEd Cutrell


Ed Cutrell is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research. He also holds an affiliate faculty appointment in the Information School at the University of Washington and also at the Department of Software Information Systems at UNC Charlotte. He received his BA in Psychology and Cognitive Science from Rice University and went on to study Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Oregon, where he received his PhD. He has been working in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) since 2000.

Over the years, Cutrell has worked on a broad range of HCI topics, with a special interest in interdisciplinary work. Research topics have included input technologies, visual perception and graphics, intelligent notifications and disruptions, and interfaces for search and personal information management. From 2010-2016, he managed the Technology for Emerging Markets group in Microsoft Research India, focusing on technologies and systems useful for people living in underserved rural and urban communities. His research now focuses on computing for disability, accessibility, and inclusive design with the Ability group at Microsoft Research.

Portrait of Mary CzerwinskiMary Czerwinski


Mary Czerwinski is a Research Manager of the Visualization and Interaction (VIBE) Research Group at Microsoft Research.

Czerwinski’s research focuses primarily on emotion tracking, information worker task management, and health and wellness for individuals and groups. Her background is in visual attention and multitasking. Czerwinski holds a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington. Czerwinski was awarded the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award, was inducted into the CHI Academy, and became an ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2010. Czerwinski became a Fellow of the ACM in 2016. She also received the Distinguished Alumni award from Indiana University’s Brain and Psychological Sciences department and a Distinguished Alumni award from the College of Arts and Sciences from Indiana. Czerwinski became a Fellow of the American Psychological Science Association.

Portrait of Premkumar DevanbuPremkumar Devanbu
University of California, Davis


Premkumar Devanbu is an ACM Fellow in the UC Davis Department of Computer Science, is working on research that explores software coding by using statistical models that have become common in natural language processing, an area he pioneered called “software naturalness.” The goal of his research is to help reduce programmer effort now spent on the boring, repetitive elements that are a big portion of their work.

Devanbu co-presented a paper, “On the Naturalness of Software,” at the 34th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), in Zurich, Switzerland.

Devanbu earned his Bachelor’s degree at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, India, and received a PhD from Rutgers University. After spending nearly 20 years as both a developer and researcher at AT&T Bell Labs and its various offshoots, he left industry to join the UC Davis College of Engineering faculty in 1997. He serves on the editorial boards of Empirical Software Engineering and the Wiley Journal of Software Process and Maintenance. In 2006, he was Primary Investigator on a project funded by the National Science Foundation, to study how collaborative teams construct open-source software such as the Apache web server, the PostgreSQL database, and the Python scripting language.

Portrait of Sidney D'MelloSidney D’Mello
University of Colorado


Sidney D’Mello is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Cognitive Science and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. He was previously an Assistant (2012 to 2015) and Associate (2015 to 2017) Professor in the departments of Psychology and Computer Science at the University of Notre Dame.

His primary research interests are in the cognitive and affective sciences, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, and the learning sciences. More specific interests include affective computing, artificial intelligence in education, speech recognition and natural language understanding, and computational models of human cognition.

D’Mello’s research focuses on uncovering the incidence, dynamics, and influence of affective and cognitive states (such as confusion, boredom, mind wandering, and frustration) during complex learning and problem solving, applying computational techniques to model these states in context, and integrating the models in learning environments to adaptively respond to the sensed states. His research uses a range of techniques and paradigms ranging from eye tracking, discourse modeling, speech recognition, physiological sensing, facial feature and posture tracking, nonlinear time series analyses, and machine learning. D’Mello has co-edited five books and has published more than 180 journal papers, book chapters, and conference proceedings in these areas.

D’Mello is an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing and IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, a senior reviewer for the Journal of Educational Psychology, and serves on the executive board of the International Artificial Intelligence in Education Society and Educational Data Mining Society.

Portrait of Steven DowSteven Dow
University of California, San Diego


Steven Dow is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego, where he researches human-computer interaction, social computing, and creativity. Dow received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award for research on “advancing collective innovation.” He was co-Primary Investigator on four other National Science Foundation grants, a Google Faculty Grant, Stanford’s Postdoctoral Research Award, and the Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Grant. Dow was on the faculty in the HCI Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He holds an MS and PhD in Human-Centered Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iowa.

Portrait of Steven M. DruckerSteven M. Drucker


Steven M. Drucker is a Principal Researcher and manager of the Visualization and Interactive Data Analysis (VIDA) Group at Microsoft Research, focusing on human-computer interaction for dealing with large amounts of information. In particular, he is exploring democratizing the process of understanding and explaining information through the creation of tools that facilitate discovery and communication of insights through natural interaction and storytelling techniques.

Drucker is also an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering Department. In the past, he has been a Principal Scientist in the LiveLabs Research Group at Microsoft, where he headed the Information Experiences Group working on user interaction and information visualization for web-based projects; a Lead Researcher in the Next Media Research Group examining how the addition of user interaction transforms conventional media; and Lead Researcher in the Virtual Worlds Group creating a platform for multi-user virtual environments.

