Latin American Faculty Summit 2012



The Riviera Maya (Image: Shutterstock/Actidea)

Microsoft Research hosted the eighth annual Latin American Faculty Summit in the Riviera Maya, Mexico, from May 23 to 25, 2012. The theme of the 2012 Summit was “Technologies in Action.” For the 2012 Latin American Faculty Summit, Microsoft Research united academic and government researchers, educators, and Microsoft researchers, product group engineers, and architects to explore new opportunities in computer-science research and advances that address world-scale challenges in such diverse disciplines as healthcare and wellbeing, energy and environment, and educational and social progress. The program consisted of a variety of keynotes, talks, panels, workshops, and demonstrations.

Technologies in Action

The need to solve real-world problems, whether social or scientific, has provided the impetus for technological advancements over the years. Computing research and technology provide novel approaches to meet these challenges. For years, multidisciplinary researchers have been employing computational innovations to advance investigations in the sciences. New developments in the world of computation have changed the landscape and offer new capabilities to scientists who are interested in increasing their ability to process and understand vast amounts of data. Increasingly, information is stored in the cloud rather than locally, scientists are looking at new ways to interact with data, and computational advantages are being applied to an ever wider range of disciplines.


The National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT) is responsible for the design and execution of science and technology policies in Mexico. CONACYT’s aims are to consolidate a National Innovation System that responds to the priority demands of Mexico, provide solution to specific problems and needs, and help raise the standard of living and social wellbeing through five core objectives:

  1. Establish short-, medium-, and long-term state policies to strengthen the links between education, basic and applied sciences, and technology and innovation.
  2. Promote the decentralization of scientific, technological, and innovation activities in order to help advance regional development.
  3. Finance basic and applied sciences, technology, and innovation.
  4. Invest in scientific, technological, and innovation infrastructure.
  5. Provide accountability to public investments in the development of science and technology, high-quality human resources training, research and development, and innovation.

By fulfilling these objectives, CONACYT—along with other Federal Government agencies and entities, as well as with the production sector—will help increase Mexico’s contribution to the generation, acquisition, and dissemination of knowledge, and to advance the sciences and technology in Mexico.

As part of its international collaboration agenda, CONACYT is pleased to partner with Microsoft to present the 2012 Microsoft Research Latin American Faculty Summit.


Wednesday, May 23

Time Event/Topic Location
Opening Ceremony Grand Velas 7-12
Opening Keynote Presentation
Microsoft Research: from Basic Research to Technological Innovations | slides

Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research, United States

Group Photo
Azul Restaurant/ Chaká
Keynote Presentation
Strengthening Mexico’s Participation in Global Research Networks | slides | video
Sergio Carrera, Executive Director, INFOTEC, Mexico
Grand Velas 7-12
Plenary Session
Information Management via CrowdSourcing | slides | video

Hector Garcia-Molina, Professor, Stanford University, United States

Grand Velas 7-12
Refreshment Break
Foyer Grand Velas
Plenary Session
Putting the Cloud in the Palm of Your Hand | slides

Victor Bahl, Director Mobile Computer Research Center, Microsoft Research, United States

Grand Velas 7-12
Keynote Presentation
Bringing Theories to Life: Computer Science at Microsoft Research | slides | video
Tony Hey, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Grand Velas 7-12
Welcome Reception and Dinner
Zen Grand Garden

Thursday, May 24

Time Event/Topic Location
Parallel Track Sessions
Computer Science Research Track #1
Why Software Engineering is the Best Job in 2012 | slides | video

Judith Bishop, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

Grand Velas 7-12
Computer Science Research Track #2
Kinect for Windows—an Update for Researchers | slides
Stewart Tansley, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Grand Velas 13
Computing in eScience Research Track #3
eResearch: Surveying the State of the Art | slides
Lee Dirks, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Grand Velas 14
CONACYT Thematic Networks Research Track #4
Teaching a Robot How to Perform New Tasks | slides
Eduardo F. Morales, Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica, Optica, y Electronica (INAOE), Mexico
Grand Velas 15
Computer Science Research Track #1
Future of Software Engineering on Mobile Devices | slides | video
Nikolai Tillmann, Principal RSDE, Microsoft Research, United States
Grand Velas 7-12
Computer Science Research Track #2
The World of Multi-Mouse | slides | video
Miguel Nussbaum, Professor, Catholic University of Chile, Chile
E-CLOUDSS: Building e-Government Clouds Using Distributed Semantic Services | slides
Genoveva Vargas-Solar, Universidad de Las Americas Puebla, Mexico
Grand Velas 13
Computing in eScience Research Track #3
Rethinking Computer Architecture: Research at BSC-Microsoft Research Centre | slides
Osman Unsal, Senior Researcher, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain
Grand Velas 14
CONACYT Thematic Networks Research Track #4
Data Mining and Its Importance in the 21st Century | slides
Christopher R. Stephens, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Mexico
The Discrete Compactness and Its Applications | slides
Ernesto Bribiesca, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Mexico
Grand Velas 15
10:30–11:00 Refreshment Break Foyer Grand Velas
Computer Science Research Track #1
Engineering Methods for Ensuring Program Correctness | slides | video
Rustan Leino, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research, United States
Grand Velas 7-12
Computer Science Research Track #2
Microsoft SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse – Architecture Overview | slides | video
José Blakeley, Partner Architect, Microsoft, United States
Grand Velas 13
Computing in eScience Research Track #3
LACCIR Projects | video
Chair: Ignacio Casas, Executive Director, LACCIR
LiveANDES: A Software Platform to Share and Analyze Information for Wildlife Conservation | slides
Cristián Bonacic, Professor, Ecosystems and Environment Department, Catholic University of Chile (PUC-Chile), Chile
Andrés Neyem, Professor, Computer Science Department, Catholic University of Chile (PUC-Chile), Chile
Using Sensor Networks to Classify Frogs Based on Their Calls | slides
Eduardo Freire Nakamura, Assistant Professor, Research and Technological Innovation Center (FUCAPI), Brazil
Grand Velas 14
CONACYT Thematic Networks Research Track #4
Probabilistic Graphical Models: Applications in Biomedicine | slides | video
Enrique Sucar, Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica, Optica, y Electronica (INAOE), Mexico
Grand Velas 15
Computer Science Research Track #1
Experiences in Software Engineering | slides | video
Derick Campbell, Director of Engineering, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Grand Velas 7-12
Computer Science Research Track #2
Specialized Machine Translation Using the Microsoft Translator Hub – Customized Models for Language Preservation and Domain Specific Deployment | slides | video
Kristin Tolle, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Grand Velas 13
Computing in eScience Research Track #3
Big Data and the Cloud Phenomenon | slides | video
Pedro Celis, Distinguished Engineer, Microsoft, United States
Grand Velas 14
CONACYT Thematic Networks Research Track #4
The Golem Project: a Laboratory for the Construction of Service Robots | slides | video
Luis Pineda Cortés, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Mexico
Grand Velas 15
1:00–2:30 Lunch Azul Restaurant/ Chaká
Panel Session (lunch)
Moving the Needle and Growing Women in Computing in Latin America | slides | video
  • Juliana Salles, Microsoft Research
  • José Tiberio Hernandez, University of Los Andes
  • Lorena Gómez, Tec of Monterrey
Azul Restaurant
Research Talk
Deep Neural Networks for Speech and Image Processing | slides | video
Alex Acero, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research, United States
Grand Velas 7-12
Research Talk
Using Computer Vision for Graphics | slides | video
Sing Bing Kang, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research, United States
Grand Velas 7-12
4:00–4:30 Refreshment Break Foyer Grand Velas
Plenary Session
Advancing Environmental Understanding: the Role of eScience | slides | video
Dan Fay, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Grand Velas 7-12
Keynote Presentation
Driving Innovation Through the Microsoft Research Advanced Technology Labs
Rico Malvar, Chief Scientist/Distinguished Engineer, Microsoft Research, United States
Grand Velas 7-12
6:00–6:15 Assemble for Departure to Social Event Hotel Lobby
7:00–10:00 Social Event and Dinner Show

Friday, May 25

Time Event/Topic Location
Closing Plenary Sessions
Chair: Jim Pinkelman, Senior Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States
Data-Intensive Discoveries in Science: the Fourth Paradigm | slides
Alex Szalay, Alumni Centennial Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, United States
LACCIR: Results, Thoughts, and Opportunities
Ignacio Casas, Executive Director, Latin American and Caribbean Collaborative ICT Research Federation (LACCIR)
Sergio Ochoa, Deputy Director, LACCIR
Grand Velas 7-12
DemoFest (Onsite Research Demos) Grand Velas 1-6
Refreshment Break (During Demofest) Foyer Grand Velas
Farewell Lunch
Azul Restaurant
Event Ends


Microsoft Research Software Engineering Workshops

Microsoft Research hosted workshops on Dafny, a programming language and program verifier for functional correctness, and TouchDevelop Programming, a novel application creation environment developed by Microsoft Research for programming on Windows Phone 7. These two workshops were co-located with the Microsoft Research Latin American Faculty Summit 2012 and took place on May 22 and 23, 2012, in the Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Workshop Schedule

Tuesday, May 22
2:30–4:30 PM | Dafny
4:30–5:00 PM | Refreshment break
5:00–7:00 PM | TouchDevelop Programming I

Wednesday, May 23
9:00–11:00 AM | TouchDevelop Programming II

Dafny: A Language and Program Verifier for Functional Correctness

Reasoning about programs is a fundamental skill that every software engineer needs. This workshop provides participants an opportunity to get hands-on experience with Dafny, a tool that can help develop this skill.

