Microsoft Research hosted its seventh annual Latin American Faculty Summit in Cartagena, Colombia, May 18 to 20, 2011. This event was organized in partnership with Colciencias. The theme of the 2011 summit was Advancing Computing; Advancing Science. View videos of the presentations from the summit on the Videos tab.
Advancing Computing; Advancing Science
Computing stands at a crossroads. The long-discussed movement from single-processor to multi-processor computers—whether on a single die or via a cloud—has become a reality that drives the need and opportunity for new paradigms in software engineering and development. The means to command and access computing resources—whether through voice recognition, multi-touch, or gesture—are becoming increasingly technologically and economically feasible. New ways to search, visualize, and organize large data enables new scientific understanding in fields like environmental research, astronomy, and digital humanities. Advances in computing approaches and algorithms are revealing new possibilities in the use of genomics to support innovations in biology, medicine, agriculture, and bio-energy.
Microsoft Research has an ongoing program of collaborations that focus on these research challenges. Attendees of the 2011 Latin American Summit had the opportunity to hear about the latest research resulting from our collaborations.
Colciencias is the Administrative Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) in Colombia. It promotes policies for knowledge production as well as STI capacity building for the integral development of the country and wellbeing of the Colombian citizens.
Colciencias coordinates the National System of Science, Technology, and Innovation and creates synergies and interactions in order to build a knowledge economy. Since 2010, Colciencias has a ministerial level that demonstrates the relevance and the commitment of the Colombian government to science, technology, and innovation. Colciencias is the only governmental organization that works with the academic, industrial, and official sectors to stimulate technological and scientific development, and international competitiveness.
As part of its international collaboration agenda, Colciencias and Microsoft are partnering in the creation of the National Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and also partnered in the organization of the Microsoft Research Latin American Faculty Summit that was held in Cartagena from May 18 to 20, 2011.
Wednesday, May 18
|Press Conference (by invitation only)||Pegasos|
Event Opening Presenters:
The Role of Basic Research in Technology | video
Rick Rashid, Senior Vice President, Microsoft Research, United States
|Lunch||Claustro de las Animas|
Tony Hey, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Dr. Jaime Restrepo Cuartas, General Director, Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (COLCIENCIAS), Colombia
John Hopcroft, Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics, Cornell University, 1986 Turing Award Recipient, United States
Philip Bourne, Professor, University of California, San Diego, United States
|8:30–11:00||Welcome Reception and Dinner||Hotel Santa Clara, Pool Area|
Thursday, May 19
|Parallel Track Sessions|
“Computer Science” Research Track
Hrvoje Benko, Researcher, Microsoft Research, United States
“Computing in eScience” Research Track
Evelyne Viegas, Director, Semantic Computing, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
“Cloud Computing in eScience” Research Track
Scaling Science in the Cloud: From Satellite to Science Variables at the Global Scale with MODISAzure | slides | video
Presented by Harold Javid on behalf of Catharine van Ingen, Partner Architect, Microsoft Research, United States
|9:30–10:30||LACCIR & FAPESP Projects | video|
Natural User Interface – A New Frontier for Human Centric Computing | video
Kristin Tolle, Director, Natural User Interface, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Live Andes (Advanced Network for the Distribution of Endangered Species): A New Tool for Wildlife Conservation | slides
Cristian Bonacic, Professor, Ecosystems and Environment Department, Catholic University of Chile (PUC-Chile), Chile
ANURA: Sensor Networks for Classifying and Monitoring Frogs Based on Their Vocalizations as an Early Indicator for Ecological Stress in Rain Forests | slides
Eduardo Freire Nakamura, Assistant Professor, Research and Technological Innovation Center (FUCAPI), Brazil
The Brazilian Biodiversity Database and Information System SinBIOTA: The 10 Years Integration with the BIOTA/FAPESP Program and the Re-development for the Next Decade | slides
Tiago Duque Estrada, Executive Manager, BIOTA/FAPESP Program State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil
Dr. Steven Johnston and Prof. Simon Cox; Microsoft Institute for HPC, Computational Engineering, and Design; Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton; United Kingdom
|10:30–11:00||Refreshment Break||Foyer Barahona|
LACCIR Projects | video
Bridging the Gap Between Formal and Informal learning with Mobile Devices | slides
Nelson Baloian, Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Chile, Chile
Counting People Waiting in Service Lines Using Computer Vision and Machine Learning Techniques | slides
Alvaro Soto, Professor, Department of Computer Science, Catholic University of Chile, Chile
Transforming Scholarly Communication – Overview of Recent Projects from Microsoft Research | slides | video
Lee Dirks, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Camilo Acosta, Director, Center for Robotics and Informatics (CERI), Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Colombia
Tools of the Trade: Cluster and Cloud Computing on the Operating System that is not Linux! | slides | video
Sean Mortazavi, Partner Architect, Technical Computing Group, Microsoft, United States
Felipe Ayora, Program Manager, High Performance Computing Group, Microsoft, United States
Nicolas Villar, Researcher, Microsoft Research Cambridge, United Kingdom
Sharing Research Worldwide: Advances in Automatic Translation | slides
Chris Wendt, Principal Group Program Manager, Microsoft Research, United States
The Microsoft Biology Foundation | video
Simon Mercer, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Michael Zyskowski, Senior Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Fabrizio Gagliardi, EMEA Director, Microsoft Research Connections, Switzerland
Towards Exaflop Supercomputers | slides
Prof. Mateo Valero, Scientific Director, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain
|1:00–2:00||Lunch||Claustro de las Animas|
Wolfram Schulte, Research Area Manager, Microsoft Research, United States
Alex Acero, Research Area Manager, Microsoft Research, United States
|4:00–4:30||Refreshment Break||Foyer Barahona|
Derick Campbell, Director of Engineering, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Addressing Societal Challenges Through Innovation and Partnerships – Microsoft Research in India | slides | video
P. Anandan, Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director, Microsoft Research India
|8:30–11:00||Social Event and Dinner Show||Baluarte de San Francisco|
Friday, May 20
Closing Plenary Presentation
Chair: Tony Hey, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Presenter: Jeff Dozier, Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, United States
LACCIR Announcements | slides
|Demofest (Onsite Research Demos)||Barahona 4|
|Claustro de las Animas|
|3:00||The Event Ends|
Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia
Born in Bogotá on August 10, 1951, Juan Manuel Santos was a cadet at the Navy Academy in Cartagena; he studied Economics and Business Administration and carried out graduate studies at the London School of Economics, Harvard University, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Santos was chief of the Colombian delegation before the International Coffee Organization (ICO) in London; he was the most recent Designate to the Presidency and Colombia’s first Foreign Trade Minister. He has also been Finance Minister and National Defense Minister. During this last position, he was in charge of leading the implementation of the government’s Democratic Security Policy. He created the Good Government Foundation (Fundación Buen Gobierno) and founded the political party, Partido de la U (currently Colombia’s largest political party) in 2005.
As a journalist, he was a columnist and deputy director of the newspaper, El Tiempo; he was awarded the King of Spain Prize; and was president of the Freedom of Expression Commission for the Inter American Press Association (IAPA). He has published several books, among which the most significant are The Third Way, co-written with the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Check on Terror (Jaque al Terror), where he describes the most important actions against the Farc terrorist group during his tenure as head of the Ministry of Defense.
On June 20, 2010, (after obtaining the largest vote during the first round of the presidential elections which took place on May 30, 2010) at the second round of the presidential elections, he was elected President of the Republic of Colombia for the four-year period between August 7, 2010, and August 7, 2014. He obtained more than 9 million votes, the highest amount obtained by any candidate in the history of Colombian democracy. During his campaign, he promised to lead a government of national unity that would carry out the transition from Democratic Security to Democratic Prosperity.
President Santos is married to María Clemencia Rodríguez, with whom he has three children: Martín (21), María Antonia (19), and Esteban (16).
Jorge Silva, Microsoft Colombia
Jorge Silva has a significant trajectory in the technology industry. His career begun more than 20 years ago in different companies related to technology. During this time, he has provided his services in companies such as Andersen Consulting where he performed as consultant, he was the systems information manager in Pizano S. A., and he occupied several positions of responsibility in Compaq Computer, Novell, and HP.
He arrived at Microsoft eight years ago. In this company, he developed one of the best practices for small and medium businesses. Subsequently, he held important leading positions and and was responsible for the marketing and business area of Colombia. Years later, he was in charge of the business at a regional level as Andean region director with responsibilities in Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador. Jorge has also had other responsibilities at a regional level as executive of other companies in the sector. He lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for three years, working for Compaq.
Jorge Silva was born in Bogotá, is an industrial engineer graduated from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, specialized in Information Systems from the Arthur Andersen Center for Professional Education, with an MBA from California State University and Negotiation studies in UCA – Universidad Católica Argentina. He has complemented his studies with certified courses in marketing and strategy in universities such as MIT, Wharton, and Babson College.