Drucker has filed over 120 patent, and has published papers on technologies as diverse as exploratory search, information visualization, multi-user environments, online social interaction, hypermedia research, human and robot perceptual capabilities, robot learning, parallel computer graphics, spectator oriented gaming, and human interfaces for camera control.

Drucker received his PhD from the MIT Media Lab, with a focus on automatic camera control and navigation in virtual environments; an MS from the AI Laboratory at MIT on robot learning; and his BS in neurosciences from Brown University.

Portrait of Henry FuchsHenry Fuchs
University of North Carolina


Henry Fuchs is the Federico Gil Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UNC Chapel Hill. He has been active in computer graphics since the early 1970s, with rendering algorithms (BSP Trees), hardware (Pixel-Planes and PixelFlow), virtual environments, tele-immersion systems, and medical applications. He received a PhD from the University of Utah.

He has been an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, and is currently on the faculty at UNC Chapel Hill. Fuchs is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the recipient of the ACM-SIGGRAPH Achievement Award, the Academic Award of the National Computer Graphics Association, 1997 Satava Award of the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Conference, the IEEE-VGTC Virtual Reality Career Award, and the ACM SIGGRAPH Steven A. Coons Award.

Portrait of Elizabeth GerberElizabeth Gerber
Northwestern University


Elizabeth Gerber‘s teaching interests include design, innovation management, and organizational behavior. At Northwestern, Gerber teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on product and service design that emphasizes the design thinking methodology – a human-centered problem-solving approach focused on gaining inspiration from human needs, working in diverse groups to generate ideas, and prototyping ideas for rapid feedback. She also advises students in the award-winning design initiative she founded – Design for America – where students take on extracurricular design work to make social and local impacts.

Portrait of Andy GordonAndy Gordon


Andy Gordon is a Principal Research Manager at Microsoft Research Cambridge. Gordon’s main project is Calc Intelligence, which brings intelligence to end-user programming, especially spreadsheets.

Gordon also holds the Chair in Computer Security and is a member of the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science and the Security and Privacy group in the School of Informatics in the University of Edinburgh. Gordon convenes the University of Edinburgh Microsoft Research Joint Initiative in Informatics, and participates in both the Data Science PhD program and the Cyber Security & Privacy Research Network.

Before joining Microsoft in 1997, Gordon was a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. Gordon has been a Visiting Professor in the School of Computing Science at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Gordon’s research is on programming languages and their semantics and logics, with application to security and privacy, machine learning, concurrency, and databases. Gordon has published and lectured on: input/output in pure functional programming, hardware description languages, mobile computation, security protocols, web services security, distributed authorization, configuration management, and database programming languages. He has also worked on probabilistic programming for machine learning.

Portrait of Mar Gonzalez-FrancoMar Gonzalez-Franco


Mar Gonzalez-Franco is a researcher in the EPIC (Extended Perception Interaction and Cognition) team at Microsoft Research. In her research, Gonzalez-Franco strives to achieve strong immersive experiences using different disciplines: virtual reality, avatars, computer graphics, computer vision, and haptics – all while studying human behavior, perception, and neuroscience.

Portrait of Mary GrayMary Gray


Mary Gray is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research and a Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Gray also maintains an appointment as Associate Professor of the Media School, with affiliations in American Studies, Anthropology, and Gender Studies at Indiana University.

Her research areas include how ethics, compliance routines and computer science research produce norms of vulnerability and risk in research involving human subjects. She also looks at the role of big data in human communication research and technology studies. Gray serves on the Executive Board of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research and is a past board member of the American Anthropological Association.

Portrait of Danna GurariDanna Gurari
University of Texas, Austin


Danna Gurari completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the University of Texas at Austin’s computer science department, and she received her PhD from Boston University in the Image and Video Computing Group. Gurari also holds an MS in Computer Science and a BS in Biomedical Engineering, both from Washington University in St. Louis. Gurari has held industry positions at two leading technology companies: Boulder Imaging and Raytheon. Her research has been recognized with an Honorable Mention Award at CHI, Researcher Excellence Award from the Boston University computer science department, Best Paper Award for Innovative Idea at MICCAI IMIC, and Best Paper Award at WACV.

Portrait of Shi HanShi Han


Shi Han is a Lead Researcher in the Software Analytics and Data Intelligence group at Microsoft Research, Beijing. Han has been working in the same research group since joining Microsoft in April 2006. For more than ten years, Han’s research has focused on using data-driven techniques (such as machine learning, data mining, and more) to develop Microsoft products. Han’s research interests include: data mining, especially for multi-dimensional data analysis; and machine learning, especially for software/system quality and programming languages.

Han received his MSE and BE from Zhejiang University.