Dafny is an imperative object-based language with built-in specification constructs. The Dafny static program verifier can be used to verify the functional correctness of programs. The Dafny programming language is designed to support the static verification of programs. It is imperative, sequential, supports generic classes, dynamic allocation, inductive datatypes, and built-in specification constructs (like preconditions and loop invariants). The Dafny verifier is run as part of the compiler. As such, a programmer interacts with it much in the same way as with the static type checker—when the tool produces errors, the programmer responds by changing the program’s type declarations, specifications, and statements. It’s easiest to try out Dafny in your web browser. Once you get a bit more serious, you may prefer to download Dafny to run it on your machine. This workshop will introduce programming by specification with Dafny.

The class participants are expected to know basic programming (for example, variables, assignments, loops, recursion, and simple data structures). No previous experience in program verification is necessary (but people who previously have encountered program verification in the classroom will be especially interested in this tutorial, so they can see what an automatic tool can do).

This workshop will show how to use the Dafny language and Dafny verification tool in teaching. Participants will learn how to interact with the Dafny tool and will get ideas for how it may be incorporated into their teaching curricula. Participants should have access to computers, even in pairs, on any platform (the software runs in a browser), so that they can follow along and do some simple exercises during the class. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops.


Presenter: K Rustan M Leino, principal researcher, Microsoft Research, Redmond

Date and Time: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 | 2:30–4:30 PM

Duration: 2.0 hours

TouchDevelop Programming on Windows Phone

The world is currently experiencing a technology shift: powerful and easy-to-use mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are becoming more prevalent than traditional PCs and laptops. In many cases, mobile devices are going to be the first and, in less-developed countries, possibly the only computing devices that virtually everyone will own and carry with them. We propose to prepare for this potential future by adapting how programming is taught, so that students can develop software directly on smartphones.

In this workshop, presenters introduce TouchDevelop on Windows Phone 7, a novel application creation environment from Microsoft Research. Its typed, structured programming language is built around the idea of using only a touchscreen as the input device to author code. Easy access to the rich sensor and personal data available on a mobile device results in an engaging programming experience for students who learn programming by creating fun games and applications. TouchDevelop is also very useful to developers who wish to expand the capabilities of their phone with quickly created scripts.

Guided by the presenters, the workshop is highly interactive; workshop participants will create several small mobile applications on Windows Phones that are provided to the participants for the duration of the course. The programs will use data (such as songs) and sensors (for example, an accelerometer) that are available on the phones.

This workshop introduces the need and possibility to create mobile applications directly on mobile devices. It introduces the concepts of the TouchDevelop programming environment, including its language and code editor, and code publishing. Presenters will discuss how created mobile applications can be sold on the Marketplace, how TouchDevelop addresses privacy concerns, and what limitations exist. TouchDevelop on Windows Phone is compared to related mobile programming environments on other platforms.

The class participants should have working knowledge in some programming language. No knowledge of mobile application development is required. Participants will work in pairs using Windows Phones. A draft book, slides, examples, and papers will also be available for student use.



  • Nikolai Tillmann, principal research development engineer, Microsoft Research, Redmond
  • Peli de Halleux, senior research development engineer, Microsoft Research, Redmond

Date and Time:

  • Part I: Tuesday May 22, 2012 | 5:00–7:00 PM
  • Part II: Wednesday May 23, 2012 | 9:00–11:00 AM

Duration: 4.0 hours


Speaker Biographies

Alex Acero, Microsoft Research

Alex AceroAlex Acero is a research area manager at Microsoft Research, where he directs more than 50 researchers and engineers working on audio, speech, multimedia, communication, and natural language. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was the manager of the speech group at Telefonica Investigacion y Desarrollo and a senior engineer at Apple Computer. He has been granted 93 US patents. Since 2000, Alex has also been an affiliate professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington and has taught spoken language processing. He has participated in the PhD thesis committee of seven students. Alex received his PhD in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Camilo Acosta, All Robotics

Camilo AcostaCamilo Acosta, an engineer with a passion for research, presently is a private consultant and the CTO of All Robotics, a Colombian engineering firm specializing in the development of robots and software solutions for academia. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, he moved to Scotland, where he eventually headed a PhD project in rehabilitation robotics. A spin-off of this was the NeXOS project, a four-year undertaking that involved a consortium of universities, where Camilo served as the lead research fellow. Upon completion of the project, he returned to Colombia and served as the director of the Centre for Robotics and Informatics (CERI) at the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano. While at CERI, he led a network of universities, work that accelerated into a joint investigation with Microsoft Research into the possibilities of using Zentity as a platform for understanding the vital signs of universities and networks of universities.

Victor Bahl, Microsoft Research

Victor BahlVictor Bahl is director of the Mobile Computing Research Center (MCRC) in Microsoft Research, where he leads basic and applied research in mobile computing. Prior to leading MCRC, Victor founded and led the Networking Research Group, and he continues to help shape Microsoft’s long-term vision related to networking technologies through research and associated policy engagement with governments and institutions worldwide. Victor’s personal research interests span mobile computing, wireless systems, cloud computing, and datacenter/enterprise networking and management. He has built and deployed several seminal and highly cited systems, many of which have been broadly adopted by the computing industry and shipped in Microsoft products. He has authored more than 115 peer-reviewed papers and holds 90 patents, and has received many accolades, including Microsoft’s Individual Performance Award (three times), SIGMOBILE’s Distinguished Service Award, IEEE’s Northwest Outstanding Engineer Award, SIGCOMM’s and CoNext’s Best Paper Award, FCC’s Open Internet App Award, and FCC’s People’s Choice App Award. Victor received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is a fellow of the ACM, IEEE, and AAAS.

Judith Bishop, Microsoft Research Connections

Judith BishopJudith Bishop is director of computer science at Microsoft Research, where she works to create strong links between Microsoft’s research groups and universities worldwide. Her expertise is in programming languages and distributed systems, with a strong practical bias and an interest in compilers and design patterns. She initiated the Software Engineering Innovation Foundation (SEIF) and is currently working on a new way of running programs in browsers (especially F#) and on promoting programming on mobile phones with TouchDevelop. Judith has authored more than 95 publications, including 15 books on programming languages that are available in six languages. She serves frequently on international editorial, program, and award committees, and has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the IFIP Outstanding Service Award in 2009 and the IFIP Silver Core Award 2006 for service to the worldwide computer science community. She is a fellow of the British Computer Society, the Royal Society of South Africa, and many other prestigious bodies. Judith received her PhD from the University of Southampton.

José Blakeley, Microsoft

José BlakeleyJosé Blakeley is partner architect in Microsoft’s Data Warehousing Product Unit in the Database Systems Group, where he contributed to the development of the Microsoft SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) Edition DBMS. A Microsoft employee since 1994, José’s other contributions include the development of the OLE DB data access interfaces, the integration of the .NET runtime with SQL Server 2005, the extensibility features in SQL Server, and the creation of the ADO.NET Entity Framework in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008. José has authored numerous conference papers, book chapters, and journal articles on design aspects of relational and object database management systems, as well as on data access. He has 20 patents awarded and 22 patents pending. José became an ACM Fellow in 2009. Before joining Microsoft, he was a member of the technical staff at Texas Instruments, where he was co-principal investigator of the DARPA Open-OODB system. He received a B.Eng. from the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM) in Mexico and a PhD in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Cristián Bonacic, Catholic University of Chile

Cristián BonacicCristián Bonacic is an associate professor in the School of Agriculture and Forestry, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, and has led a wildlife conservation research group for more than 10 years in Chile. His research interests include automatic and remote systems for wildlife surveillance, citizen science, IT applied to wildlife conservation, and networking of biodiversity conservation scientists. He earned a D.Phil. in zoology at Britain’s Oxford University.

Ernesto Bribiesca, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Ernesto BribiescaErnesto Bribiesca is a professor at the Instituto de Investigaciones en Matematicas Aplicadas y en Sistemas (IIMAS) at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), where he teaches graduate courses in pattern recognition. He also serves as associate editor of the journal, Pattern Recognition, and he has twice been an Honorable Mention winner of the Annual Pattern Recognition Society Award. Ernesto previously worked as a researcher at the IBM Latin American Scientific Center and at the Direcciòn General de Estudios del Territorio Nacional (DETENAL). He received his PhD in mathematics from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM).

Derick Campbell, Microsoft Research Connections

Derick CampbellDerick Campbell is a software engineering veteran with 25 years of experience in product development, product incubation, and software consulting. In his latest role of a 15-year Microsoft career, Derick manages the Microsoft Research Connections engineering team.

Ignacio Casas, LACCIR

Ignacio CasasIgnacio Casas is professor of information technologies in the Department of Computer Science (DCS), School of Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC Chile). His main research interests are business-driven technologies and technology-enhanced learning (TEL) environments and tools. Ignacio has been a leading figure in Chile’s information and communication technology (ICT) development, co-founding DCS-PUC Chile (1981) and serving as its head (1988–1992); co-founding and serving as president (1989–1990) of the Chilean Computer Science Society; and serving as chief technology officer at PUC Chile (1995–2005). He is responsible for introducing TEL systems, Wi-Fi, and e-learning services in his university. Ignacio is the co-founder and co-director of the 15-year-old RELATED network, which advocates the development and use of TEL in Latin America, and the executive director of the LACCIR, which works to advance ICT applied research in the region. He is a member of IEEE and Colegio de Ingenieros de Chile and serves on the board of directors of several technology development enterprises. He earned a PhD in computer science from the University of Toronto.