Certified as a personal coach, Jorge Silva is currently Microsoft Colombia’s general manager. Technology is one of Jorge’s passions. And since he entered Microsoft, he has been the main promoter of the Children Online Safety strategy with excellent results and impact in the school community. In addition, he has been the director of the Technology Committee of Colegio Los Nogales for more than 10 years, advisor of Colegio Jorge Washington in Cartagena, and has specialized as speaker on this matter in Colombia and other countries of the Andean region.
Jorge is married and father of two girls.
Rick Rashid, Microsoft Research
As senior vice president, Richard (Rick) F. Rashid oversees worldwide operations for Microsoft Research, an organization encompassing more than 850 researchers across six labs worldwide. Under Rashid’s leadership, Microsoft Research conducts both basic and applied research across disciplines that include algorithms and theory; human-computer interaction; machine learning; multimedia and graphics; search; security; social computing; and systems, architecture, mobility and networking. His team collaborates with the world’s foremost researchers in academia, industry, and government on initiatives to advance the state-of-the-art of computing and to help ensure the future of Microsoft’s products.
After joining Microsoft in 1991, Rashid served as director and vice president of the Microsoft Research division and was promoted to his current role in 2000. In his earlier roles, Rashid led research efforts on operating systems, networking, and multiprocessors, and authored patents in such areas as data compression, networking, and operating systems. He managed projects that catalyzed the development of Microsoft’s interactive TV system and also directed Microsoft’s first e-commerce group. Rashid was the driving force behind the creation of the team that later developed into Microsoft’s Digital Media Division.
Before joining Microsoft, Rashid was professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). As a faculty member, he directed the design and implementation of several influential network operating systems and published extensively about computer vision, operating systems, network protocols, and communications security. During his tenure, Rashid developed the Mach multiprocessor operating system, which has been influential in the design of modern operating systems and remains at the core of several commercial systems.
Rashid’s research interests have focused on artificial intelligence, operating systems, networking, and multiprocessors. He has participated in the design and implementation of the University of Rochester’s Rochester Intelligent Gateway operating system, the Rochester Virtual Terminal Management System, the CMU Distributed Sensor Network Testbed, and CMU’s SPICE distributed personal computing environment. He also co-developed of one of the earliest networked computer games, “Alto Trek,” during the mid-1970s.
Rashid was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2003 and presented with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Emanuel R. Piore Award and the SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award in 2008. He was also inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2008. In addition, Rashid is a member of the National Science Foundation Computer Directorate Advisory Committee and a past member of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency UNIX Steering Committee and the Computer Science Network Executive Committee. He is also a former chairman of the Association for Computing Machinery Software System Awards Committee.
Rashid received master of science (1977) and doctoral (1980) degrees in computer science from the University of Rochester. He graduated with honors in mathematics and comparative literature from Stanford University in 1974.
Tony Hey, Microsoft Research
As corporate vice president of the Microsoft Research Connections division of Microsoft Research, Tony Hey is responsible for research collaborations worldwide and technical computing strategy across Microsoft Corporation. He leads the company’s efforts to build long-term public-private partnerships with global scientific and engineering communities, spanning broad reach and in-depth engagements with academic and research institutions, related government agencies, and industry partners. His responsibilities also include working with internal Microsoft groups to build future technologies and products that will transform computing for scientific and engineering research. Hey also oversees Microsoft Research’s efforts to enhance the quality of higher education around the world.
Before joining Microsoft, Hey served as director of the United Kingdom’s e-Science Initiative, managing the government’s efforts to provide scientists and researchers with access to key computing technologies. Before leading this initiative, Hey worked as head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science and dean of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Southampton, where he helped build the department into one of the most respected computer science research institutions in England.
His research interests focus on parallel programming for parallel systems built from mainstream commodity components. With Jack Dongarra, Rolf Hempel, and David Walker, he wrote the first draft of a specification for a new message-passing standard called MPI. This initiated the process that led to the successful MPI standard of today.
Hey is a fellow of the U.K.’s Royal Academy of Engineering. He also has served on several national committees in the United Kingdom, including committees of the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry and the Office of Science and Technology. He was a member of the British Computer Society, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and the Institute of Physics.
Hey also has a passionate interest in communicating the excitement of science to young people. He has written popular books on quantum mechanics and on relativity.
Hey is a graduate of Oxford University, with an undergraduate degree in physics and a doctorate in theoretical physics.
Orlando Ayala, Microsoft
Orlando Ayala is a corporate vice president, chairman of emerging markets, and chief advisor to Microsoft’s chief operating officer. As chairman of emerging markets, Ayala is dedicated to helping federal, provincial, and local governments develop the digital infrastructure, educational programs, and human resource potential to turn their particular capabilities into a competitive advantage on an international scale.
By partnering with leading technology partners, multilateral organizations, and non-governmental organizations, Ayala’s highly-focused group aims to use technology as a transforming force in initiatives designed to advance the national agendas around the world, whether in education, health, citizen services, citizen safety, or academic and industry research. His goal is to improve access to technology and education that will offer new ways for individuals, communities, and entire countries to realize their potential in the coming years.
In his 20-year history with Microsoft, Ayala has served in a number of roles, joining the company as the senior director of the Latin America region. Ayala opened 33 worldwide subsidiaries as senior vice president of the Intercontinental region, before taking on the role of group vice president of the worldwide Sales Marketing and Services Group. Ayala went on to run the Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partner group, during which time he also took on the role of chief operating officer of the then-nascent Microsoft Dynamics business.
Jaime Restrepo Cuartas, COLCIENCIAS
Medical doctor; surgeon; pioneer in transplants in Colombia; three times rector of Universidad de Antioquia; author of the Law 1286, which elevated Colciencias to the cabinet-level agency—Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation; and novelist, Dr. Jaime Restrepo Cuartas is the director general of Colciencias. Dr. Restrepo is also a proponent of new regulatory policy that aims to bring Colombia to the highest level within the global knowledge society. A physician, scholar, researcher, literate and union leader, Dr. Restrepo is known for his leadership in every position he has held, as exemplified by his accomplishments at Universidad de Antioquia, where he went from alumnus to rector, bringing his Alma Mater to the top rankings in higher education and research in Colombia.
A specialist in general surgery since 1971, he was among the group of scientists who founded the Transplant Team at Hospital Universitario San Vicente de Paul and at Universidad de Antioquia, participating in the first transplants of kidney, liver, pancreas, and heart performed in Colombia and Latin America.
During his political career, he was a member of the City Council of Puerto Berrio (Antioquia), between 1981 and 1982; and was later elected to Colombia’s House of Representatives, between 2006 and 2010, where he was recognized as one of the most disciplined and active members of Congress. He championed the enactment of three laws: Law 1122 of January 2007, which reformed Law 100 of 1993 and created the Health Regulatory Commission; Law 1295 of April 2009, which promotes integral care from early-childhood; and Law 1286 of January 2009, Colombia’s Law of Science, Technology, and Innovation.
John Hopcroft, Cornell University
John Hopcroft is the IBM Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics at Cornell University. He started his career on the faculty at Princeton in 1964 and moved to Cornell in 1967. In 1987, he became the chair of the Department of Computer Science. In 1993, he became associate dean for College Affairs, and in 1994 he became dean of the College of Engineering, in which job he served until 2001 when he returned to the Department of Computer Science.
Hopcroft earned his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Seattle University in 1961 and his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1964. He has honorary degrees from Seattle University, the National College of Ireland, the University of Sydney, St. Petersburg State University, and a Doctor of Engineering from HKUST in 2010. He is an honorary professor of the Beijing Institute of Technology, Yunnan University, and an Einstein Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His current research interests are in the area of information capture and access.
Hopcroft has served on numerous advisory boards, including the Air Force Science Advisory Board, the NASA Space Sciences Board, and the National Research Council’s Board on Computer Science and Telecommunications. In 1986, he was awarded the Turing Award by the Association for Computing Machinery, and in 1992, President H. W. Bush appointed him to the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Hopcroft serves on the Packard Foundation’s Science Advisory Board, the Microsoft Technical Advisory Board for Research Asia, and the advisory boards of IIIT Delhi and the College of Engineering at Seattle University. He has received numerous awards: the IEEE Harry Goode Memorial Award in 2005, the CRA Distinguished Service Award in 2007, the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award in 2009, and the IEEE von Neumann Medal in 2010.
Philip Bourne, University of California–San Diego
Philip E. Bourne PhD is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California San Diego, associate director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank and an adjunct professor at the Burnham Institute. He is a past president of the International Society for Computational Biology. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). He is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the open-access journal, PLoS Computational Biology, and a long-standing member of the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Genome Canada panels responsible for reviewing proposals relating to computational biology.