Portrait of Caitlin HartCaitlin Hart


Caitlin Hart, Principal Program Manager at Microsoft, is an experienced product leader, specializing in creating great user experiences. Her goal is to make software that enables people to be more productive and fulfilled. In more than a decade of working in software, Hart has worked on everything from the pixels on the screen to deep technical layers. She has a broad range of experience managing partnerships between divisions and with external companies. Hart has worked on multiple releases for successful apps used by hundreds of millions of monthly active users.

Portrait of Ahmed E. HassanAhmed E. Hassan
Queens University


Ahmed E. Hassan is the NSERC/RIM Industrial Research Chair in Software Engineering at Queens University. His research interests lie in the intersection of systems and software engineering. At Queen’s, Hassan leads the Software Analysis and Intelligence Lab (SAIL).

At SAIL, Hassan and his students are actively investigating approaches and creating techniques to support practitioners who are producing, maintaining, and evolving large scale complex software systems. Their aim is to make the lives of these practitioners more productive, more cheerful, and more predictable.

Portrait of Felienne HermansFelienne Hermans
Universiteit Leiden


Felienne Hermans is an Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology. Her team at the Spreadsheet Lab works on making spreadsheets better by designing tools to test and improve them. Hermans enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for programming with others. As part of this, she co-organizes the yearly “Joy of Coding” conference in the Netherlands and teaches robotics at a community center.

Portrait of Louise HickmanLouise Hickman
University of California, San Diego


Louise Hickman is an activist and scholar of communication, and uses ethnographic, archival, and theoretical approaches to consider how access is produced for disabled people. Her current project focuses particularly on access produced by real-time stenographers and transcriptive technologies in educational settings. She uses an interdisciplinary lens drawing on feminist theory, critical disability studies, and science and technology studies to consider the historical conditions of access work, and the ways access is co-produced through human (and primarily female) labor, technological systems, and economic models and conditions. Hickman has previously served as an access consultant for ‘Catalyst: Feminism, Theory and Technoscience,’ a peer-reviewed, open-source journal advocating for a platform where access remains a reflexive, collaborative, and distributed effort in digital and disability design. She holds a PhD in Communication from the University of California, San Diego, and is currently working on her first manuscript: “The Automation of Access.”

Portrait of Ehsan HoqueEhsan Hoque
University of Rochester


Ehsan Hoque is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and an Asaro-Biggar (’92) Family fellow at the University of Rochester. Since 2018, Hoque has been the interim Director of the Goergen Institute for Data Science and he co-leads the Rochester Human-Computer Interaction (ROC HCI) Group. Hoque received his PhD from MIT in 2013.

Hoque’s interests center on developing computational tools to recognize the subtle nuances of human communication with a direct application of improving human ability.

Hoque’s team currently focuses on showing that through technology, we can improve the lives of disadvantaged, ill, disabled and other individuals who struggle with socio-emotional communication, such as those with autism, severe anxiety, neurodegenerative disease, and terminal illness. Other applications of his research include public speaking, job interviews, music training, negotiations, collaborations, and deception.

Hoque’s PhD thesis yielded the first scientific evidence that it is possible for humans to improve their socio-emotional skills through a virtual assistant. The project was highlighted by MIT Museum as one of the most unconventional inventions at MIT.

Portrait of Ayanna HowardAyanna Howard
Georgia Institute of Technology


Ayanna Howard focuses on technology development for intelligent agents. Howard has made significant contributions in the technology areas of artificial intelligence, computer vision, and robotics. Her published research, currently numbering over 250 peer-reviewed publications, has been widely disseminated in international journals and conference proceedings.

Currently, Howard is the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She also holds a faculty appointment in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, where she functions as the Director of the Human-Automation Systems Lab (HumAnS). In 2015, she founded and now directs the $3M traineeship initiative in healthcare robotics and functions as the lead investigator on the NSF undergraduate summer research program in robotics. She received her BS from Brown University, her MSEE from the University of Southern California, her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, and her MBA from Claremont University, Drucker School of Management. In 2013, she founded Zyrobotics as a university spin-off and holds a position in the company as Chief Technology Officer. Howard has also worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, where she was a Senior Robotics Researcher and Deputy Manager in the Office of the Chief Scientist. She has also served as the Associate Director of Research for the Georgia Tech Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Chair of the multidisciplinary Robotics PhD program at Georgia Tech, and the Associate Chair for Faculty Development in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Portrait of Shamsi IqbalShamsi Iqbal


Shamsi Iqbal is a Senior Researcher in the Information and Data Sciences group at Microsoft Research. Iqbal’s primary research expertise is in the area of attention management for multitasking domains. Currently, he is focusing on how productivity is defined in the new era of multitasking and distraction, introducing novel ways of being productive and determining metrics for evaluating productivity. More specifically, Iqbal develops experiences and technology that helps people maintain focus when needed, but at the same time introduces new concepts of getting things done in limited focus environments.