Pedro Celis, Microsoft

Pedro CelisPedro Celis, a distinguished engineer at Microsoft, currently works in the Bing organization and previously served as CTO of the Microsoft SQL Server group. Pedro was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, where he developed a lifelong passion for education and technology that has led to positions as a professor of computer science and as a software engineer for several companies. Pedro was appointed to the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) by President George W. Bush. He served as a member of from 2003 to 2005, advising the president on federal policies and investments that would maintain and enhance US pre-eminence in information technology. Pedro holds more than 15 US patents, and in 2009 he was named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business magazine. He holds an engineering degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM) and master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Peli de Halleux, Microsoft Research

Peli de HalleuxJonathan “Peli” de Halleux is currently working on TouchDevelop, Moles, and Pex. Peli joined the Foundations for Software Engineering in October 2006. He worked in the CLR as a SDET in charge of the Just In Time compiler (2004–2006). Before joining Microsoft, Peli earned a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the Catholic University of Louvain (2000–2004).

Lee Dirks, Microsoft Research Connections

Lee DirksLee Dirks is director for portfolio strategy in Microsoft Research Connections, where he works to foster collaborative research projects with academia and research organizations. A veteran of more than 20 years in various information management fields, Lee holds an MSLS from the University of North Carolina (UNC)–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, then corporate librarian, and as a senior manager in the corporate market research organization. In addition to participation on several (US) 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 (UW) Libraries, the UW iSchool’s Master of Science in Information Science (MSIM) program, and the Metadata Research Center at the School of Information and Library Science at UNC–Chapel Hill.

Israel Espinosa, Universidad La Salle

Israel EspinosaJosafath Israel Espinosa Ramos is a student from Universidad La Salle. His research interest focuses on applications of evolutionary computation, using bio-inspired models to build highly optimized networks. He has developed a computer program that uses genetic algorithms and differential evolution in the design of seismic networks, thereby maximizing the warning time of a seismic alert system. In 2011, Israel had a full paper accepted at the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO–2011) in Dublin, Ireland. He also was finalist in the eighth annual “Humies” award at the same event.

Dan Fay, Microsoft Research Connections

Dan FayDan Fay is director of the Earth, Energy, and Environment effort at Microsoft Research Connections and works with academic scientists on related topics. Previously, he handled North America as part of the Technical Computing Initiative. Dan serves as a member of the Purdue University Computer and Information Technology Industrial advisory board. He is a graduate of Northeastern University.

Ernesto Galindo Rojo, Universidad Panamericana

Ernesto Galindo RojoErnesto Galindo Rojo is a student at Universidad Panamericana, studying engineering in digital animation. A native of Mexico City, he is passionate about music, photography, and technology and is always looking for new ways to improve or understand how things work and trying to help other people. He is currently participating in the 2012 Imagine Cup for the Mexican team, which has created software platforms to help children with ADD. He also serves as an animation coordinator for a social service project called Enlaza México.

Hector Garcia-Molina, Stanford University

Hector Garcia-MolinaHector Garcia-Molina is the Leonard Bosack and Sandra Lerner Professor in the departments of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. From 1997 to 2001, Hector was a member the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC), and he served on the faculty of the Computer Science Department at Princeton University from 1979 to 1991. Hector is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a recipient of the 1999 ACM SIGMOD Innovations Award. He also serves as an advisor for Onset Ventures, sits on the board of directors of Oracle, and is a member of the State Farm Technical Advisory Council. He received a BS in electrical engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico, in 1974, and earned an MS in electrical engineering in 1975 and a PhD in computer science in 1979, both from Stanford University. Hector also holds an honorary PhD from ETH Zurich (2007).

Lorena Gómez, Tecnológico de Monterrey

Lorena GómezLorena Gómez is director of the master’s program in software engineering and information technology at Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Monterrey campus. Her research interests include databases, software development, and mobile computing. She is collaborating with the University of the West Indies on the development of an application framework for mobile payments in support of micro-economies in Latin America and the Caribbean, a project sponsored by LACCIR. Lorena teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on databases, business intelligence, and the Software Capstone Project, and she received a Teaching and Research Award from Monterrey Tech in 2011. She is a Fulbright Fellow and a member of the UPE Computer Science Honor Society and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Lorena also serves on the board of directors of both the Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance and the Microsoft Enterprise Consortium. She earned her PhD in computer science from Arizona State University.

Juan Alberto González Esparza, Microsoft Mexico

Juan Alberto González EsparzaJuan Alberto González Esparza is the general manager of Microsoft Mexico, responsible for the operations of the company in Mexico. He heads an organization with more than 500 employees active in commercial areas, professional services and consulting, marketing, consumer channels, and online businesses. In line with his personal goals and corporate vision, Juan Alberto strategically leads the corporate citizenship initiative, wherein Microsoft Mexico has become one of the best practices around the world. Among his main objectives are the definition of a national digital agenda, the formation of human capital in information technologies, and the development of capacities in line with the needs of the industry. He is also president of the council of the Mexican Association of Information Technology Industry (AMITI) and a member of the US-Mexico Foundation. Juan Alberto graduated from La Salle University in Mexico City with a bachelor’s in cybernetics and computer science. He also did several management and leadership programs at Microsoft, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and at the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania.

Dean Guo, Microsoft Research Connections

Dean GuoDean Guo is a principal program manager in Microsoft Research Connections. He has 14 years of software development experience, ranging from developing expert systems to integrating enterprise applications of complex systems. He has been the lead program manager for shipping several Microsoft Research projects, including Project Trident, a scientific workflow workbench; Terapixel, which provides the largest and clearest image of the night sky and is available in the WorldWide Telescope and Bing Map; Try F#, a programming language for running F# programs in a browser; WorldWide Telescope Add-in for Excel; and the Microsoft Translator Hub. He holds a PhD in bioinformatics from the University of Utah.

Adrian Hernandez, Microsoft Research Connections

Adrian HernandezAdrian Hernandez is a program manager in Microsoft Research Connections based in Mexico, where he works on the development of scientific projects using Microsoft technologies. His research focuses primarily in the areas of electrical impedance tomography, parallel computing, and artificial intelligence algorithms; he has presented his findings in publications and at several international conferences. Adrian also collaborates in image processing as part of a research team from IPN and Universidad La Salle, which is working on the electrical impedance tomography equation.

José Tiberio Hernandez, University of Los Andes

José Tiberio HernandezJosé Tiberio Hernandez is a professor of systems and computing engineering in the School of Engineering at the University of the Andes (UniAndes) and director of the IMAGINE Team. His research interests are focused on visual computing applications and on urban systems. In recent years, he has been involved in applied research on innovation in engineering education. He was formerly dean of the Engineering School at UniAndes and deeply involved in the renovation of the school, an $80-million investment in infrastructure, human capital, and research facilities. Jose obtained his PhD in computing engineering (CAD/CAM) at ENSTA-Paris.

Tony Hey, Microsoft Research Connections

Tony HeyAs vice president in Microsoft Research, Tony Hey is responsible for worldwide university research collaborations with Microsoft researchers. He also directs the multidisciplinary eScience Group within Microsoft Research. Prior to Microsoft, Tony served as director of the UK’s e-Science Initiative, where he oversaw government efforts to build a scientific infrastructure for collaborative, multidisciplinary, data-intensive research. Before that, he led a research group in parallel computing and was head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science and dean of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Southampton. Tony is a fellow of the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering and in 2005 was awarded the rank of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to science. He is a fellow of the British Computer Society, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, the Institute of Physics, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Passionate about communicating the excitement of science, he has co-authored popular books on quantum mechanics and relativity.

Harold Javid, Microsoft Research Connections

Harold JavidHarold Javid is director of the Microsoft Research Connections regional programs for North America, Latin America, and Australia/New Zealand. His team works with the academic research communities in these regions to build rich collaborations, including joint centers in the United States, Brazil, and Chile; faculty summits and other events; and talent development programs such as the Microsoft Research Faculty Fellows program. Harold has a long career in research organizations, working for General Electric, Boeing, and now Microsoft. He has made advances in the application of optimization and computing algorithms in such industries as power, aerospace, and pulp and paper. Harold is the chair of the Industry Advisory Board of the IEEE Computer Society. He received his PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign.

Sing Bing Kang, Microsoft Research

Sing Bing KangSing Bing Kang is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research. His areas of interest are computer vision and computer graphics, specifically image-based modeling along with image and video enhancement. Sing Bing has co-authored two books, Image-Based Rendering and Image-Based Modeling of Plants and Trees, and co-edited two others, Panoramic Vision and Emerging Topics in Computer Vision. He has served as area chair and a member of the technical committee for the major computer vision conferences (ICCV, CVPR, ECCV), and is also a member of the papers committee for SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia. Sing Bing was program chair for ACCV 2007 and CVPR 2009. He is currently associate editor-in-chief for IEEE Transactions on Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence, and was recently elevated to IEEE fellow (class of 2012). He received his PhD in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.