Awards include: the Jim Gray eScience Award (2010), the Benjamin Franklin Award (2009), the Flinders University Convocation Medal for Outstanding Achievement (2004), and the Sun Microsystems Convergence Award (2002).
Bourne’s professional interests focus on relevant biological and educational outcomes derived from computation and scholarly communication. This implies algorithms, text mining, machine learning, metalanguages, biological databases, visualization applied to problems in drug discovery, evolution, cell signaling, apoptosis, systems biology, and scientific dissemination. He has published more than 200 papers and five books, one of which sold more than 150,000 copies. He has co-founded four companies: ViSoft Inc., Protein Vision Inc.—a company distributing independent films for free—and most recently, SciVee.
Bourne is committed to furthering the free dissemination of science through new models of publishing and better integration and subsequent dissemination of data and results which as far as possible should be freely available to all.
Personal interests are squash, hiking, skiing, flying, and motor bikes.
Wolfram Schulte, Microsoft Research
Wolfram Schulte is a principal researcher and the founding manager of Microsoft’s Research in Software Engineering (RiSE) team in Redmond, Washington. His research interest is in providing better software development languages, and verification and validation tools. At Microsoft, he co-designed Microsoft’s LINQ and Task Parallel Library; he co-built the model-based testing tool Spec Explorer and the unit testing tool Pex; he co-developed the program verifiers Spec# and VCC. His latest interest is a new constraint logic programming language called Formula. He has a PhD from TU Berlin, a state doctorate from the University of Ulm, and he has worked as a software developer at sd&m.
Alex Acero, Microsoft Research
Alex Acero is research area manager in Microsoft Research, directing an organization with more than 50 engineers working on audio, multimedia, communication, speech, and natural language. He is also an affiliate professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington.
He received an M.S. degree from the Polytechnic University of Madrid in 1985, an M.S. degree from Rice University in 1987, and a Ph.D. degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 1990, all in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Acero worked in Apple Computer’s Advanced Technology Group from 1990 to 1991. In 1992, he joined Telefonica I+D, Madrid, Spain, as manager of the speech technology group. Since 1994, he has been with Microsoft Research.
Dr. Acero is a Fellow of IEEE and ISCA. Dr. Acero is author of the books Acoustical and Environmental Robustness in Automatic Speech Recognition (Kluwer, 1993) and Spoken Language Processing (Prentice Hall, 2001), has written invited chapters in four edited books and more than 200 technical papers. He holds 97 U.S. patents. He has served the IEEE Signal Processing Society as vice president technical directions (2007–2009), director industrial relations (2009–2011), 2006 distinguished lecturer, member of the Board of Governors (2004–2005 and 2010–2012), associate editor for IEEE Signal Processing Letters (2003–2005) and IEEE Transactions of Audio, Speech and Language Processing (2005–2007), and member of the editorial board of IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing (2006–2008) and IEEE Signal Processing Magazine (2008–2010). He also served as member (1996–2000) and chair (2000-2002) of the Speech Technical Committee of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. He was publications chair of ICASSP98, sponsorship chair of the 1999 IEEE Workshop on Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding, and general co-chair of the 2001 IEEE Workshop on Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding. Dr. Acero served as member of the editorial board of Computer Speech and Language and member of Carnegie Mellon University Dean’s Leadership Council for College of Engineering.
Derick Campbell, Microsoft Research Connections
Derick Campbell is a 20-year software engineering veteran with a rich history of product development, product incubation, and enterprise IT management. Derick currently leads the Research Accelerators Engineering team in Microsoft Research Connections.
P. Anandan, Microsoft Research India
P. Anandan is the co-founder and managing director of Microsoft Research India. Before moving to Bangalore to start Microsoft Research India, Anandan was a senior researcher at Microsoft Research headquarters in Redmond, Washington, where he built one of the world’s strongest research teams in computer vision and video processing.
Before joining Microsoft, Anandan was an assistant professor of computer science at Yale University, where he founded the computer vision group. Following this, he was a research manager at Sarnoff Corp. His group developed state-of-the-art video stabilization technology and systems for ground and airborne video surveillance.
During a research career that has spanned two decades, his work has resulted in numerous patents, academic papers, and recognition in the form of several awards in computer vision. Anandan has done pioneering research in video motion analysis and is recognized for his fundamental contributions in the area of optical flow, motion estimation, video mosaicking, and 3-D scene analysis.
Anandan holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He earned his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of both IIT Madras and University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has been inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Computing.
Jeff Dozier, University of California–Santa Barbara
Jeff Dozier is a professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has taught since 1974 after earning his PhD from the University of Michigan. He founded the Bren School and served as its first dean for six years.
His research interests are in the fields of snow hydrology, Earth system science, remote sensing, and information systems. He has led interdisciplinary studies in two areas: one addresses hydrologic science, environmental engineering, and social science in the water environment; the other is in the integration of environmental science and remote sensing with computer science and technology.
From 1990 to 1992, he was the senior project scientist for NASA’s Earth Observing System when the configuration for the system was established. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an Honorary Professor of the Academia Sinica, and a recipient of the NASA/Department of Interior William T. Pecora Award. Among Jeff’s recent honors are the 2009 Jim Gray Award from Microsoft for his achievements in data-intensive science and his selection as the 2010 Nye Lecturer for the American Geophysical Union.
A long-time backcountry skier, mountaineer, and rock climber, he helped lead six expeditions to the Hindu Kush range in Afghanistan and has a dozen first ascents there. The story behind the naming of Dozier Dome in the Sierra Nevada can be found in the Tuolumne Meadows Rock Climbing Forum.
Parallel Track Session Speakers
Hrvoje Benko, Microsoft Research
Hrvoje Benko is a researcher at Microsoft Research. In his research, he explores novel interactive computing technologies and their impact on human-computer interaction. In particular, he is interested in surface computing, multi-touch and freehand gestural input, 2-D and 3-D interactions, and augmented reality.
Dr. Benko is the author of more than 25 scientific conference papers and journal articles. His work has been featured in the mainstream media (including New York Times, Seattle Times, and Popular Science) and on popular technology blogs (such as Gizmodo, Engadget, CNET, and Ars Technica). He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia University in 2007 working with Professor Steven Feiner.
Evelyne Viegas, Microsoft Research Connections
Evelyne Viegas is the director of Semantic Computing at Microsoft Research, based in Redmond, Washington, United States. Semantic Computing is about interacting with data in rich, safe, and semantically meaningful ways to create the path from data to information, knowledge, and intelligence.
In her current role, Evelyne is building initiatives that focus on information seen as an enabler of innovation, working in partnership with universities and government agencies worldwide. In particular, she is creating programs around computational intelligence research to drive open innovation and agile experimentation via cloud-based services, and projects to advance the state-of-the-art in knowledge representation and reasoning under uncertainty at web scale. Prior to her present role, Evelyne worked as a technical lead at Microsoft delivering Natural Language Processing components to projects for MSN, Office, and Windows.
Before Microsoft, and after completing her Ph.D. in France, she worked as a principal investigator at the Computing Research Laboratory in New Mexico on an ontology-based Machine Translation project. Evelyne serves on international editorial, program, and award committees.
Catharine van Ingen, Microsoft Research
Catharine van Ingen is a partner architect in the Microsoft Research eScience group. Her research centers on applying cutting-edge commercial computing technologies such as geospatial databases and cloud computing to modern research challenges in environmental science. Catharine mined her first TB of data in the early 1980s. She holds a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the California Institute of Technology.
Kristin Tolle, Microsoft Research Connections
Kristin M. Tolle, Ph.D. is the Director for Microsoft Research Connections Natural User Interface (NUI) team and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington. Since joining Microsoft, Dr. Tolle has acquired several patents and worked for several product teams including the Natural Language Group, Visual Studio, and Excel. Prior to joining Microsoft, Tolle was a Research Associate at the University of Arizona Artificial Intelligence Lab managing the group on medical information retrieval and natural language processing. Her research interests include: contextual computing, natural language processing and machine translation, mobile computing, user intent modeling and information extraction.
Cristian Bonacic, Catholic University of Chile
Dr. Cristian Bonacic, DVM, M.Sc., DPhil., associate professor, wildlife scientist, and lecturer in wildlife conservation at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry Science of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Director of Fauna Australis. Head of the Environmental Science Diploma and of the MSc in Conservation and Wildlife Management. Member of the Wildlife Trust Alliance and associate researcher of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU, Oxford). Adjunct researcher of CERC, Columbia University. In 2007, he received a Whitley commendation for his work in innovation for conservation science from HRH Princess Royal at the Royal Geographical Society of London.
Eduardo Freire Nakamura, Research and Technological Innovation Center
Eduardo Nakamura is a Research Fellow of the CNPq (The Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development). He is has a B.E. degree in Electrical Engineering (Universidade Federal do Amazonas, 1998, Brazil), M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Computer Science (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 2007, Brazil).