Iqbal received a PhD in Computer Science and an MS in Computer Science, both from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a BS in Computer Science and Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.

Portrait of Ece KamarEce Kamar


Ece Kamar is a Senior Researcher at the Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group at Microsoft Research. Kamar earned her PhD in computer science from Harvard University, where she was advised by Barbara Grosz. Kamar’s research spans several subfields of AI, including planning, machine learning, multi-agent systems, and human-computer teamwork, and is inspired by real-world applications that can benefit from the complementary abilities of people and AI. Kamar is particularly interested in the impact of AI on society and developing AI systems that are reliable, unbiased, and trustworthy.

Portrait of Jon KleinbergJon Kleinberg
Cornell University


Jon Kleinberg is a Professor at Cornell University. His research focuses on the interaction of algorithms and networks, and the roles they play in large-scale social and information systems. Kleinberg’s work has been supported by an NSF Career Award, an ONR Young Investigator Award, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Packard Foundation Fellowship, a Simons Investigator Award, a Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and grants from Facebook, Google, Yahoo, the MacArthur Foundation, the ARO, and the NSF. Kleinberg is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Portrait of Walter LaseckiWalter Lasecki
University of Michigan


Walter Lasecki is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, where he is the director of the CROMA Lab and a faculty member of the Computer Science and Engineering department.

He creates systems that use both human and machine computation to solve problems quickly and reliably. Lasecki has helped introduce the idea of continuous real-time crowdsourcing, as well as the crowd agent model, which uses computer-mediated groups of people submitting input simultaneously to create a collective intelligence capable of completing tasks better than any constituent member.

Lasecki’s areas of research include crowdsourcing, human computation, human-computer interaction, collective intelligence, artificial intelligence, and accessibility.

Portrait of Kathleen McCoyKathleen McCoy
University of Delaware


Kathleen McCoy, who joined the University of Delaware in 1985, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. Her research focuses on computational linguistics/natural language processing and accessibility for people with disabilities. McCoy earned her BS degree in computer and information sciences from the University of Delaware. She received her MS and PhD degrees in computer and information sciences from the University of Pennsylvania. McCoy served as Director of University of Delaware’s Center for Applied Science and Engineering in Rehabilitation from 2000-2009. She has also been co-chair and chair of the College of Engineering Standing Committee on Diversity. McCoy is currently Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing.

Portrait of Jennifer NevilleJennifer Neville
Purdue University


Jennifer Neville’s research interests lie in the fields of machine learning and data mining. In particular, she focuses on the development and analysis of algorithms for relational domains, including social, information, and communication networks, as well as physical networks and distributed systems. Neville’s work can be broadly categorized into three areas: design and implementation of machine learning and data mining techniques; discovery of, and adjustment for, statistical biases due to network data characteristics; and application to real-world tasks.

Portrait of Besmira NushiBesmira Nushi


Besmira Nushi is a Researcher in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction group in Microsoft Research. Nushi’s research work lies in the intersection of human and machine intelligence. She is currently excited about two main directions in this realm: human-AI collaboration for enhancing human capabilities while solving complex tasks, as well as troubleshooting and failure analysis for AI\ML systems for improving and accelerating the software development lifecycle of intelligent systems. Nushi is also involved in various research initiatives and projects that study the societal impact of artificial intelligence, as well as various quality-of-service aspects of AI, including interpretability, transparency, accountability and fairness.

Prior to joining Microsoft Research, in 2016, Nushi completed her PhD at ETH Zurich in the Systems Group. Her doctoral thesis focuses on building cost- and quality-aware models for integrating crowdsourcing in the process of building machine learning algorithms and systems. In 2011, she completed her MS in computer science in a double-degree MSc program at RWTH University of Aachen (Germany) and University of Trento (Italy) as an Erasmus Mundus scholar. She also has a diploma in Informatics from University of Tirana (Albania) from where she graduated in 2007.

Portrait of Eyal OfekEyal Ofek


Eyal Ofek is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research. Ofek’s research interests include computer vision for human-computer interaction, Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR), haptics, and interactive projection mapping.

Ofek is on the editorial board of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, co-chaired the 19th ACM SIGSPATIAL 2011, and is on the program committee for several leading conferences. Ofek was a Visiting Lecturer at the School of Computer Science, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzelia, Israel.

Ofek obtained his PhD at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, then founded a couple of companies in the area of computer graphics, including the successful Photon-Paint for the Amiga computer. He also managed software research and development at 3DV Systems and developed the world’s first active real-time depth cameras, later bought by Microsoft in 2008.