Peter Lee, Microsoft Research

Peter LeePeter Lee is distinguished scientist and managing director of Microsoft Research Redmond. Prior to Microsoft, Peter served at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where he developed and implemented the strategic vision and technical plans for an office that conducted high-risk, high-payoff research projects in computer security, social networking, and supercomputing. Peter was also formerly a professor and head of the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. An active researcher, educator, administrator, and servant to the academic community, Peter’s research contributions lie mainly in software reliability, program analysis, security, and language design. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, a member of the National Research Council’s Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, and former chairman of the board of directors of the Computing Research Association and its government affairs committee. Peter has written two books and authored or co-authored more than 50 refereed papers. He earned his doctorate at the University of Michigan.

Rustan Leino, Microsoft Research

Rustan LeinoRustan Leino is a principal researcher in the Research in Software Engineering (RiSE) group at Microsoft Research, Redmond. He is a leader in building automatic program verifiers and is generally known for his work on programming methods and program verification tools. He has led a number of programming language and verification projects, including Spec# (which extends C# with contracts and was a forerunner of the Code Contracts in Microsoft .NET 4.0), Chalice (for concurrent programs), Dafny (for functional-correctness verification), and, previously, ESC/Java. Rustan is the architect of the Boogie program verification framework, which underlies more than a dozen program verifiers for C, Spec#, and other languages. Before earning his PhD from Caltech in 1995, Rustan designed and wrote object-oriented software as a technical lead in the Windows NT group at Microsoft. He collects thinking puzzles on a popular webpage and has started the Verification Corner video blog on

Rico Malvar, Microsoft Research

Rico MalvarHenrique (Rico) Malvar is a Microsoft distinguished engineer and the chief scientist for Microsoft Research. Before moving to industry, he was a professor of electrical engineering at Universidade de Brasília in his native Brazil. At Microsoft, Rico started a signal processing group that developed such innovative technologies as new media compression formats, microphone array processing technologies, and machine-learning technologies for music identification—all of which became component of Microsoft products. The group also developed the first prototype of the RoundTable videoconferencing device. In addition, Rico was a key architect for the media compression formats WMA and HD Photo/JPEG XR. He received the Technical Achievement Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society in 2002, and was elected a member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2012. He obtained a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Simon Mercer, Microsoft Research

Simon MercerSimon Mercer has a background in zoology and has worked in various aspects of bioinformatics. Having managed the development of the Canadian Bioinformatics Resource, a national life science service-provision network, he later served as director of software engineering at Gene Codes Corporation before moving to the Microsoft Research Connections team in 2005. In his current role as director of health and wellbeing, he manages collaborations between Microsoft and academia in the area of healthcare research. Simon’s interests include bioinformatics, translational medicine, and the management of scientific data.

Jorge Meza Aguilar, Universidad Iberoamericana

Jorge Meza AguilarJorge Meza Aguilar is a full-time professor and head of the Design Department at Universidad Iberoamericana, in Mexico City, where he established the bachelor in interactive design program in 2004. In addition to his academic duties, he works in the fields of strategic design and digital media innovation at his own company, Estrategas Digitales. He earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design followed by a MFA in visual communication and an MSc in systems engineering. He also studied at the Jan Majteko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków and has a PhD in digital arts.

Eduardo F. Morales, National Institute for Astrophysics, Optics, and Electronics

Eduardo MoralesEduardo Morales is a professor and head of the Department of Computer Science of the National Institute for Astrophysics, Optics, and Electronics (INAOE) in Mexico, where his professional interests focus on machine learning and robotics. He has overseen 20 research projects sponsored by different funding agencies and has published more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings. In addition to research positions in Mexico, Eduardo has worked as an invited researcher at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in Palo Alto, California, and as a technical consultant for the The Machine Learning Toolkit European Project at the Turing Institute in Glasgow, Scotland. He serves on the editorial board of Applied Intelligence and is a member of the National Researchers System (SNI) in Mexico and the Academia Mexicana de Informatica (AMIAC), as well as having been named an ACM Distinguished Lecturer for Central and South America. Eduardo received his PhD in computer science from the Turing Institute – University of Strathclyde, in Scotland.

Enrique Morales Méndez, Universidad Panamericana

Enrique Morales MéndezEnrique Morales Méndez is a digital animation engineering student at Universidad Panamericana who loves technology, animation, and audiovisual productions. A proud Mexican, he is eager to help improve Mexico’s image in the world through advances in technology and education, and is thrilled to be part of the winning team that will represent Mexico in the 2012 Imagine Cup finals.

Eduardo Freire Nakamura, Research and Technological Innovation Center

Eduardo NakamuraEduardo Nakamura is a researcher and professor at the Research and Technological Innovation Center, Brazil, and at the Federal University of Amazonas, Brazil. His research interests include data fusion, distributed algorithms, localization algorithms, wireless ad-hoc and sensor networks, and mobile and pervasive computing. He has served as a TCP member for numerous international conferences and as an associate editor of international journals, including IEEE Sensors and the International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks. He received the Latin America Region Young Professional Award, granted by the IEEE LA ComSoc, for his “contribution to the area of wireless sensor networks”; he also received the Brazilian Ministry of Education’s Best PhD Thesis Award in the category of Engineering and Exact and Earth Sciences for his thesis, “Information Fusion for Wireless Sensor Networks.” He earned his PhD in Computer Science from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Andrés Neyem, Catholic University of Chile

Andrés NeyemAndrés Neyem is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. His research interests include mobile computing, software engineering, and computer supported collaborative work, and he has published several papers in conferences proceedings and journals in these research areas. He received his PhD in computer science from the Universidad de Chile.

Miguel Nussbaum, Catholic University of Chile

Miguel NussbaumMiguel Nussbaum is professor of computer science at the School of Engineering of the Universidad Católica de Chile. Since 1995, he has been exploring how to transform the classroom experience with the support of technology. He started by using the Nintendo Game Boy to introduce 1:1 interactions and games in the classroom. In 2001, Miguel began working with wirelessly interconnected Pocket PCs to encourage small-group collaborative learning, and in 2007 he introduced the One Mouse per Child project, which enables 50 schoolchildren to share one screen. Miguel has received support from Microsoft, HP, Intel, Plan Ceibal (Uruguay), UNESCO, and the Inter-American Development Bank for his work in schools in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Guatemala, India, England, the United States, and Uruguay. He has authored 65 publications in journals of the ISI catalog, with more than 1,500 citations in Google Scholar.

Sergio Ochoa, LACCIR

Sergio F. OchoaSergio F. Ochoa is an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Chile. His research interests include computer-supported collaborative work, mobile/pervasive computing, and software engineering. Sergio is a member of IEEE, ACM, and the Chilean Computer Society, and he sits on the steering committee of LACCIR (the Latin American and Caribbean Collaborative ITC Research Federation). He also serves as an IT consultant for a number of public and private organizations in Chile. Sergio received his PhD in computer science from the Catholic University of Chile.

Luis Pineda Cortes, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Luis Pineda CortesLuis Pineda is a titular investigator in the Computer Science Department at Instituto de Investigaciones en Matemáticas Aplicadas y en Sistemas (IIMAS) of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). His research and publications focus on computational linguistics, artificial intelligence, and related disciplines. Luis is also a national investigator in the Mexican System of Research (SNI), a regular member of the Mexican Academy of Science, and currently the coordinator of the Mexican Network for Research and Development in Computer Science (REMIDEC). After earning undergraduate degrees in electronics and computer science, he received his PhD in cognitive science from the University of Edinburgh.

Jim Pinkelman, Microsoft Research Connections

Jim PinkelmanJim Pinkelman is a senior director in Microsoft Research Connections, where he leads the regional collaborations efforts and serves as business manager. He previously led Microsoft’s US academic outreach endeavors to find valuable ways in which Microsoft software and services could be used by technical students and educators, both in and out of the classroom. Prior to joining Microsoft, Jim served in senior technology roles at technology start-up firms in Chicago. In 1999, he co-authored Microsoft OLAP Unleashed, a book on business intelligence, for Macmillan/Sams Publishing. He spent seven years as an officer in the United States Air Force, serving as a project management engineer on space systems. Jim is a member of the Board of Advisors at the University of Washington, Bothell. He is an ABET program evaluator for the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member over the past 15 years, teaching courses in computer programming and statistics. He received a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Jaime Puente, Microsoft Research Connections

Jaime PuenteJaime Puente is a director at Microsoft Research Connections, responsible for engagements in Latin America and the Caribbean. He has been a key contributor to the establishment and operation of two Virtual Research Institutes in Latin America and the Caribbean: the Microsoft Research–FAPESP Institute for ICT Research and the Latin American and Caribbean Collaborative ICT Research Federation (LACCIR). Jaime was a Fulbright Scholar who earned a master’s in computer engineering from Iowa State University, an MBA and an electronics engineering degree from Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL) in Ecuador, and an Ed.S. post-master’s degree from NOVA Southeastern University in Florida. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences at NOVA Southeastern University. His main research interests concern human-computer interactions and the pervasive integration of digital technologies in education. Prior to joining Microsoft Research, Jaime spent 13 years as a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at ESPOL.

Cesar Robles, La Salle University

Cesar RoblesCesar Robles is a member of the Digital Signal Processing group at La Salle University and the Signal and Image Processing unit at IPN. With an academic and research background in cybernetics and computing systems, along with doctoral studies in communications and electronics, Cesar currently works on research in electrical impedance tomography and applied artificial neural networks.