He is a researcher of the FUCAPI research institute (Brazil) and a professor of the Universidade Federal do Amazonas. Since then, he has advised three M.Sc. students and co-advised one Ph.D. student. He co-authored more than 60 publications in international journals, magazines, conferences, and book chapters. He has served as a technical committee member in major international conferences, such as IEEE ICC, IEEE Globecom, IEEE ISCC, ACM SAC, ICCCN, EWSN, ISSNIP; and as an associate editor for the IEEE Sensors and the International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks.
In 2008, he received the Great CAPES Ph.D. Thesis Award, granted by the Brazilian Ministry of education, for the best thesis in the great field of Exact Sciences and Engineering. In 2009, he received the IEEE Latin America Young Professional Award, granted by the IEEE Communications Society. In 2010, he was a finalist of the prestigious Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship. In 2011, he was elected as an affiliate member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, a special membership granted to outstanding young researchers working in Brazil.
Tiago Duque Estrada, State University of Campinas
Tiago Duque Estrada received the BSc in Biological Sciences and MSc in Ecology from State University of Campinas (UNICAMP – Brazil). He has always been very concerned with the amount of data produced in research that has the only output in scientific papers or thesis.
After a diploma in Geographic Information Systems, he has been applying the influence of space on ecological processes. His Chevening Scholarship in United Nations Environment Program – World Conservation Monitoring Centre was crucial for the development of his concerns on how to use data for the decision-making process in environmental governance. For years he has been developing projects on conservation with NGOs in the areas of data collection, analysis, and management and in the past year is working with the BIOTA/FAPESP program supporting the re-development of the SinBIOTA among other activities as assistant editor of the Biota Neotropica Journal.
Steven Johnston, University of Southampton
Dr. Steven Johnston is a senior research fellow at the University of Southampton Faculty of Engineering and the Environment. He has worked on large-scale distributed systems such as BioSimGrid and has experience with high-performance computing, SOA, and data repositories. He was the lead architect in CFMS, demonstrating—in partnership with Microsoft, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and MBDA—how novel software-plus-services approaches can significantly improve productivity for scientists and engineers. He has extensive experience with cloud-computing architectures and is currently working to demonstrate cloud-compute capabilities for Space Situational Awareness.
Simon Cox, University of Southampton
Prof. Simon Cox is Director of the Microsoft Institute of High Performance Computing at the University of Southampton. His research focuses on how tools, technologies, and platforms can make engineering and scientific processes faster, cheaper, and better.
Nelson Baloian, University of Chile
Nelson Baloian received the title of “Engineer in Computer Sciences” from the Universidad de Chile, Chile, in 1988 and the Doktor rer. nat. degree from the University of Duisburg, Germany, in 1997. Since then, he has been researching in the areas of computer supported collaborative learning/work, distributed systems, and recently on mobile computing. Currently, he is faculty member of the Department of Computer Sciences at the Universidad de Chile. He is also associate visiting professor from the Waseda University, Japan, and a regular guest professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.
Alvaro Soto, Catholic University of Chile
Alvaro Soto received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 2002; and an M.Sc. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Louisiana State University in 1997. He joined the Computer Science Department at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where he became associate professor in 2007. His main research interests are in statistical machine learning, cognitive robotics, and computer vision.
Lee Dirks, Microsoft Research Connections
Lee Dirks is the Director of Education and Scholarly Communication in the Microsoft Research Connections team, where he manages a variety of research programs related to open access to research data, interoperability of archives and repositories, preservation of digital information, and the application of new technologies to facilitate teaching and learning in higher education.
A veteran of more than 20 years in a variety of information management fields, Lee holds an M.S.L.S. degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as well as a post-master’s degree in Preservation Administration from Columbia University.
In addition to past positions at Columbia and with OCLC, Lee has held a variety of roles at Microsoft since joining the company in 1996—namely as the corporate archivist, corporate librarian, and as a senior manager in the corporate market research organization.
In addition to participation on several (U.S.) National Science Foundation task forces, Lee also teaches as adjunct faculty at the iSchool at the University of Washington, and serves on the advisory boards for the University of Washington Libraries, the UW iSchool’s Master of Science in Information Science program and the Metadata Research Center at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as on the advisory board for the Purdue University Press.
Camilo Acosta, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano
Dr. Camilo A. Acosta-Márquez is the director of the Center for Robotics and Informatics (CERI) at the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Bogotá, Colombia. The Center focuses on technological developments that support applications based on robotics, advanced automation, and interactive design.
Sean Mortazavi, Microsoft
Sean Mortazavi is an architect in Microsoft in the Technical Computing group, concentrating on integrated development environments for programmers and domain experts. Prior to that, he worked on debugger, profiler, and correctness tools for High Performance Computing (HPC) developers. Before HPC, he was in the Visual Studio and Microsoft Research groups where he worked on Microsoft’s next-generation of compilers, JITs, and static analysis tools. Before Microsoft, he was at Sun Microsystems where he ran the code generation/optimization group for SPARC. He is a big proponent of open-source tools and technologies.
Felipe Ayora, Microsoft
Felipe Ayora is a program manager at Microsoft, in the High Performance Computing group. His group is responsible for Windows HPC Server, Microsoft’s third-generation high performance computing solution. Felipe focuses on the system management, infrastructure, and diagnostics aspects of Windows HPC Server. Prior to joining Microsoft, Felipe worked as an IT consultant in Latin America and Europe, started a VoIP company in Ecuador, and worked as a software engineer in Mexico. He graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), in Monterrey, as an electronic systems engineer.
Nicolas Villar, Microsoft Research Cambridge
Nicolas Villar is a researcher in the Computer Mediated Living Group, based at the Microsoft Research lab in Cambridge, U.K. He is particularly interested in the use of embedded systems—programmable microcontrollers, wireless communication devices, sensors, and actuators—as building blocks in the design of physical interactive objects and user interface devices that are engaging, useful, and usable. His current work focuses on understanding and developing technologies that enable interactive devices to be rapidly prototyped, manufactured, and deployed into use.
Chris Wendt, Microsoft Research
Chris Wendt graduated as Diplom-Informatiker from the University of Hamburg, Germany, and subsequently spent a decade on software internationalization for a multitude of Microsoft products, including Windows, Internet Explorer, MSN, and Windows Live, bringing these products to market with equal functionality worldwide. Since 2005, he is leading the program management and planning for Microsoft’s machine translation development, responsible for Bing Translator and Microsoft Translator services. He is based at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
Simon Mercer, Microsoft Research Connections
Dr. Mercer has a background in zoology and has worked in various aspects of bioinformatics over the years. Most recently, he was director of Bioinformatics and Strategic IT at the National Research Council of Canada’s Institute for Marine Biosciences, with responsibility for the Canadian Bioinformatics Resource, a national network dedicated to bioinformatics research support. He then worked as director of Software Engineering at Gene Codes Corporation before moving to Microsoft Research in 2005.
Michael Zyskowski, Microsoft Research Connections
Michael Zyskowski is a senior program manager in the Microsoft Research Connections group, productizing state-of-the-art research technologies for broad consumption by both academic and commercial R&D. He currently is responsible for building an open-source bioinformatics software library for genomics research, and a cloud-plus-mobile software development kit (SDK) for students and citizen scientists.
Prior projects include real-time simulation of high performance vehicles in both consumer and enterprise markets, 3-D visualization, and analytics and architecture/design of software and hardware systems. Prior to Microsoft, he spent time at Boeing performing work in stability and control, aerodynamics, and accident investigation. He holds BS and MS degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas.
When not making the world a better place, Mike enjoys building and flying airplanes, and spending time with his family. His specialties are technical design, architecture, program management, developer evangelism, and creativity.
Fabrizio Gagliardi, Microsoft Research Connections
Fabrizio Gagliardi, born in Pisa, Italy, is Europe, Middle East, and Africa Director for Microsoft Research Connections. He joined Microsoft in November 2005 after a long career at CERN, the world-leading laboratory for particle physics in Geneva, Switzerland. There he held several technical and managerial positions since 1975: director of the EU Grid project EGEE (2004–2005); director of the EU Data-Grid project (2001–2004); head of mass storage services (1997–2000); leader of the EU project GPMIMD2 (1993–1996).
Fabrizio Gagliardi has worked with four different Nobel Prize winners while at CERN. He has a Doctor degree in Computer Science, granted by the University of Pisa in 1974. Dr. Gagliardi has been consulting on computing and computing policy matters with the Commission of the European Union, several government and international bodies (among them NSF, DoE in the United States, CNRS and other research bodies in France, EPSRC in the United Kingdom, CNR and INFN in Italy, OECD, UN agencies).