Ofek was previously a researcher at Microsoft Research Asia, working on issues such as video completion, reconstruction of hair from images, and camera-based interaction, followed by founding the Virtual Earth Research Lab (aka, Bing Mapping and Mobile Research Lab). The lab developed and shipped new innovations to Microsoft Virtual Earth and Bing, such as the first Street-View Site (2006), Image Privacy, automatic geo-positioning user images, and text detection in images. Ofek also managed a group of researchers at Microsoft’s eXtream Computing Group (XCG) in the areas of AR and Graphics.

Portrait of Jacki O'NeillJacki O’Neill


Jacki O’Neill works in the Technologies for Emerging Markets area at Microsoft, with the aim to understand where and how technology can be used to improve the lives of people with lower socio-economic status, whether that be through work, health, education, or play.

To this end, O’Neill conducts ethnographies of people’s everyday practices – both with and without technology – and uses this to inform the design of new technologies. Such prototypes are then tested ‘in the wild’ as part of an iterative design cycle that aims to produce useful and usable technologies. Her research falls into the domains of human-computer interaction, computer supported co-operative work and, more recently, information and communication technologies for development.

Portrait of Claudia PerlichClaudia Perlich


Claudia Perlich is a research staff member at IBM’s Watson Research Center. Her research interests concentrate on foundations and applications of data mining, machine learning, and statistical model estimation.

Philip PizzoPhil Pizzo
Stanford University


Philip Pizzo, MD, is the David and Susan Heckerman Professor and Founding Director of the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute. Pizzo served as Dean of the Stanford School of Medicine from 2001 to 2012, where he was also the Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology and Immunology. Pizzo has devoted much of his distinguished medical career to the diagnosis, management, prevention and treatment of childhood cancers and the infectious complications that occur in children whose immune systems are compromised by cancer and AIDS. He has also been a leader in academic medicine, championing programs and policies to improve the future of science, education and healthcare in the US and beyond.

Pizzo received his MD degree from the University of Rochester, and completed a teaching fellowship at Harvard Medical School, and a clinical and research fellowship in pediatric oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Pizzo served as head of NCI’s infectious disease section, chief of its pediatric department, and acting scientific director for its Division of Clinical Sciences. Before joining Stanford in 2001, he was the physician-in-chief of Children’s Hospital in Boston and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Pizzo is the author of more than 615 scientific articles and 16 books and monographs, including Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology. He has received numerous awards and honors, among them the Public Health Service Outstanding Service Medal, the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Award and the John Howland Award, the highest honor for lifetime achievement bestowed by the American Pediatric Society.

He has been elected to a number of prestigious organizations and societies, and has served as Chair of the Association of Academic Health Centers, Chair of the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges, and on the board for the American Society for Clinical Oncology and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Current Opinion in Pediatrics.

Portrait of Victor PoznanskiVictor Poznanski


Victor Poznanski is a Principal Program Manager Lead for SharePoint, with deep technical, problem solving, and product management experience, including in the areas of search, language technology, data pipelines, A/B testing, big data, machine learning, graph-driven experiences, and big data. He has several years of experience with adaptive, responsive user experiences. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge.

Portrait of Chris ReChris Re
Stanford University


Chris Re is an Associate Professor affiliated with DAWN, Statistical Machine Learning Group, PPL, and SAIL. Re works on the foundations of the next generation of machine-learning systems. These systems draw on ideas from databases, machine learning, and theory, and Re’s group is active in all areas. They build software to more deeply understand the challenges and opportunities of these systems.

Portrait of Nathalie RicheNathalie Riche


Nathalie Riche has been a researcher at Microsoft Research since December 2008. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Paris XI and Inria, France, as well as from the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on human-computer interaction and information visualization.

Riche’s research interests include data-driven storytelling, data and visualization literacy, visual exploration of graphs and networks, and interfaces for thinking with data.

Portrait of Sean RintelSean Rintel


Sean Rintel is a Researcher in the Human Experience & Design group at Microsoft Research Cambridge. His work investigates how communication technologies interact with language, social action, and culture.

His work in video-mediated collaboration, enterprise social media platforms, cross-device interaction and device ecologies, and engineering culture draws on ethnographic data analyzed using qualitative methods such as conversation analysis and membership categorization analysis.

Rintel has published on topics ranging from video calling in personal relationships, to ambient audio technologies to support independent living, social media in the workplace, crisis memes, error mascots, Internet culture, and cross-device interaction in video-mediated collaboration.

Rintel has been a member of three global first-place winning projects in Microsoft OneWeek Hackathons, including one on Mobile Sharing and Companion Experiences for Microsoft Teams Meetings.

Portrait of Skip RizzoSkip Rizzo
University of Southern California


Skip Rizzo is the Associate Director for Medical Virtual Reality at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies. He conducts research on the design, development, and evaluation of VR systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment rehabilitation, and resilience. This work spans the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations. Rizzo, whose work using VR-based exposure therapy to treat PTSD, received the American Psychological Association’s 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Treatment of Trauma. Rizzo also holds research professor appointments with the USC Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and at the USC Davis School of Gerontology.