Juliana Salles, Microsoft Research

Juliana SallesJuliana Salles is Microsoft Research Connections’ senior research program manager in Brazil, where she engages with academics to identify globally critical, high-impact research projects. She is currently working on projects that use technology to enable or accelerate knowledge in such areas as tropical environments and their response to climate change, bioenergy, and biodiversity. She is also leading initiatives to attract and retain women in computing in Latin America. Juliana has a PhD in human-computer interaction and since joining Microsoft has worked as a UX researcher for several product teams, including Visual Studio, Windows Live, and Windows Live Mobile. Her interests include user research techniques and methodology and their integration with the software development process.

Christopher R. Stephens, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Christopher R. StephensChris Stephens is a professor at the Center for Complexity Science and the Institute for Nuclear Sciences of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He is also a founding partner of Adaptive Technologies, a research company dedicated to the production of agent-based technologies for dynamic optimization in finance and industry, and he serves on the editorial board of Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines. The author or co-author of more than 100 publications, Chris has presented more than 120 invited lectures and has received the Jorge Lomnitz Prize of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and a Leverhulme Professorship from the Leverhulme Trust. He earned his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Maryland and held several postdoctoral positions, including one at the University of Utrecht, where he worked with Nobel Laureate Gerard ‘t Hooft, and a Marie Curie Fellowship at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Chris has held visiting positions at leading academic institutions, including the Weizmann Institute, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Essex.

Erick Stephens, Microsoft Mexico

Erick StephensAs national technology officer at Microsoft Mexico, Erick Stephens supports policy decision and delivers technologically relevant and scalable solutions into public sector markets in Mexico. His main objectives are to align IT value propositions to public policies in such areas as healthcare, education, the environment, and local social and economic development; and to promote a digital agenda in top policy areas, including innovation, security and privacy, technology neutrality, accessibility, and interoperability. Erick proactively supports the Mexican digital ecosystem as president of South-Center Region at the ICT National Chamber and promotes Internet safety as president of Navega Protegido (a non-profit Internet safety program). Before joining Microsoft, Erick had more than 20 years of IT experience, as both an entrepreneur and IT executive. He holds a degree in computer engineering and an MBA—both from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), and has completed post-graduate courses in e-government at Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and public policies at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) to reinforce his public sector expertise. He also has more than 18 years’ experience as a teacher at ITAM and received ITAM’s Professional Award of Merit in 2007.

Enrique Sucar, National Institute for Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics

Enrique SucarL. Enrique Sucar is director of research at the National Institute for Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics in Puebla, Mexico. His main research interests are in graphical models and probabilistic reasoning, and their applications in computer vision, robotics, and biomedicine. Enrique has been an invited professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada; Imperial College, London; and INRIA, France, and has authored more than 150 publications and directed 15 PhD theses. He is a member of the National Research System and the Mexican Science Academy and is a senior member of the IEEE. In addition, he has served as president of the Mexican AI Society, has been a member of the advisory board of IJCAI, and is an associate editor of the journal Computación y Sistema. He received his PhD in computing from Imperial College, London.

Alexander Szalay, Johns Hopkins University

Alexander SzalayAlexander Szalay is the Alumni Centennial Professor of Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University and a professor in the Department of Computer Science. A cosmologist, he works on the statistical measures of the spatial distribution of galaxies and galaxy formation. He was born and educated in Hungary, and he spent postdoctoral periods at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago before accepting a faculty position at Johns Hopkins. Alex architected the Science Archive of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and was project director of the (US) National Science Foundation-funded National Virtual Observatory. His papers cover areas from theoretical cosmology to observational astronomy, spatial statistics, and computer science. He received an Alexander von Humboldt Prize in Physical Sciences in 2004 and the Microsoft Jim Gray Award in 2007. Alex is a Corresponding Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2008, he became Doctor Honoris Clausa of the Eötvös University.

Stewart Tansley, Microsoft Research Connections

Stewart TansleyStewart Tansley is a director at Microsoft Research Connections, where he is responsible for academic research partnerships related to devices in natural user interactions (NUI). These include cyber-physical systems (CPS) and device-oriented computing (DOC), which embraces such areas as robotics research and sensor networks research. Before joining Microsoft in 2001, he spent 13 years in the telecommunications industry in software research and development, focusing on technology transfer. Stewart has published a variety of papers on robotics for education, artificial intelligence, and network management; he holds several patents and has co-authored a book on software engineering for artificial intelligence applications. In 2009, he co-edited The Fourth Paradigm, a collection of visionary essays on the emerging field of data-intensive science. His recent research interests have centered on social human-robot interaction, robotics as a context for computer science education, sensor networks, and ubiquitous computing. Stewart earned a PhD in artificial intelligence applied to engineering from Britain’s Loughborough University.

Nikolai Tillmann, Microsoft Research

Nikolai TillmannNikolai Tillmann is a principal research software design engineer at Microsoft Research, where he works on combining dynamic and static program analysis techniques. He currently leads the Pex project, a framework for runtime verification and automatic test-case generation for Microsoft .NET applications based on parameterized unit testing and dynamic symbolic execution. He also works on the Spur project, a tracing just-in-time compiler for .NET and JavaScript code. Previously, Nikolai worked on AsmL, an executable modeling language, and the Spec Explorer 2004 model-based testing tool. He co-developed XRT, a concrete/ symbolic state exploration engine and software model-checker for .NET.

Kristin Tolle, Microsoft Research Connections

Kristin TolleKristin Tolle is director of natural interactions in the Microsoft Research Connections team and a clinical associate professor at the University of Washington College of Medicine. Since joining Microsoft, Kristin has acquired numerous patents and worked for several product teams, including the Natural Language Group, Visual Studio, and the Microsoft Office Excel Team. Prior to Microsoft, Kristin was an Oak Ridge Science and Engineering Research Fellow for the National Library of Medicine and a research associate at the University of Arizona Artificial Intelligence Lab, where she managed the group on medical information retrieval and natural language processing. Her research interests include ubiquitous computing, global public health, contextual computing, natural language processing and machine translation, mobile computing, user intent modeling, and information extraction from large heterogeneous data sources. She earned her PhD in the management of information systems with a minor in computational linguistics.

Osman Unsal, Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Osman UnsalOsman Unsal is a senior researcher and member of the management board at the BSC – Microsoft Research Center. Dr. Unsal also co-manages the Computer Architecture for Parallel Paradigms research group at Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Spain. His current research interests include many-core computer architecture, reliability, low-power computing, programming models, and transactional memory. He has published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed conferences and journals, has received four best-paper awards, and holds six issued US patents. He was the coordinator for VELOX, a €5 million European project in transactional memory. Dr. Unsal received the BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Istanbul Technical University (Turkey), Brown University (United States), and University of Massachusetts, Amherst (United States) respectively.

Genoveva Vargas-Solar, Universidad de Las Americas Puebla

Genoveva Vargas-SolarGenoveva Vargas-Solar is a senior researcher at both the Data and Knowledge Management Group at Universidad de las Américas Puebla and the French Council of Scientific Research (CNRS). She is a member of the HADAS group of the Informatics Laboratory of Grenoble, France, and the deputy director of the Franco-Mexican Laboratory of Informatics and Automatic Control. Genoveva’s academic background and research interests span two distinct fields: computer science, where she is focused on distributed and heterogeneous databases, query processing and optimization, and cost-based data management in cloud- and service-based database systems; and literature, where her concerns center on the literature of the Middle Ages and on mythology, particularly criticism and analysis of different myths of origins. Genoveva has coordinated several research projects in Europe and Latin America that were financed by governments and industrial partners. She actively promotes cooperation in computer science between Latin America and Europe, particularly between France and Mexico. She has a PhD in computer science from Joseph Fourier University and a PhD in literature from Stendhal University.

José Enrique Villa-Rivera, National Council of Science and Technology

José Enrique Villa-RiveraJosé Enrique Villa-Rivera, the director general of the National Council of Science and Technology, has extensive experience in leading higher education and scientific and technological research institutions. He formerly served as the director general of the Mexican Petroleum Institute and the National Polytechnic Institute and is the author of numerous books and scientific articles. A member of the American Academy of Engineering, the Mexican Academy of Engineering, and the Association of Petroleum Engineers, he has received numerous distinctions, including honorary doctorates from the National Engineering University of Nicaragua, the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Lyon, and the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, along with awards from the World Intellectual Property Organization, the French Republic, the Guerrero State Congress, and the government of Sinaloa. He has been included five times among the 300 most influential leaders of Mexico. He received his doctorate in petroleum engineering from the National School of Petroleum and Engines of the French Petroleum Institute.

Michael Zyskowski, Microsoft Research Connections

Michael ZyskowskiMichael Zyskowski is the lead program manager in the Microsoft Research Connections engineering team, productizing state-of-the-art technologies for broad consumption by both academic and commercial research. He is currently responsible for leading the engineering effort behind ChronoZoom, a visualization tool for exploring Big Data multimedia mashups, using zoom as the mechanism for travelling through resolutions of time. He is also responsible for the next incarnation of TryF#, a web-based interactive development environment for functional programming.


Microsoft Research: from Basic Research to Technological Innovations

Microsoft Research is a global research organization dedicated to expanding the possibilities of computing. It takes on a wide variety of activities, spanning mission-focused problem solving and technology development to “blue-sky,” curiosity-driven, basic research. The Microsoft Research lab delivers product-focused innovations and at the same time contributes to the broader scientific community by openly publishing basic research results. In this talk, Peter Lee will provide a glimpse into the breadth of research in the lab today and will describe the lab’s strategy for creating high impact for the company and the world. A key part of this approach involves embracing the diversity that is inherent in computing research, using a “quadrant” model that spans short-term to long-term research on one axis and reactive problems to open-ended exploration on the other.