Dr. Gagliardi is author and co-author of several publications and articles on real-time and distributed computing systems. Since 2009, he has been chair of the ACM Europe Council. Also in 2009, he was given the additional responsibility to drive the Cloud Computing Initiative of the Microsoft Extreme Computing Group in Europe. As part of that job, he played a major role in the incubation and successful negotiation of a new FP7 EU computing infrastructure project, named VENUS-C, which officially started in June 2010.
Mateo Valero, Barcelona Supercomputing Center
Mateo Valero is a professor in the Computer Architecture Department at Technical University of Catalonia, in Barcelona. His research interests focus on high-performance architectures. He has published approximately 500 papers, has served in the organization of more than 300 International Conferences and he has given more than 300 invited talks. He is the director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, the National Centre of Supercomputing in Spain.
Dr. Valero has been honoured with several awards. Among them, the Eckert-Mauchly Award, by the IEEE and the ACM, the IEEE Harry Goode, two Spanish National awards, the “Julio Rey Pastor” to recognize research on IT technologies and the “Leonardo Torres Quevedo” to recognize research in Engineering, by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology, presented by the King of Spain and the “King Jaime I” in research by the Generalitat Valenciana presented by the Queen of Spain. He has been named Honorary Doctor by the University of Chalmers, by the University of Belgrade, by the Universities of Las Palmas de Gran Canarias and Zaragoza in Spain, and by the University of Veracruz in Mexico. “Hall of the Fame”, selected as one of the 25 most influents European researchers in IT during the period 1983–2008.
In December 1994, Professor Valero became a founding member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Engineering. In 2005, he was elected Correspondant Academic of the Spanish Royal Academy of Science and in 2006, member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Doctors and member of the Academia Europaea (the Academy of Europe). He is a Fellow of the IEEE, Fellow of the ACM, and an Intel Distinguished Research Fellow. In 1998 he won a “Favourite Son” Award of his home town, Alfamén (Zaragoza) and in 2006, his native town of Alfamén named their public college after him.
Demofest Session Presenters
Dean Guo, Microsoft Research Connections
Dean Guo is a principal program manager in the Microsoft Research Connections division of Microsoft Research. He joined Microsoft in 1999. His interests include the development and the application of smart and powerful software to make it easy for researchers to analyze diverse and large datasets and visualize data in a meaningful way.
He holds a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from the University of Utah. He has been the lead program manager for shipping several Microsoft Research projects, such as Project Trident: A Scientific Workflow Workbench, Terapixel: The largest and clearest image of the night sky available in the WorldWide Telescope and Bing Map, Try F#: running F# programs in a browser, and Earth Data Excel Add-in for WorldWide Telescope.
Christophe Poulain, Microsoft Research Connections
Christophe Poulain is a senior research software design engineer in the Microsoft Research Connections team. He is interested in the development and application of software to solve problems that involve massive amounts of data and computation, particularly in the field of scientific or engineering problems like those described in the book, The Fourth Paradigm.
In his short time at Microsoft Research, he has had great fun working on a series of interesting and seemingly unrelated projects. These include the academic release of DryadLINQ for Dryad on Windows HPC clusters, building visualizations for WorldWide Telescope—including Terapixel (the largest and clearest seamless image of the night sky), and most recently, Try F#.
Oscar Naim, Microsoft Research Connections
Oscar Naim is a senior research program manager at Microsoft Research Connections. Oscar joined Microsoft in January of 2006, and he has more than 15 years of experience as a software engineer, including positions at Oracle Corporation and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has a PhD in Computer Sciences from the University of Southampton, UK (with Tony Hey as his supervisor), as well as a Master and Bachelor’s degree in Computer Sciences from Universidad Simon Bolivar, Venezuela.
As a member of Advanced Research Tools and Services group, Oscar has been the lead program manager for all Microsoft Research Education and Scholarly Communications projects since he joined the team in July of 2009, including projects such as: Chemistry Add-in for Word, Article Authoring Add-in, Ontology Add-in, Zentity, and Active Text.
In his free time, Oscar loves to play classical guitar and help his sons’ little league baseball teams.
Vidya Natampally, Microsoft Research India
Vidya joined Microsoft Research India in 2006, and is responsible for Microsoft Research India’s external partnership and collaborations. She heads Microsoft Research Connections, which aims to strengthen the computer science research ecosystem in India. Vidya works extensively with industry, government, and universities both within and outside India. The Microsoft Research Connections team at Microsoft Research India focuses on capacity building, research collaborations, and programs to address societal challenges and empower communities with tools and technologies. In addition, the team works with industry to encourage innovation.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Vidya worked with a number of leading IT companies as a communications consultant where she has been instrumental in defining communications and business strategies.
Sridhar Vendantham, Microsoft Research India
Sridhar is responsible for the communications function in Microsoft Research India, which involves external and internal communications, public relations, and marketing. In addition, he works with external partners from industry and academia in India and abroad to build collaborations for specific projects. Sridhar joined Microsoft Research in 2006.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Sridhar worked in multiple fields including sales, marketing, and public relations, and has worked and consulted with a number of leading companies across these areas.
The Role of Basic Research in Technology
The role of basic research in the technology field is often misunderstood. In this talk I will look at what basic research in technology is and is not and what role it plays in the overall innovation process. I will draw on my own experiences both at Carnegie-Mellon University and at Microsoft Research and show how research insights can have a dramatic impact both on corporations and on society as a whole. I will talk about the process of moving ideas from research to product and showcase a number of recent technologies and how they evolved.
Open Science, Open Data, and Open Source
This talk will examine the implications of the current explosion of scientific data and the need for new and more powerful tools to visualize and explore this data. We begin with a survey of some of the open source tools that Microsoft Research is creating in collaboration with the scientific community. These are now donated to the Outercurve Foundation, an open source foundation supported by Microsoft. The combination of open tools and services with open data is leading to major opportunities for new ways of organizing and exploring data, and hold great promise for delivering scientific discoveries in new and exciting ways.
Science, Technology, and Innovation Strategies for Promoting Competitiveness
Colciencias, Colombia’s Department of Science, Technology and Innovation, is the government agency charged with formulating, designing and coordinating the national policy to promote research and innovation. The Science, Technology and Innovation Law (Law 1286 of 2009) directs Colciencias to lead the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation, which unites the efforts of state, academia, industry and civil society to build, in Colombia and its regions, a development model based on knowledge generation and use. Through it promotion instruments, Colciencias, supports research, technological development and innovation projects; human resource training for science, technology and innovation; strengthening of the regional science, technology and innovation systems; international mobility of researchers; and social appropriation of knowledge.
The Department’s vision for 2014 is that of a Colombia with a state policy on science, technology, and innovation consolidated through the increase in output, usage, integration, and appropriation of knowledge within the productive apparatus and society at large. The ultimate goal is the contribution to social progress, economic dynamics, sustained and sustainable growth and greater prosperity for everyone. It is expected that, for year 2019, Colombia will have reached human, social, and economic development grounded on the production, dissemination, and use of knowledge and will be a fundamental component towards productivity and international competitiveness, as well as the prevention and resolution of national and regional challenges.
The objectives of the Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation are:
- Consolidate the National System of Science, Technology, and Innovation: science, technology, and innovation management in Colombia and its regions will be supported by clear, widely concerted policies with strong institutions, stable and sufficient resources, effective articulation mechanisms, and the active participation of all of society.
- Increase and involve human resources for research and innovation: the development of skills and competences for science, technology, and innovation will begin in the early childhood stage and will be promoted throughout all educational levels. The support for doctoral training will increase and their incorporation into the ranks of industry will be promoted to support research and innovation.
- Promote knowledge and innovation for the productive and social transformation of the country: the scientific community will have the necessary tools to produce and apply knowledge that contributed to the solution of the problems of the country and its regions. The social innovation and collaborative work among research groups, community, and industry will be promoted. A new culture of innovation will be generated and strengthened among entrepreneurs, the productive sector and the regions, and the capabilities to incorporate knowledge within productive processes will be increased. Science, technology, and innovation will fuel the engines that will pull the country’s growth.
Computing and the Future
The last 40 years have seen computer science evolve as a major academic discipline. Today, the field is undergoing a fundamental change. Some of the drivers of this change are the Internet, the World Wide Web, large quantities of information in digital form, and widespread use of computers for accessing information. The change is requiring universities to revise the content of computer science programs. This talk will cover the changes in the theoretical foundations of computer science that are needed to support the future.
The Path to Open Science with Illustrations from Computational Biology
Science is increasingly conducted in a digital medium, whether it is observationally or hypothesis driven. However, I will argue that we are very ill-equipped to conduct science efficiently and in a way that can maximize discovery in this digital medium. While significant attention has been given to large data, the thousands of scientists who produce and manage laboratory data have been neglected. I will describe some of the issues with the current scientific digital workflow—from idea to publication—and what we might do to better the situation. I will draw examples from my own experience in computational biology, which is progressive in efforts to deal with the digital roadblocks to new understanding.