Rizzo is working with a team that is creating artificially intelligent virtual patients that clinicians can use to practice the skills required for challenging clinical interviews and diagnostic assessments. His cognitive work has addressed the use of VR applications to test and train attention, memory, visuospatial abilities, and executive function. In the motor domain, he has developed VR game systems to address physical rehabilitation post-stroke and traumatic brain injury, and for prosthetic use training.

Rizzo is senior editor of the MIT Press journal, Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments. He also sits on a number of editorial boards for journals in the areas of cognition and computer technology (Cognitive Technology; Journal of Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds; Media Psychology).

Portrait of Yvonne_RogersYvonne_Rogers
University College London


Yvonne Rogers is the director of the Interaction Centre at University College London, a professor of Interaction Design and the deputy head of department in the Computer Science Department. Former positions include professorships at the Open University, Indiana University and Sussex University; she has also been a visiting professor at University Cape Town, University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology, Stanford University, Apple and UCSD. She is internationally renowned for her work in human-computer interaction, interaction design and ubiquitous computing. She was awarded a prestigious EPSRC dream fellowship to rethink the relationship between ageing, computing and creativity. She is passionate about designing computers that are engaging, exciting and even provocative. She has published over 250 articles and is a co-author of the definitive textbook on Interaction Design that has sold over 200,000 copies worldwide and been translated into 6 languages.

Portrait of Shree SahasrabudheShree Sahasrabudhe


As a Program Manager on the Bing Experiences team, Shree and his team strive to deliver the best product quality and whole page experience for the most ubiquitous and essential online habit—search—in Bing. Before joining the Bing team, Shree was on the Health Solutions Group development team. Going back further, he helped build products in various early and mid-stage companies, focusing on areas of machine diagnostics, two-step authentication, and mobile software.

Portrait of Flora SalimFlora Salim
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology


Flora Salim is an Associate Professor at the School of Computer Science and Information Technology, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. She obtained her PhD in Computer Science from Monash University. Her research areas are mobile and pervasive computing, urban computing, activity, and behavior recognition, and applied data mining and machine learning for ambient intelligence. She has secured nationally competitive grants from ARC, Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network, and local and global industry partners, including Microsoft, IBM, and Northrop Grumman.

Portrait of Constantine SandisConstantine Sandis
University of Hertsfordshire


Constantine Sandis is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and an international collaborator of the Centre de Recherche en Éthique (CRÉ) in Montréal. Sandis was previously Professor of Philosophy at Oxford Brookes University and Visiting Fellow at the Collegium for Advanced Studies in Helsinki. He received his first degree from St Anne’s College, Oxford and his PhD from the University of Reading.

Portrait of Elizabeth StokoeElizabeth Stokoe
Loughborough University


Elizabeth Stokoe is Professor of Social Interaction in the School of Social Sciences at Loughborough University; Professor II at University of South-Eastern Norway, and an Industry Fellow at Typeform. She uses conversation analysis to understand how talk works – from first dates to medical communication and from sales encounters to hostage negotiation. She has also developed ways of working with membership categorization analysis to investigate categorial topics, mostly gender and identity in interaction. Outside the university, she runs workshops with doctors, mediators, salespeople, police and other professionals using her research-based communication training method called the “Conversation Analytic Role-play Method”. She is a WIRED Innovation Fellow and her research and biography were featured on the BBC Radio 4’s The Life Scientific. In addition to publishing over 120 scientific papers and books, she is passionate about science communication, translating the world of conversation analysis for audiences of all kinds. She has given TED, New Scientist, Google and Royal Institution lectures, and performed at Latitude Festival and Cheltenham Science Festival. Her book, Talk: The Science of Conversation, is published by Little, Brown (2018).

Portrait of Neel SundaresanNeel Sundaresan


Neel Sundaresan is the Partner Director of Cloud and AI at Microsoft, where he leads advanced engineering and applied research in the area of the Internet of Code (IoC). With the availability of massive amounts of code and associated metadata, the world of software development is undergoing a major revolution. Sundaresan leads work in the area that combines cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and compiler technologies.

Sundaresan combines his original training and experience in compilers, program generators, and distributed scientific computing, with his experience in building scalable AI systems in the Internet of search and commerce to build systems for IoC.

Sundaresan has been published in more than 100 publications, has more than 170 issued patents.

Portrait of Chandu ThekkathChandu Thekkath


Chandu Thekkath is a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft. In his 15-year career at Microsoft Research, Thekkath has worked as an individual contributor, as well as a manager of research groups. Most recently, he worked as the Managing Director of the MSR India Lab in Bangalore. Since April 2017, he has been working as the Group Engineering Manager for the AI Infrastructure and Tools group.

Prior to Microsoft, Thekkath worked as a software development engineer at the DEC/Compaq Systems Research Center, at Monolithic Memories Inc. (now part of AMD), and at Hewlett Packard.