Strengthening Mexico’s Participation in Global Research Networks

The Mexican research community has historically collaborated well with colleagues from different countries, but as research systems have become more internationalized over the past decades, we must redouble our efforts to integrate effectively into the expanding global networks of knowledge. In this context, governments should support the strengthening of national systems along the chain of education-science-technology-innovation, and should facilitate their internationalization through the mobility of students and researchers, the undertaking of joint projects, and the funding of technology based companies. I will describe our efforts at CONACYT, where we are working to support the involvement of Mexican researchers with high-level groups internationally by incorporating programs that provide remote access to instruments, data, computational resources, and large-scale facilities located throughout the world, among other activities.

Information Management via CrowdSourcing

CrowdSourcing uses human intelligence to solve tasks that are simple for humans but difficult for computers. CrowdSourcing can also use humans as sources of valuable information, for example, to exploit the “wisdom of the crowd.” In this talk, I will give an overview of the CrowdSourcing work we are doing in the Stanford InfoLab. In particular, I will describe DeCo, a database system that seamlessly gives access to traditional data as well as to crowd information. I will also describe some crowd algorithms, where a computer orchestrates human tasks that solve a larger problem.

Putting the Cloud in the Palm of Your Hand

Resource poverty is a fundamental constraint that severely limits the type of applications that can be run on mobile devices. This constraint is not just a temporary limitation of current technology; it is intrinsic to mobility. In this talk, I will offer a vision of mobile computing that breaks free of the fundamental constraints, thereby opening up an new world in which mobile computing seamlessly augments the cognitive abilities of users by employing such compute-intensive capabilities as speech recognition, natural language processing, computer vision and graphics, machine learning, augmented reality, planning, and decision-making. By thus empowering mobile users, we could transform many areas of human activity. In this vision, mobile users seamlessly utilize the cloud to obtain resource benefits without incurring delays and jitter, and without worrying about energy. I will highlight challenges we face and solutions we are pursuing, and will describe the successes we are having.

Bringing Theories to Life: Computer Science at Microsoft Research

The future of computer science lies neither in stability or change, but in the interplay between them. Both in terms of theory and in the software that brings the theories to life, there is a need for stability, so that ideas and techniques can become well known and part of the scientific ecosystem. But at the same time, researchers are always striving to push the boundaries and bring about change that reflects the concerns of our time, such as handling big data, ensuring privacy and security, and facilitating mobile computing, as well as unifying previously neglected groups through computer vision, natural user interfaces, and machine translation. In this talk, we explore the advances made by Microsoft Research in the development of new theories, new tools, and new communities in computer science.

Why Software Engineer is the Best Job in 2012

In April, placed software engineer at the top of its rankings of 200 jobs, noting that for software engineers the “pay is great, hiring demand for their skills is through the roof, and working conditions have never been better.” But what do software engineers do in 2012? From developing new tools for verifying software, to assisting product groups in coping with bugs and big data, to securing applications on mobile phones, there is a huge variety in software engineering jobs. In this talk, we’ll give an overview of the tasks that software engineers at Microsoft Research tackle, and how we are driving the future of this field.

Kinect for Windows – an Update for Researchers

Kinect has changed the way people play games and experience entertainment. Now, Kinect for Windows offers the potential to transform how people interact with computers and Windows-embedded devices in multiple industries, including education, healthcare, retail, transportation, and beyond. The February 2012 release of the Kinect for Windows sensor and software development kit (SDK) for commercial applications opens up the limitless possibilities offered by Kinect technology, following the preview release from Microsoft Research last spring. Kinect for Windows supports applications built with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. The latest Kinect for Windows SDK version 1 offers “near mode,” improved skeletal tracking, enhanced speech recognition, modified API, and the ability to support up to four Kinect for Windows sensors plugged into one computer.

eResearch: Surveying the State of the Art

Data-intensive research is a fast-evolving activity across a variety of fields. As much as it has changed in the past few years, expected advances in the coming years are even more commanding. This talk will map the current and near-term landscape by walking through the eResearch lifecycle— from data collection, to authoring, to publication/dissemination, and through to archiving and preservation. Specific industry and academic examples from around the world and across the community will be highlighted, as will be select contributions from Microsoft and Microsoft Research.

Teaching a Robot How to Perform New Tasks

The use of service robots is rapidly expanding and soon will become part of everyday life. To personalize their functions, service robots will need to learn new tasks according to the preferences of the users, who will have to teach them in natural and accessible ways. In this talk, we will show how to teach a robot a new task using simple demonstrations and voice feedback. We consider three demonstrations modes: (1) controlling the robot with a joystick, (2) instructing the robot by voice, and (3) executing the task while the robot is watching with a Kinect sensor. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is shown on simulation and with real robots performing simple navigation and for pick-and-place tasks.

The Future of Software Engineering on Mobile Devices

The world is experiencing a technology shift. In 2012, touchscreen-based mobile devices, namely smartphones and tablets, will outsell desktops, laptops, and netbooks combined. Powerful, easy-to-use smartphones are likely to be the first and, especially in developing countries, possibly the only computing devices that virtually everyone will own and carry at all times. Is it possible to develop new software directly on these mobile devices, without using a PC? What would a user interface for such a new development model look like? We will present a new tool from Microsoft Research, TouchDevelop that tries to address these questions. TouchDevelop is an application-creation environment that runs on the smartphone itself—no separate PC required. Its programming language and code editor have been built from scratch around the idea that all code is entered via a touchscreen, without a keyboard. We will report on how TouchDevelop is being used today by thousands of people.

The World of Multi-Mouse

Computers have proved a boon in education, but cash-strapped schools struggle to provide PCs. In this presentation, we address the question of how to get the same benefits of active participation and personal feedback that a computer provides at a cost of just a dollar per child per year. The answer is an “Interpersonal Computer,” in our case consisting of a PC, a projector, and a mouse for each child participating in the activity. We show how we can teach math and language, using a personal and a collaborative approach, and analyze the value of games.

E-CLOUDSS: Building e-Government Clouds Using Distributed Semantic Services

Cloud computing is facilitating unlimited access to the computing and storage resources needed to build applications. The underlying infrastructure manages such resources transparently, without demanding the application manage or reserve more resources than those it really requires. Therefore, database management systems have exploded into cloud services that must be tuned and composed for efficiently and cost-effectively managing, querying, and exploiting huge data sets. In this talk, we will address a querying approach that consists of composing services that provide data and data management functions (aggregation, storage, refreshment). We will discuss how query processing is tuned with respect to the cost of accessing data and services, the cost of using cloud resources for executing the query, and the mashing up of results according to quality dimensions of completeness, data provenance, and data freshness. We will examine how this approach has provided solutions for e-government applications that integrate services from different countries.

Rethinking Computer Architecture: Research at BSC-Microsoft Research Centre

Looking at the last 10 years, we see a shift towards multi- and many-core processors. In the 1990s, processor manufacturers were designing monolithic single-core processors and were struggling to increase the performance through hardware design complexity that increased power consumption beyond acceptable ranges. To deal with power-density problems of single complex cores, processor manufacturers started putting more cores on chip with each new technology generation, doubling the number of cores. To realize the potential of these additional cores requires parallel programming experts because it is very-difficult to program these multiple processors by using current hardware and software. This problem led many to ponder if a programmer-productivity wall is looming in the future. How to design multi-core processors to make them more effective and easier to program is a challenge for computer architects. The vision of the BSC-Microsoft Research Centre is of a top-down computer architecture approach in which software requirements drive the hardware innovation forward rather than letting the hardware design condition software development. With this perspective in mind, computer architecture experts at BSC have teamed up with computer scientists at Microsoft Research to look for innovative solutions to the challenges and opportunities that massively parallel processing represents. This talk highlights our research in top-down computer architecture, with special emphasis on handheld/datacenter application analysis, hardware-support for synchronization and language runtime systems, and programming model hardware interaction.

Data Mining and Its Importance in the 21st Century

We are currently generating data at unprecedented rates, much more than can be analyzed “manually.” Discovering useful, actionable knowledge in this data presents enormous challenges. In this talk, I will review some of the principal problems of trying to use electronic data to better understand the world and, in particular, how to understand and model complex adaptive phenomena, such as diseases or financial markets, through data mining. Such phenomena depend on a myriad of factors, from the micro to the macro, and are both highly dynamic and spatially heterogeneous. I will discuss the challenges these characteristics present.

Discrete Compactness and Its Applications

In this talk, we will present a measure of compactness for two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) shapes composed, respectively, of pixels and voxels. We will demonstrate the ease of computation, which uses only one equation, and we will show how this proposed measure makes it possible to compute the compactness of any kind of object, including porous and fragmented ones. We will demonstrate this by calculating the measures of discrete compactness of different objects, and we will present potential applications of the proposed measure of discrete compactness.

Engineering Methods for Ensuring Program Correctness

Common engineering practices today use testing to ensure the quality of software. But relying solely on testing has several well-known drawbacks, such as only testing the program for the given inputs and applying tests only after the entire program has been developed. An idealistic, long-standing dream has been to formally verify the correctness of program, for all inputs. Is there some reality in that dream? In this talk, I present Dafny, a state-of-the-art tool for program verification. Dafny has been used to verify the full correctness of some challenging algorithms. It was used by two medalist teams in the VSTTE 2012 program verification competition and is being used in teaching. Through demos of this research prototype, I will show the vision for how a program verifier can help during software development.