High-Fidelity Augmented Reality Interactions
This talk explores one simple question: how do you catch a virtual ball with your real hand? To illustrate this concept, I present a series of projects that demonstrate how projectors and depth-sensing cameras (for example, Kinect) can be used to create augmented reality experiences far richer than previously imagined. I discuss how such experiences can be authored and created, and how to achieve high-fidelity interactions with virtual content without requiring the user to wear any additional gear. Ultimately, this talk shows how, with today’s depth-sensing technology, one can blur the line between physical and virtual worlds and make it possible to use your hands and the knowledge of manipulation of the physical world to interact with virtual content. I draw from my experiences in designing several highly publicized projects such as LightSpace, MirageBlocks, and Pinch-the-Sky Dome to illustrate the concepts.
Semantic Computing for eScience
As the volume of data continues to grow, it has not become any easier to find a needle in the data haystack. Data-driven research has fundamentally changed how people interact with data and each other by exposing analyses, discoveries, or recommendations which were invisible to the human eye. For instance, data-driven technologies enable search engines to retrieve relevant documents from billions of documents very efficiently; likewise, these technologies are helping machine translation to break down natural language barriers effectively, while also making online gaming more challenging and interesting by automatically matching players of same levels. As we look for the next generation of interactions with data to deepen our understanding of our environment, semantics emerges as one of the building blocks to start making sense of data in context. In the talk, we will explore eScience scenarios where semantic computing technologies can contribute to moving research forward along the path from data to information, knowledge, and intelligence.
Scaling Science in the Cloud: From Satellite to Science Variables at the Global Scale with MODISAzure
The perfect storm of digital sensors, remote sensing, and commodity computing has created a data deluge of unprecedented scale. At the same time, science questions such as climate change require analysis at global spatial scales and decadal or longer temporal scales. As such, it is increasingly difficult for scientists to obtain, organize, and mine such large datasets. Moreover, many scientists have only limited access to the larger scale computational resources necessary for such large datasets. Cloud computing promises an attractive alternative for hosting eScience data and applications, particularly for those applications which have outgrown the science desktop yet don’t need a supercomputer. In these early days of cloud computing, the cloud also presents unique computing challenges. This talk will present both the eScience potential and near term computer science challenges of cloud computing, drawing upon experiences with MODISAzure over the past two years.
Natural User Interface—A New Frontier for Human Centric Computing
What is “natural” when it comes to computing? What separates useful UI versus easy to use UI and what are the tradeoffs? This talk will focus on how interactions with computers can be more natural, intuitive, and context oriented. This vision talk will explore the differences between what is usable and useful in regards to human and computer interactions. It will will also include some examples of truly ubiquitous computing and demonstrate how it may be possible to push the envelope of scientific discovery by showing a Kinect gesture interaction with the WorldWide Telescope.
Live Andes (Advanced Network for the Distribution of Endangered Species): A New Tool for Wildlife Conservation
The aim of this project is to develop software to input, analyze, and share location data from wildlife sightings in nature. The outcomes of georeferenced data will be available to show in Bing maps. The value of data sharing for wildlife locations mainly refers to the need of mapping presence and distribution of endangered species in native ecosystems. It is also useful to record alien species and any important information about wildlife conservation (for example, illegal hunting, new species distribution range, seasonality, and migration routes). Live Andes is intended to become a simple way to include citizen science in wildlife conservation in the region where ecologists, scientists, park rangers, and even tourists can upload, share, and analyze georeferenced data that are stored in the cloud. Currently, a web-based portal and a mobile phone application are under development. Also, background data for a series of species in Chile is under construction and query criteria for data analysis is still in progress.
ANURA: Sensor Networks for Classifying and Monitoring Frogs Based on Their Vocalizations as an Early Indicator for Ecological Stress in Rain Forests
In this presentation, we introduce the project ANURA, which aims at using sensor networks for classifying and monitoring anura (frogs and toads), based on their calls, as an early indicator for ecological stress in rain forests. We also present the promising results of our preliminary study, in which bioacoustic signals are segmented into smaller units called “syllables”. Then, these units processed by a pre-emphasis filter and a Hamming window that prepares the signal for feature extraction. We used Mel-fourier Cepstral Coefficients (MFCCs) to represent the acoustic signals and two classifiers were evaluated: kNN and SVM. In our experiments, we achieved a classification rate of 98.97 percent, which shows that the MFCC, usually used in speech recognition, can be used for the recognizing anura species as well. The anuran recognition rate was improved in 16.09 percent, using SVM and MFCCs, compared with the state of the art.
The Brazilian Biodiversity Database and Information System SinBIOTA: The 10 Years Integration with the BIOTA/FAPESP Program and the Re-Development for the Next Decade
The program BIOTA/FAPESP was created to provide support for the São Paulo State to achieve the targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. FAPESP (State Foundation for Research Funding) could stimulate specific research in biodiversity among high-level researchers, but that required the implementation of an organized program. One of the essential elements of the BIOTA/FAPESP program was the development of the information system called SinBIOTA. This system was able, in the past 10 years, to aggregate data that was collated by every research project funded under the program and create informational outputs for education or decision-making processes. However, almost 10 years after its development, not much upgrade has been done, and with the renewal of the BIOTA/FAPESP program a new system is needed based on new technology and with new tools.
Scientific Computing Using Windows Azure
Cloud-based computing provides access to a utility style, on-demand compute resource, billed on a pay-as-you-use basis. There are four key scenarios where cloud computing can prove advantageous:
- Burst capability
- Super scalability
- Data dissemination
- Algorithm development
We examine each of these scenarios with the use of ongoing projects, demonstrating the benefits gained by using Windows Azure.
The Clouds in Space project provides a cloud-based plug-in framework for satellite trajectory propagation and conjunction analysis and is aimed at improving Space Situational Awareness (SSA) by predicting potential satellite collisions. We are extending this to include Near Earth Objects (NEO) close approaches and calculate debris removal strategies to guide future billion-dollar space missions. Debris removal requires optimizing the removal of problematic debris with the cost and practicality of space technologies and mission capabilities.
The Atmospheric Science Through Robotic Aircraft (ASTRA) project demonstrates the use of Windows Azure as a compute resource to compliment low powered high altitude scientific instrumentation. ASTRA uses a Windows Phone 7 device as a high altitude stratospheric data logger, sending location data to Windows Azure resource to update a flight prediction model, calculating payload landing locations and flight characteristics.
Bridging the Gap Between Formal and Informal Learning with Mobile Devices
Computers have long been used in support of instructional activities. At first, they were used to support the individual learner sitting in front of a desktop computer. Today, computers take different shapes varying from big electronic whiteboards to small mobile devices, all of them interconnected with networks, allowing computer technology to support various learning scenarios. Although the literature claims they have been very successful supporting one certain (and often isolated) type of learning activity, they can seldom be combined with other systems to enable more consistent and comprehensive support. Researchers have already expressed the importance of learning methodologies and tools to support learners along a continuous flow of different instructional settings. In this work, we present a mobile computer tool supporting a learning methodology that integrates learning activities inside and outside the classroom in a coherent way, by learning how patterns of different nature emerge in the natural environment. With this tool, students learn about design, architectural, geological, or even biological patterns by first learning about them in the classroom and then finding instances of them in the field. The tool also helps learners recognize patterns that were previously unknown to them.
Counting People Waiting in Service Lines Using Computer Vision and Machine Learning Techniques
This talk presents our main achievements under LACCIR project R1208LAC500, a Real Time System Based on Computer Vision Techniques to Supervise and Allocate Cash Register at Grocery Stores. In particular, we discuss the technical details of our approach to detect and count people at waiting lines under complex conditions, such as partial occlusions, different viewpoints, and changes in scale. We show encouraging results when we evaluate the performance of our system by using images coming from real retail stores.
Transforming Scholarly Communication—Overview of Recent Projects from Microsoft Research
In addition to a strong focus on eScience, Microsoft Research is also actively investigating the broader concept of eResearch—with an emphasis on Digital Humanities and eHeritage. This booth will offer demonstrations of several compelling new tools: discussion around Project Big Time (an evolution of the ChronoZoom work by Walter Alvarez at University of California, Berkeley, demos of the Digital Narratives work stemming from the Microsoft Research Lab in India, reference to the Garibaldi/LADS project under Andy van Dam at Brown University, and a deep investigation of the Microsoft Academic Search service from the Microsoft Research Asia lab in Beijing. The breadth of these projects demonstrates the significant interest Microsoft Research is engaged in beyond eScience with a goal of improving productivity and increasing innovation across the entire academy. This talk will highlight several recent projects, focusing on repository work that is currently underway with the Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Colombia.
Tools of the Trade: Cluster and Cloud Computing On the Operating System That Is Not Linux!