Thekkath received a BTEE from IIT Madras, where he was awarded the Governor’s Prize, an MSEE from UC Santa Barbara, an MS in Computer Science from Stanford, and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Washington. He is a fellow of the ACM and has published a number of influential papers in the premier conferences in the field and holds about 30 patents in operating systems, networks, distributed systems, and computer architecture.

Portrait of Markus WeimerMarkus Weimer


Markus Weimer is an architect in Microsoft’s Cloud and AI division. Weimer’s group develops ML.NET, Microsoft’s machine learning toolkit. He is also a member of the Apache Software Foundation and was the inaugural PMC chair of Apache REEF. Weimer’s work focuses on machine learning techniques, systems, and applications. Prior to this, he led the machine learning research group of the Cloud Information Services Laboratory (CISL) at Microsoft and was a researcher at Yahoo! Research.

Portrait of Daniel WeldDaniel Weld
University of Washington


Daniel S. Weld is Thomas J. Cable / WRF Professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow at the University of Washington. He received Bachelor degrees in both Computer Science and Biochemistry at Yale University and a PhD from the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. He received a Presidential Young Investigator’s award, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator’s award, was named AAAI Fellow, and deemed ACM Fellow. Weld was a founding editor for the Journal of AI Research, area editor for the Journal of the ACM, guest editor for Computational Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence, and was Program Chair for AAAI-96. Weld has published two books and numerous technical papers.

Weld is an active entrepreneur, with several patents and technology licenses. He co-founded Netbot Incorporated, created Jango Shopping Search (acquired by Excite), AdRelevance (acquired by Nielsen NetRatings), and data integration company Nimble Technology (acquired by Actuate). Weld is a Venture Partner at the Madrona Venture Group and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and the Madrona Venture Group.

Portrait of Eoin WhelanEoin Whelan
National University of Ireland, Galway


Eoin Whelan is a Senior Lecturer in Business Information Systems at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is also a visiting professor at the Institute d’Economie Scientifique et de Gestion (IESEG), France, and a visiting researcher at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Whelan received his PhD from NUI Galway in 2010. His current research interests focus upon understanding how social media technologies influence worker stress, decision making, productivity, creativity, and work-life conflict. His publications have appeared in the journals MIT Sloan Management Review, Information Systems Journal, R&D Management, Journal of Information Technology, and Information & Organization. Whelan’s MIT Sloan paper on open innovation networks won the prestigious Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize. The findings of his research have also been featured in mainstream international outlets such as Forbes, Financial Times, Fortune, Reuters, Irish Independent, and the Irish Times.

Whelan received the NUI Galway President’s Early Stage Researcher Award. Whelan is a Senior Editor of Information & Organization, and Information Technology & People and was also lead editor for two special issues: Journal of the Association of Information Systems (2014, The role of IS in enabling open innovation), and Information Systems Journal (2013, Interpreting digital enabled social networks). Prior to his academic career, Whelan held a variety of business analyst positions in Ireland, New Zealand, and the US.

Portrait of Steve WhitakerSteve Whittaker
University of California, Santa Cruz


Steve Whittaker is Professor of Human Computer Interaction at University of California at Santa Cruz. Probably best known for his work on email overload and computer mediated communication, he uses approaches that are motivated by the social sciences to design novel interactive systems that address important human problems. He is a member of the CHI Academy, and Editor of the journal Human Computer Interaction. He received a Lifetime Research Achievement Award from SIGCHI (Special interest group on Computer Human Interaction). He is also a Fellow of the Association for Computational Machinery. He has worked both in industry and academia, at IBM Labs, AT&T Bell Labs, and University of Sheffield, UK. His current interests are in personal informatics and computational well-being. His most recent book with Ofer Bergman is The Science of Managing Our Digital Stuff, from MIT Press.

Portrait of Ryen WhiteRyen White


Ryen White is a Partner Researcher and Research Manager at Microsoft Research. Recently, White led the applied science organization for Cortana, served as chief scientist at Microsoft Health, and was a principal researcher at Microsoft Research.

Portrait of Jamie WoodcockJamie Woodcock
Oxford Internet Institute


Jamie Woodcock is a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. He is the author of Working The Phones, a study of a call center in the UK. His current research involves developing co-research projects with workers in the so-called gig economy. He is on the editorial board of Notes from Below and Historical Materialism.

Woodcock’s current research focuses on digital labor, the sociology of work, the gig economy, resistance, and videogames. Woodcock completed his PhD in sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London and has held positions at Goldsmiths, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, Queen Mary, NYU London, Cass Business School, and the LSE.