Microsoft SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse – Architecture Overview

In this talk, I will present an architectural overview of the SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse DBMS system. PDW is a massively parallel-processing, share-nothing, scaled-out version of SQL Server for DW workloads. The product is packaged as a database appliance built on industry-standard hardware.

LiveANDES: A Software Platform to Share and Analyze Information for Wildlife Conservation

LiveANDES (Advanced Network for Distribution of Endangered Species) provides a software platform where users can upload, visualize, and share wildlife data, helping to create a global conservation community in the Americas. Currently, LiveANDES covers all terrestrial vertebrates of Chile, displaying a database searchable by ecological, administrative, and protected areas. It empowers citizen scientists, enabling them to share data that helps map the presence and distribution of endangered species—information that is vital to assessing their conservation status. In this talk, we will cover the technological underpinnings of LiveANDES, including its web solution based on Microsoft .NET technologies and its mobile implementations for Windows Phone and Android devices. We will also cover our plans to migrate the platform to the cloud using Windows Azure, thereby creating a mobile, cloud-shared space for wildlife conservation, and our goal of adding Bolivian and North American libraries and regions for data-sharing and mapping.

Using Sensor Networks to Classify Frogs Based on Their Calls

Anurans (frogs and toads) are commonly used by biologists as bioindicators of the early stages of ecological stress. Unfortunately, most current monitoring methods are intrusive and error prone. By using sensor networks, we can automatically classify anuran calls and determine the species in a target site, thereby acquiring relevant and accurate data about the environment in a less intrusive way. Our research aims at using signal processing and machine learning techniques to classify anuran calls as a tool to continuously monitor the environment, allowing us to find correlations between destabilizing events, such as fire, flooding, and deforestation, and the anuran population in a given observation site.

Probabilistic Graphical Models: Applications in Biomedicine

Probabilistic graphical models include a variety of techniques based on probability and decision theory—techniques that give us a theoretically well-founded basis for making decisions under conditions of uncertainty and to solve complex problems efficiently. Over the last year, these methods have been used in a great variety of applications, from medical expert systems to intelligent user interfaces. In this talk, I will give a general introduction to probabilistic graphical models and describe some of the most popular ones, such as Bayesian networks and Markov decision processes. Then I will demonstrate their application in three complex problems in biomedicine: (1) helping a physician guide an endoscope in the colon, (2) modeling the evolutionary networks of HIV, and (3) adapting a stroke rehabilitation system for the patient.

Experiences in Software Engineering

Over the past last two and one-half years, the engineering team within Microsoft Research Connections has shipped 15 exciting software products for academics and researchers, including Microsoft Translator Hub, ChronoZoom, Layerscape, Try F#, Hawaii, .NET Bio, and the Chemistry Add-in for Word. How does a team of eight full-time Microsoft engineers consistently deliver great software for academics? What lessons have they learned in the process? Join us for this interactive talk to find out.

Specialized Machine Translation Using the Microsoft Translator Hub – Customized Models for Language Preservation and Domain Specific Deployment

This talk will provide an overview of an enhancement that enables the Microsoft Translator to provide targeted and customizable translation systems. This new system, called the Microsoft Translator Hub, enables personalized, private, and/or crowdsourced translation models to be independently built by companies, communities, and language preservationists. By way of example, this talk will also cover the recent release of Hmong Daw—the first language to be empowered by the Microsoft Translator Hub—including the lessons learned during the Hmong community’s pre-release and post-release usage of the tool for language preservation purposes.

Big Data and the Cloud Phenomenon

Big data and cloud computing are two of the hottest areas in computer science research. In this talk, we will cover the architecture design patterns and research challenges involved in building large, linearly scalable systems.

The Golem Project: a Laboratory for the Construction of Service Robots

A service robot is a system with inferential, perceptual, and action capabilities oriented to assist people with diverse daily living tasks. In this talk, we will present an overview of the conceptual framework and methodology that went into the construction of the Golem series of service robots, which were developed over the last few years by the Golem group at IIMAS, UNAM. We will discuss the current state of the technology, highlighting the kinds of advances that are required for service robots to perform well in the RoboCup competition, especially in the @Home category. The talk will conclude with two reflections: one about the value of service robots in practical settings, and the other about the construction of service robots as a case study of technological development in the Latin American context.

Moving the Needle and Growing Women in Computing in Latin America

Learn about pilot programs launched in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico to expand the numbers and influence of women in computing. These programs are supported by Microsoft Research Connections Latin America Women in Computing Call for Proposals. Learn about the programs’ goals and progress to date, and hear about what’s worked and what hasn’t. Join the discussion and provide ideas on how we can make a difference in growing women in computing in Latin America, and learn about opportunities to apply for a similar program in the future.

Deep Neural Networks for Speech and Image Processing

Neural networks are experiencing a renaissance, thanks to a new mathematical formulation, known as restricted Boltzmann machines, and the availability of powerful GPUs and increased processing power. Unlike past neural networks, these new ones can have many layers and thus are called “deep neural networks”; and because they are a machine learning technique, the technology is also known as “deep learning.” In this talk I’ll describe this new formulation and its signal-processing application in such fields as speech recognition and image recognition. In all these applications, deep neural networks have resulted in significant reductions in error rate. This success has sparked great interest from computer scientists, who are also eager to learn from neuroscientists how neurons in the brain work.

Using Computer Vision for Graphics

Creating compelling-looking content using conventional graphics techniques is often laborious and requires significant artistry and experience. Over the past few years, I have been looking into how this content-creation process can be simplified through using computer vision techniques. In this talk, I will describe a variety of projects undertaken with this goal in mind, discussing how computer vision techniques can be used to simplify animations of Chinese paintings by analyzing brush strokes; to generate free-viewpoint videos from a small number of cameras; to produce 3-D models of plants and trees from images; and to personalize automatic enhancements of photographs.

Advancing Environmental Understanding: the Role of eScience

Our understanding of the world around us is evolving, and with evolution comes the need for adaptation. Environmental scientific research increasingly has to adapt—from dealing with increasingly large and growing datasets, to trying to credibly inform the public and policy makers. There is a need to have new types of applications grounded in scientific research to move from raw discovery, to knowledge, to informing practical decisions. Understanding environmental changes from the levels of neighborhoods, to regions, to the globe is the focus of scientific study and policy decisions. Technology reinforced by computing is demonstrating the capacity to improve our environmental understanding.

Driving Innovation Through the Microsoft Research Advanced Technology Labs

Microsoft Research is the leading global research organization in computing. In addition to its core research laboratories, Microsoft Research has several Advanced Technology Labs (ATLs), which focus on driving innovation through advanced technology projects with high impact on Microsoft’s business and on industry at large. ATL projects are broad and involve collaborations with the core Microsoft Research labs, industrial and academic partners, and governmental institutions. In this talk, we present an overview of the ATL labs, their strategic directions, and examples of their core projects.

Data-Intensive Discoveries in Science: the Fourth Paradigm

Scientific computing increasingly revolves around massive amounts of data. From physical sciences, to numerical simulations, to high throughput genomics and homeland security, we are quickly dealing with petabytes if not exabytes of data. This new, data-centric computing requires a fresh look at computing architectures and strategies. We will revisit Amdahl’s Law establishing the relation between CPU and I/O in a balanced computer system, using this to analyze current computing architectures and workloads. We will discuss how existing hardware can be used to build systems that are much closer to an ideal Amdahl machine, and we will describe a hypothetical cheap, yet high performance, multi-petabyte system currently under consideration at Johns Hopkins. We will also explore strategies of interacting with very large amounts of data, and compare various large-scale data analysis platforms.

LACCIR: Results, Thoughts, and Opportunities

Since May 2007, the LACCIR Federation has been promoting collaborative research activities focused in ICT applications among Latin American and Caribbean researchers. This joint research work has allowed the development of innovative ICT solutions to address region-wide challenges in such areas as education, healthcare, environment, energy, and e-government. This presentation will provide an up-to-date account of LACCIR results and will highlight future opportunities for ICT research in the region. During the presentation, we will also announce the RFP (request for proposal) process for the 2012 LACCIR collaborative research programs.


Booth #1: Cliplets: Juxtaposing Still and Dynamic Imagery

Presenter: Sing Bing Kang, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research, United States

A still photograph is a limited format for capturing events that span an interval of time. Video is the traditional method for recording durations of time, but the subjective “moment” that one desires to capture is often lost in the chaos of the shaky camerawork, the irrelevant background clutter, and the intrusive noise that dominates most casually recorded video clips. To address these shortcomings, we have created an interactive app that uses semi-automated methods to let users perform spatiotemporal compositing and editing on video-clip input. Our work thus provides a creative tool that allows users to focus on the important aspects of the moment by creating “cliplets”—a type of imagery that sits between stills and video.

Booth #2: FetchClimate! Building a Geographical Web Service

Presenter: Harold Javid, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

A huge amount of climate and other geographic data is available, covering Earth’s entire surface. But even experts find it difficult to extract desired information from these data, as they labor to locate data sets, negotiate permissions, download huge files, comprehend file formats, understand yet another library, filter, interpolate, and regrid. Enter FetchClimate, an intelligent, scalable, Windows Azure-based climate-data-retrieval service. FetchClimate regrids to any resolution, from global to a few kilometers, for any range of years from 1900 to 2010, for days within a year, and for hours within a day. It also selects the best data source for your question and returns the answer, with the level of uncertainty and the origin of the data. And FetchClimate is easy: Use it in a browser through a Silverlight/Bing Maps UI; or programmatically, using a .NET library or an F# dynamic type provider; or via a command prompt. FetchClimate illustrates how Microsoft tools can democratize and transform interaction with geographic information.