Windows is generally viewed as the operating system you run and develop “Enterprisy” applications on. However, during the past few years there’s been a renaissance of both parallel and large-data computing on the platform by using various open-source and proprietary technologies. This talk will provide an overview of which tools are available (especially from a Linux developer’s point of view) and what can be done with them—with an emphasis on free/open source tools. We’ll cover technologies such as MPI, OpenMP, and SOA. We will also talk about how researchers and domain specialists (who are not computer scientists) are using tool such as R, Python, and F# to take advantage of available resources on clusters and cloud. Demos will include running/debugging/profiling Python on a High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster as well as large-scale astronomy image processing on the Windows Azure cloud.
The Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer Hardware Prototyping Platform
Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer is a new prototyping platform that makes it easier to construct, program, and shape new kinds of computing objects. It is comprised of modular hardware, software libraries, and 3-D CAD support. Together, these elements support the key activities that are involved both in the rapid prototyping and the small-scale production of custom embedded, interactive, and connected devices. In this presentation, we will show (through live coding and hardware assembly) how to design, build, and program working devices by using .NET Gadgeteer. The aim is to give those present a feel for how Gadgeteer can be used as a tool for researchers that need to prototype and build bespoke hardware, as well as in classrooms to inspire and educate young computer scientists.
Sharing Research Worldwide: Advances in Automatic Translation
Automatic translation is more and more enabling access to research data, and to everyday documents, across language boundaries. Today’s automatic translation abilities provide free and instant translation in a quality that has not been seen before, in an ever-increasing set of languages. However, we aren’t done yet. This talk covers many of the options for making translation seamlessly available, and points out some of the pitfalls to consider. Recent and near-term future developments make adoption and use of automatic translation services more interesting than ever before.
The Microsoft Biology Foundation
The Microsoft Biology Foundation (MBF) is a general-purpose library of useful functions for the assembly, comparison and manipulation of DNA, RNA, and protein sequences. Built on the Microsoft .NET platform, this toolkit enables the scientific programmer to rapidly develop the applications that are needed by genomics scientists to cope with extracting knowledge from the increasing volumes of data that are common in the field of genomics research. Under development in Microsoft Research for the past three years, MBF contains a core of standard functions but also enables easy access to a wide range of other Microsoft technologies, including Silverlight, DeepZoom, and Microsoft Office as well as unique research tools such as Sho and PhyloD. MBF is open source under the Apache 2 license, and is freely available for commercial and academic use. Developers are encouraged to adapt and extend the basic library, making their modifications available for others to use at the MBF CodePlex project site.
Cloud Computing for Science in Europe and Venus-C
We will review some Microsoft Research engagements in cloud computing in Europe, describe the European project VENUS-C where Microsoft is making a major investment to support development of scientific and industrial applications on an interoperable computing platform, and explain a recent extension of the VENUS-C platform to Latin America in collaboration with Brazilian scientists.
Towards Exaflop Supercomputers
Having recently surpassed the Petascale barrier, supercomputer designers and users are now facing the next challenge. A thousand-fold performance increase will be reached around 2018 if the improvement rate of the last decades continues. Being power the main constraint and facing many hardware challenges, software is probably the biggest one. Worldwide and cooperative initiatives are being started to perform research facing such objectives. The Barcelona Supercomputing Center is involved in such initiatives and carries out the MareIncognito research project, which aims at developing some of the technologies that we consider will be of key relevance on the way to Exascale. The talk will briefly discuss relevant issues, foreseen architectures, and software approaches that will have to be developed in order to successfully install and operate such machines.
Future Trends in Software Engineering
For too long software engineers have relied not on data, but on experience and unaided judgment to make decisions about what process to adopt, method to deploy, or tool to use. In the future, software engineers will use software analytics—in other words the data resulting from the development process and their artifacts—to make better decisions and to take the right actions. I will showcase this for branch analytics.
Formal methods always held the promise to change the way that software systems are developed. Enabled by the recent increase in the capabilities of automatic theorem provers, their time finally has come. The future will see a new generation of logic-enabled tools, from design time verification to automatic test case generation, and from design space optimization to automatic program synthesis. As an example, I will introduce software equivalence checking.
Twenty years ago, the world had no web; today more than 1.8 billion people are connected via the Internet. And the next shift is already on the way: in 2011, mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) will outsell PCs. With these platform changes, new software engineering challenges emerge: how to share data and programs, how to guarantee security and privacy, and how to program the cloud and/or smartphone. I will introduce coding games for the web and a new touch-enabled development environment for the phone, which try to address some of these problems.
Audio and Video Research for Kinect
In this talk, I will describe some research technologies for Microsoft Kinect. I will describe audio processing techniques such as microphone design, multi-channel echo cancelation, array beam forming, and speech recognition. I will also talk about face and pose tracking from video. Finally, I will illustrate with a few scenarios where these technologies are useful, such as Avatar Kinect and voice control.
Visualizing Scientific Data: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Data visualization is an important stage on the path to scientific discovery. Methods and tools for visualization are constantly evolving—offering exciting new mechanisms for mining information and knowledge from data. This talk will cover recent Microsoft Research investments in this area and offer an in-depth look at the new geo-spatial data visualization capabilities available when Microsoft Excel and WorldWide Telescope | Earth are used together.
Addressing Societal Challenges Through Innovation and Partnerships—Microsoft Research in India
The Microsoft Research India Lab was established in January 2005 in Bangalore, India, with the same basic goals as all other Microsoft Research labs worldwide: to advance the state of the art in all areas of research in which we engage and to improve Microsoft products (and have a positive effect on the world) through our research. In addition, as part of the worldwide Microsoft Research Connection efforts, we work with our academic and scientific partners in India (and elsewhere) to enhance the computer science research ecosystem, and to address societal challenges through research partnerships.
In this talk, I will summarize the progress made in Microsoft Research India during our first six years in all our activities, and describe some of our key efforts and progress towards addressing societal challenges through collaborative innovation.
Water from the Mountains, the Fourth Paradigm, and the Color of Snow
In the 21st century, a crucial question for seasonal mountain snow worldwide is: How do we reliably predict snowmelt runoff and associated demand as climate changes, populations grow, land use evolves, and individual and societal choices are made? Our traditional forecasting methods are based on statistical relations developed while climate is changing. The long-term data that we have document trends already, but uncertainty will get worse without more physically based approaches. At the same time, we can take advantage of two emerging trends:
- Data-intensive science, The Fourth Paradigm, which goes beyond computational modeling to foster discoveries and analyses from large datasets
- An ability to remotely sense snow properties suitable for energy balance models at a spatial scale appropriate for mountain regions
Were our eyes sensitive to radiation through the whole solar spectrum, snow would be one of nature’s most “colorful” surface covers. We can map snow and its reflectivity, but to get at snow-water equivalent, the amount of water that the melt will produce, two independent estimates are possible:
- Interpolations from ground measurements, which are available soon after acquisition, constrained by measurements of snow-covered area
- From an energy balance snow-depletion calculation, more accurate but possible only after the snow has melted.
The two methods give different answers, but reconciling them through data mining could improve the accuracy of snowmelt runoff forecasts, even in basins with sparse river gauging.
Booth #1: Microsoft Biology Foundation 2.0 Beta 1: Library and Tools
Presenter: Michael Zyskowski—Senior Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
We will be showcasing the latest release (version 2.0) of the Microsoft Biology Foundation, beta 1. This version of the framework has been re-engineered to be more efficient and fast, supporting the De Novo and Comparative assembly of large genomes. The product is available freely as open source, licensed for both academic and commercial use.
Booth #2: MirageBlocks
Presenter: Hrvoje Benko—Researcher, Microsoft Research, United States
We will demonstrate the use of 3-D projection, combined with a Kinect depth camera to capture and display 3-D objects. Any physical object brought into the demo can be digitized instantaneously and viewed in 3-D. For example, we will show a simple modeling application in which complex 3-D models can be constructed with just a few wooden blocks by digitizing and adding one block at a time. This setup also can be used in telepresence scenarios, in which what is real on your collaborator’s table is virtual—3-D projected—on yours, and vice versa. We will show how simulating real-world physics behaviors can be used to manipulate virtual 3-D objects. Our demo uses a 3-D projector with active shutter glasses.
Booth #3: Involving the Community in Creating High Quality Automatic Translations
Presenter: Chris Wendt—Principal Group Program Manager, Microsoft Research, United States
This booth focuses on cross-language document retrieval and automatic translation, using the example of WorldWideScience.org, an excellent implementation of multilingual access for the research community. We will demo mechanisms for community involvement that are able to push the quality of an automatic translation to a level that satisfies even the most demanding users, and how to make this a fun and compelling exercise.