Portrait of Ce ZhangCe Zhang
ETH Zurich


Ce Zhang is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at ETH Zürich. Zhang believes that by making data—along with the processing of data—easily accessible to laypeople, there is the potential to make the world a better place. Zhang’s current research focuses on building data systems to support machine learning and help facilitate other sciences. Before joining ETH, Zhang was advised by Christopher Ré. He finished his PhD round-tripping between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stanford University, and spent another year as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford. His PhD work produced DeepDive, a trained data system for automatic knowledgebase construction. Zhang participated in the research efforts that won a SIGMOD Best Paper Award and a SIGMOD Research Highlight Award, and was featured in special issues, including “Best of VLDB” and Nature magazine.

Portrait of Ben ZornBen Zorn


Ben Zorn is a Principal Researcher and co-manager of the Research in Software Engineering (RiSE) group in Microsoft Research.

Previously, Zorn was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Colorado. Zorn has a BS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MS and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Zorn’s research interests include programming language design and implementation and performance measurement and analysis.

Zorn has served as an Associate Editor of the ACM journals Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems and Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization. He is currently a member of the ACM SIGPLAN Executive Committee. Zorn has also served as the Program Chair and General Chair of PLDI and is currently serving as a member of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) Council.


Friday, July 19

Task Intelligence Workshop

Abstract: Tasks (defined pieces of work), ranging in scope from specific (like sending an email) to broad (like planning a wedding) are central to all aspects of information access and use. Task intelligence spans technologies and experiences to extract, understand, and support the completion of short- and long-term tasks. Helping people complete tasks is a key capability of search systems, digital assistants, and productivity applications. Extracting tasks from data is a core challenge in data mining and knowledge representation and draws on additional research from areas such as ubiquitous computing, machine learning, and natural language processing. Attributes of tasks, such as priority, duration, and progress toward completion, can also be inferred from data and have value in productivity applications and beyond. The Task Intelligence workshop at the MSR Faculty Summit 2019 will cover many of these topics and comprise both presentations and interactive discussions.

Event owners: Ryen White, Ahmed Hassan Awadallah

Timing: Half-day; morning


Empowering people to achieve more: How useful a concept is productivity?

Abstract: Almost all companies desire to be more productive, and the concept is frequently invoked when there is a need to demonstrate growth, effectiveness and impact. However, what productivity means and whether it is an appropriate metric for the success of companies, and individuals, is rarely scrutinised and varies considerably across industries. For example, in industrial manufacturing, success could be producing more for less, whereas in creative industries, success could be increased consumption engagement.

The aim of this workshop is to consider how useful productivity is as a concept for thinking about what it means to succeed in work and in business, and what its relevance will be as we anticipate the future of work to comprise changes in where, how and by whom work gets done.

In the workshop we will explore the following questions:

  • What does it mean to ‘be productive’, how does this differ across industries, and at what scales can productivity be customised as a metric or in terms of activities?
  • What are the challenges of using productivity as a metric, and does the changing nature of work require a new set of metrics? If so, what might these be?
  • To what extent and in what contexts can productivity be imposed, trained, or suggested?

During the lunch break, there will also be a display of work produced by design students on the theme of “Empowering people with AI.”

Organizing committee:

Abigail Sellen, Brendan Murphy, Sean Rintel, Jacek Czerwonka (Microsoft Developer Services), Kim Herzig (Microsoft Developer Services), Peggy Storey (University Victoria)

Time (PDT) Session Speaker
9:00 AM–10:30 AM What does Productivity mean? Yvonne Rogers, UCL; Steve Whittaker, UCSC
10:30 AM–10:45 AM Break
10:45 AM–12:15 PM Microsoft’s perspective of productivity John Hoegger, Microsoft
12:15 PM–1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM–2:00 PM Using metrics to improve productivity within Microsoft
2:00 PM–3:00 PM Open discussion on productivity

Crowd, Cloud and the Future of Work

Abstract: The Future of Work includes innovating on models that allow scaling out complex problems to include micro contributions and curated data from experts and non-experts for consensus driven and /or expert like performance.

How do we effectively combine cognitive resources of many people? We want to achieve an expert like performance to evaluate and compare models, standardize methods to validate and characterize performance. Performance can be measured by quality of resulting data, accuracy of labels and compute efficiency. One solution is having access to citizen science and crowd sourcing services in the cloud as has been proven with some projects in the past few years.

We have recently seen great results from efforts that have proven the power of citizen-science based gaming approaches, such as 1) for advancing Alzheimer’s research, or 2) in the field of neuroscience that is increasingly looking at citizen science approaches as it scales to thousands of samples for data curation and expediting the processing pipeline. Is it possible to have a generalized set of data management and cloud-based services that allow citizen science / crowd sourced approaches to achieve faster and higher quality results than traditional benchmarks? What else is missing from crowdsourcing frameworks to make them useful? This workshop will discuss research efforts in crowd, cloud and the future of work – the positive outcomes observed so far, future directions and aspirations.

Event owners: Besmira Nushi, Vani Mandava

Timing: Full day