Booth #3: The Universe at Your Fingertips

Presenter: Dean Guo, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a well-known virtual telescope that you can use to explore the Earth, our solar system, and the vastness of space. In this demonstration, we will show a prototype integration of how to use the gestural and voice interface of Kinect for Windows to control WorldWide Telescope. We will travel through three dimensions as well as time, visualizing multiple layers of location and time-based data.

Booth #4: Layerscape

Presenter: Derick Campbell, Director of Engineering, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

A free, online service for creating and sharing powerful visualizations of rich, three-dimensional scientific datasets. Layerscape transforms your data into information by combining freedom of perspective with spatial/temporal rendering and playback. Users can create and share 3-D virtual tours based on their discoveries and collaborate with the science community in ways that previously seemed impossible.

Booth #5: Layerscape Applications in Earth Sciences


  • Adrian Hernandez, Program Manager, Microsoft Research Connections, Mexico
  • Israel Espinosa, Universidad La Salle, Mexico
  • Cesar Robles, Universidad La Salle, Mexico

Earthquakes have devastated cities around the world, demonstrating the need for tools to warn at-risk populations. Enter Layerscape, which can help to visually identify temblors and seismically active zones. Using Layerscape visualizations, seismologists have analyzed where to locate seismic sensing stations in order to increase the time between the launch of the alert and the arrival time of the disaster, proposing two evolutionary computation techniques to maximize the warning time. In a second study, Layerscape visualizations assisted in creating a seismic alert system based upon artificial neural networks and trained by using well-known back-propagation and genetic algorithms—a system that can warn the population of a specific city about an eminent earthquake greater than 4.5 on the Richter scale.

Booth #6: ChronoZoom: an Infinite Canvas for Exploring All of Time

Presenter: Michael Zyskowski, Lead Program Manager, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

Embark on a voyage through time, infinitely scalable from the Big Bang to today, exploring a master timeline of the cosmos, Earth, life, and human experience. By unifying a wide variety of data and historical perspectives, ChronoZoom provides a framework for examining historical events, trends, and themes, and helps bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences. ChronoZoom enables researchers, educators, and students to synthesize knowledge from different studies of history, specialized timelines, and media resources—all courtesy of the cloud. This platform for research and learning allows users to develop a broad understanding of how the past has unfolded and helps them discover unexpected relationships and historical convergences that explain the sweep of Big History. In honor of the Latin American Faculty Summit, this demo will unveil the latest addition to the ChronoZoom timeline: the history of the Mayan culture.

Booth #7: Kinect for Windows

Presenter: Stewart Tansley, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

Kinect has changed the way people play games and experience entertainment. Now, Kinect for Windows offers the potential to transform how people interact with computers and Windows-embedded devices in multiple industries, including education, healthcare, retail, and transportation. The release of the Kinect for Windows sensor and software development kit (SDK) for commercial applications opens up the limitless possibilities offered by Kinect technology. Together, the hardware and software offer a superior development platform for Windows and a higher quality, better performing experience for end users. Kinect for Windows supports applications built with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. The newly released Kinect for Windows SDK version 1 offers “near mode,” improved skeletal tracking, enhanced speech recognition, modified API, and the ability to support up to four Kinect for Windows sensors plugged into one computer.

Booth #8: KIWI (Kinect & Windows Interactive Education)


  • Enrique Morales Méndez, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico
  • Ernesto Galindo Rojo, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico

KIWI is a platform that helps to both diagnose and treat ADD. It consists of educational software and exercises that we call challenges, along with software that helps developers, doctors, and teachers create and personalize applications and challenges using an SDK and a VDE that simplify the process. KIWI will also let parents, teachers, and doctors share vital information through our website. As a result, Kiwi is a complete ADD treatment platform that lets care providers track a child’s progress and personalize challenges while enabling developers to create new challenges that will enhance the treatment.

Booth #9: IT Design and Innovation for Social Needs – BRAIN

Presenter: Jorge Meza, Head of the Design Department, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico

Problems are becoming ever more complex, with solutions that require true collaborative efforts. The Design Department at Universidad Iberoamericana has been encouraging out-of-the-box thinking, providing new learning models for innovation processes, with the help of Microsoft. During a one-semester interdisciplinary course, design students work on new business, product, or service ideas, employing user-centered research, design thinking, and conceptual prototyping to develop systematic, holistic, technological and strategic design solutions for local problems. These projects have been very successful in addressing the complex needs of Mexican users who come from diverse economic, social, and cultural backgrounds. We will present one such recent project: “Brain,” the winner of the 2011 Imagine Cup Mexico. Brain is a system that supports the cognitive and intellectual development of children living in shelters, whose education has been disrupted due to natural disasters.

Booth #10: TryF#: Functional Programming and Much More in a Browser

Presenter: Judith Bishop, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

F# is a modern functional language that integrates object-oriented and parallel programming in .NET. With it, you can solve complex problems simply. TryF# is a browser-based tool for running F# programs on any platform—Windows, Mac, and Linux—before you start with Visual Studio. TryF# includes F# tutorials and all you need to get going with this exciting language.

Booth #11: Dafny: a Programming Language and Program Verifier

Presenter: Rustin Leino, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research, United States

This demo shows the Dafny program verifier, which runs in the background in Visual Studio while you edit your program, flagging semantic errors like precondition violations and index out-of-bounds errors. With Dafny, you can even specify and verify the full functional correctness of a program. Come and see this tool in action, along with its sister tools for C or concurrency.

Booth #12: TouchDevelop—End-User Programming on Mobile Devices

Presenter: Nikolai Tillmann, Principal, RSDE, Microsoft Research, United States

TouchDevelop embraces the ongoing technology shift toward using smartphones for everyday computing tasks. Never before have such incredibly powerful and versatile mobile computing devices been so readily available and broadly adopted. TouchDevelop is a new mobile development environment that enables anyone with a Windows Phone to create new apps directly on their smartphone. At the core is a new mobile programming language and editor that was designed to use the touchscreen as the input device. Programs written in TouchDevelop can take advantage of the smartphone’s computing power and all of the phone’s sensors, including GPS, cameras, accelerometer, gyroscope, and stored personal data, such as contacts, songs, and pictures. Thousands of users are already writing TouchDevelop programs for fun, and for students in particular, programming on mobile devices promises to be an engaging experience.

Booth #13: Microsoft Translator Hub: Machine Translation by Everyone and for Everyone

Presenter: Kristin Tolle, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

Microsoft Translator Hub implements a self-service model for building a highly customized, automatic translation service between any two languages. Microsoft Translator Hub empowers language communities, service providers, and corporations to create automatic translation systems, allowing speakers of one language to share and access knowledge with speakers of any other language. By enabling translation into languages that aren’t supported by today’s mainstream translation engines, Microsoft Translator Hub also helps keep less widely spoken languages vibrant and in use for future generations. This Windows Azure-based service allows users to upload language data for custom training and then build and deploy custom translation models. These machine translation services are accessible using the Microsoft Translator APIs or a webpage widget.

Booth #14: Microsoft Academic Search: Next-Generation Scholarly Discovery

Presenter: Lee Dirks, Director of Portfolio, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

Microsoft Research is actively developing a novel academic search service called Microsoft Academic Search (MAS). Built for researchers by researchers, MAS includes data collected from millions of papers across multiple academic domains, and has, over the past 18 months, undergone a massive expansion and upgrade. In addition to expanding its breadth to include all academic domains—more than100 million papers have been secured via publishers and open access repositories from around the world–MSA now provides rich, customizable author profile pages, a number of innovative visualization tools, and even an open API available to the community. This booth will include an introduction to MSA with specific, in-depth demonstrations of the site’s features and functionality.

Booth #15: .NET Bio 1.01—an Open-Source Library for Bioinformatics

Presenter: Simon Mercer, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

.NET Bio is a language-neutral, cross-platform bioinformatics toolkit that was built as an extension to the Microsoft .NET framework. Developed to facilitate genomics research, it implements a range of parsers for common bioinformatics file formats; a range of algorithms for manipulating DNA, RNA, and protein sequences; and a set of connectors to biological web services such as NCBI BLAST. It is available under the Apache 2.0 open-source license: binaries, source code, demo applications, and documentation are free to download.

Booth #16: Live ANDES: Citizen-Science Tool for Recording Biodiversity in the Americas


  • Cristián Bonacic, Professor, Catholic University of Chile, Chile
  • Andrés Neyem, Professor, Catholic University of Chile, Chile

Live ANDES (Advanced Network for the Distribution of Endangered Species) is an application that seeks to advance wildlife conservation in the Americas by promoting citizen science. It provides a platform for mapping the distribution of endangered species by ecosystems, biomes, countries, regions, protected zones, and customized study areas. Live ANDES makes it easy for users to upload sightings and share information, employing web-map visualizations to allow open access to biodiversity data.

Booth #17: Web Tools for Visualization of Academic Digital Ecosystems, a Zentity Approach

Presenter: Camilo Acosta, All Robotics, Colombia

A local academic search platform can provide universities and other institutions with the means to understand and analyze the vital signs of the research and quality assurance processes. This demo will depict a clear example of how this could be tailored to different requirements and hints at the need for a common virtual framework for a science and technology platform in Latin America.