Booth #4: Location-based Data Visualization and Interaction using Excel, Kinect and WorldWide Telescope
Presenters: Dean Guo—Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Research Connections, United States | Kristin Tolle—Director, Natural User Interface, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Earth science is highly dependent on data with a geospatial context. We have built out Worldwide Telescope (WWT) to support earth system science with emphasis on time series support and 3-D rendering. But a simple problem remains: How to get your data into the WWT Earth model and how to interact with it in an intuitive way? We are going to demonstrate a Microsoft Excel Add-in (a ribbon) to “push” location-based data into the WWT visualization environment and a method of interactions through gestures using a Kinect system. Suppose you have some spatial data that is time-tagged; so your minimum data set is a location (latitude, longitude) and a date. By installing the Excel Add-In for WWT you can simply highlight and “push” your data into WWT in a matter of seconds. Key features for Excel Add-in for WWT include:
- Visualization of location-based point data and geometry data in WKT (well-known text) format
- Dynamic binding of data in Excel to the visualization in WWT—changes to the data reflect immediately in WWT
- Support for Earth-based visualization as well as sky-based visualization.
Booth #5: Try F# in a Browser
Presenter: Christophe Poulain—Senior Research Software Design Engineer, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Try F# enables the Microsoft .NET language, F#, to be used in an interactive browser-based environment. Try F# makes F# accessible to users with Windows, Macs, and soon Linux: no installation required! Try F# also includes an online training tool to introduce users to the language. The site also serves as a portal for information about the language and its growing community. Try F# was developed by Microsoft Research Connections Engineering and Computer Science teams, in collaboration with Microsoft Research Cambridge, and the Visual Studio F# development team.
Booth #6: Data-Driven Innovation via Web N-gram Services
Presenter: Evelyne Viegas—Director, Semantic Computing, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Data has become a first-class citizen in the digital world, and researchers worldwide need access to real-world large-scale data when performing data-driven research at web scale. With the Web N-gram services, Microsoft Research, in partnership with the Online Services Division, is enabling data-driven innovation via experimental design in the fast-paced arena of cloud-based computing while encouraging researchers to use the Windows Azure platform. We will present demos that use the Web N-Gram Services, including:
- Search Query Segmentation (for example, Chateau Montelena in Napa Valley segmented into “Chateau Montelena” “in” “Napa Valley
- Word Breaking Demonstration (for example, w84u word broken into “wait for you” in Twitter tags)
Booth #7: Digital Humanities and eHeritage Tools for Academics—New and Forthcoming Offerings from Microsoft Research
Presenter: Lee Dirks—Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
In addition to a strong focus on eScience, Microsoft Research is also actively investigating the broader concept of eResearch—with an emphasis on Digital Humanities and eHeritage. This booth will offer demonstrations of several compelling new tools: discussion around Project Big Time (an evolution of the ChronoZoom work by Walter Alvarez at University of California, Berkeley), demos of the Digital Narratives work stemming from the Microsoft Research Lab in India, reference to the Garibaldi/LADS project under Andy van Dam at Brown University, and deep-dives into the Microsoft Academic Search service coming out of the Microsoft Research Asia lab in Beijing. The breadth of these projects shows the significant interest Microsoft Research is engaged in beyond eScience with a goal of positively impacting productivity and innovation across the entire academy.
Booth #8: Tools to Support e-Research: Zentity 2.0 and Active Text
Presenter: Oscar Naim—Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Zentity is a semantically enabled repository platform from Microsoft Research Connections that provides a suite of building blocks, tools, and services that help you create and maintain an organization digital library ecosystem. Zentity is built on top of Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft .NET 4.0, Entity Framework, and LINQ. Zentity uses Pivot Viewer from Microsoft Live Labs as its de facto browser; coupled with the Visual Explorer (a graph visualization tool from Microsoft Research Asia), it becomes a very powerful tool for unlocking the value of your data. Active Text is a tool for extracting and associating facts to a particular document. The Active Text project aims to support researchers in understanding concepts in a particular research area when entering a new field of study, using natural language processing (NLP), a novel user interface and information visualization.
Booth #9: Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer—A Platform for Rapid Prototyping
Presenter: Nicolas Villar—Researcher, Microsoft Research Cambridge, United Kingdom
Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer is a rapid prototyping platform for small electronic gadgets and embedded hardware devices. It combines the advantages of object-oriented programming, solderless assembly of electronics by using a kit of hardware modules, and quick physical enclosure fabrication by using computer-aided design. Individual .NET Gadgeteer modules can be easily connected to construct both simple and sophisticated devices. Each module adds some extra capabilities, such as the ability to display images, play back sounds, take pictures, sense the environment, communicate with other devices, or enable user interaction. The platform is built on the .NET Micro Framework, which allows small devices to be programmed in the C# language and make use of Microsoft Visual Studio’s programming and debugging tools. This powerful combination allows fully functional devices to be prototyped in a matter of hours rather than days or weeks.
Booth #10: eScience in the Cloud at fluxdata.org
Presenter: Catharine van Ingen—Partner Architect, eScience Group, Microsoft Research, United States
Fluxdata.org holds one of the largest shared carbon-climate research field datasets. The dataset is a living-breathing dataset—new data are being added and jointly curated. We will demonstrate the Microsoft SharePoint access portal as well as the behind-the-scenes database and cloud computing technologies that are used to support data upload, ingest, quality screening, early analysis browsing, and desktop download across remote sensing, sensor, and other hard won field measurements.
Booth #11: WikiBhasha—A Multilingual Content Creation Tool for Wikipedia
Presenter: Vidya Natampally—Director, Strategy, Microsoft Research India
WikiBhasha is a multilingual content creation tool for Wikipedia. Developed by Microsoft Research, WikiBhasha beta enables Wikipedia users and contributors to explore and source content from English Wikipedia articles, to translate the content into a set of target languages, and to use the content with user additions and corrections for contribution to the target language Wikipedia. The content creation workflow is flexible enough to accommodate new content creation, at the same time preserving reusable information, such as references and templates.
Booth #12: Rich Interactive Narratives
Presenter: Sridhar Vendantham—Head Communications and External Projects, Microsoft Research India
Recent advances in visualization technologies have spawned a potent brew of visually rich applications that enable exploration over potentially large, complex data sets. (Examples include GigaPan.org, Microsoft Photosynth, PivotViewer, and WorldWide Telescope.) At the same time, the narrative remains a dominant form for generating emotionally captivating content—movies or novels—or imparting complex knowledge, as in textbooks or journals. The Rich Interactive Narratives project aims to combine the compelling, time-tested narrative elements of multimedia storytelling with the information-rich, exploratory nature of the latest generation of information-visualization and -exploration technologies. We approach the problem not as a one-off application, Internet site, or proprietary framework, but rather as a data model that transcends a particular platform or technology. This has the potential of enabling entirely new ways for creating, transforming, augmenting, and presenting rich interactive content.
Booth #13: Windows HPC Server and Windows Azure: Cluster and Cloud Computing Made Easy
Presenters: Felipe Ayora—Program Manager, High Performance Computing Group, Microsoft, United States | Sean Mortazavi—Partner Architect, Technical Computing Group, Microsoft, United States
Come see a cloud-based implementation of NCBI’s Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) running on Windows Azure, which enables researchers to leverage the scalability of Windows Azure to execute BLAST jobs on demand in the cloud. We will also be showcasing Microsoft’s third-generation, high-performance computing solution, Windows HPC Sever 2008 R2, which can readily expand your computing capabilities to the cloud.
Booth #14: Scientific Computing Using Windows Azure
Presenters: Dr. Steven Johnston—Senior Research Fellow, Microsoft Institute for HPC, Computational Engineering and Design, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, United Kingdom | Prof. Simon Cox—Director, Microsoft Institute for HPC, Computational Engineering and Design, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
We are using World Wide Telescope (WWT) as the data visualizer for both the Clouds in Space and ASTRA projects. We will demonstrate the visualization of satellite trajectories as well as showing high altitude flight data collected from the ASTRA 7 flight 18km into the stratosphere. The Clouds in Space project provides a cloud based plug-in framework for satellite trajectory propagation and conjunction analysis and is aimed at improving Space Situational Awareness (SSA) by predicting potential satellite collisions. The Atmospheric Science Through Robotic Aircraft (ASTRA) project demonstrates the use of Windows Azure as a compute resource to compliment low powered high altitude scientific instrumentation.
Booth #15: Kinect Development Kit
Presenter: Alex Acero—Research Area Manager, Microsoft Research, United States We will show the Kinect for Windows software development kit together with an application that leverages speech and skeletal tracking.
Booth #16: RiSE4Fun: Research Tools for Serious Developers
Presenter: Wolfram Schulte—Research Area Manager, Microsoft Research, United States
Try RiSE4fun—our tools in your browser! The Microsoft Research in Software Engineering (RiSE) group in Redmond, WA, United States, provides innovative tools for software development analytics, automated program analysis, new languages and runtimes, as well as automatic theorem provers.