University of Edinburgh Microsoft Research Joint Initiative in Informatics

Established: October 5, 2011


Jelte Meuse, Anastasis Georgoulas, Andy Gordon, Miltiadis Allamanis and Jinli Hu

Pictured left to right: Jelte Meuse, Anastasis Georgoulas, Andy Gordon, Miltiadis Allamanis and Jinli Hu

The joint initiative celebrates and consolidates research ties between the School of Informatics of the University of Edinburgh, and Microsoft Research, through the annual award of studentships to up to four PhD scholars within the Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship programme.

The initiative was launched October 5, 2011, at a meeting between Professor Sir Tim O’Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, and Rick Rashid, Chief Research Officer, Microsoft Research.

The convenor of the initiative is Andy Gordon, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge, and Professor of Computer Security, University of Edinburgh.

Twenty one PhD students participated in the initiative, which consisted of six annual cohorts of PhD students.

Coverage of the Launch of the Initiative


September 2017 Cohort

Programmable Single-Cell Biocomputers with Scalable Signal Processing Capacity
Supervisor: Baojun Wang
MSR Supervisor: Neil Dalchau
Student: Yiyu Xiang

Improving the usability of TLS APIs
Supervisor: Kami Vaniea
MSR Supervisor: Antoine Delignat-Lavaud
Student: Mohammad Tahaei

Towards Ethical Development of Symbiotic Human-Machine Systems; creating ethical frameworks and solutions
Supervisor: Ewa Luger
MSR Supervisor: Richard Banks
Student: Sarah Bennett

September 2016 Cohort

Christian RauchDense Visual Tracking for Active Manipulation
Supervisor: Maurice Fallon
MSR Supervisor: Jamie Shotton
Student: Christian Rauch


Antonios Katsarakis Rack-Scale Interconnect Fabrics for Disaggregated Memory
Supervisor: Boris Grot
MSR Supervisor: Paolo Costa
Student: Antonios Katsarakis


Eirini Vlassi Pandi Reducing the Annotation Tax of Programming Language Types Using Machine Learning and Big Code
Supervisor: Charles Sutton
MSR Supervisor: Andy Gordon
Student: Eirini Vlassi Pandi

September 2015 Cohort

patric-fulopFormal Decompositions of Strongly Coupled Systems
Supervisor: Vincent Danos
MSR Supervisor: Boyan Yordanoff
Student: Patric Fulop

Self-Optimising Internet Services
Supervisor: Hugh Leather
MSR Supervisor: Flavio Junqueira
Student: Chad Verbowski

chris-perivolaropoulosSystem-Level Support for Persistent Memory
Supervisor: Stratis Viglas
MSR Supervisor: Aleksandar Dragojevic
Student: Christos Perivolaropoulos

September 2014 Cohort

The following selection was announced in February 2014

Vision as Inverse Graphics
Supervisor: Christopher Williams
MSR Supervisor: Pushmeet Kohli
Student: Lukasz Romaszko


TypeScript: The Next Generation
Supervisor: Philip Wadler
MSR Supervisor: Andy Gordon (acting)
Student: John Williams


SMT for nonlinear constraints with application to computational biology
Supervisor: Paul Jackson
MSR Supervisor: Christoph Wintersteiger
Student: Kristjan Liiva


Formal Language Support for Ecological Modelling
Supervisor: Jane Hillston
MSR Supervisor: Matthew Smith
Student: Ludovica Luisa Vissat

September 2013 Cohort

The following selection was announced in December 2012, and the students are starting September 2013, or later.

Paul-Jules MicoletPerformance Portability for Large-Scale Heterogeneous Systems
Supervisor: Christophe Dubach
MSR Supervisor: Ant Rowstron
Student: Paul-Jules Micolet (web)


Provenance for Configuration Language Security
Supervisor: James Cheney
MSR Supervisor: Dimitrios Vytiniotis
Student: Weili Fu (web)


Marcin SzymczakBayesian Probabilistic Programming for Security
Supervisor: David Aspinall
MSR Supervisor: Andy Gordon
Student: Marcin Szymczak (web)


Solving the Problem of Cascading Costs: Better Approximate Bayesian Inference for Data Pipelines
Supervisor: Iain Murray
MSR Supervisor: John Winn
Student: Georgios Papamakarios (web)

September 2012 Cohort

The following selection was announced by Rick Rashid, Chief Research Officer, Microsoft Research, during the launch of the initiative on October 5, 2011, and the students started their PhD course in September 2012.

Jinli HuMachine Learning Markets
Supervisor: Amos Storkey, University of Edinburgh
MSR Supervisors: Peter Key, Thore Graepel
Student: Jinli Hu (web)


Miltiadis AllamanisStatistical Language Processing for Programming Language Text
Supervisor: Charles Sutton, University of Edinburgh
MSR Supervisors: Andy Gordon, Thore Graepel
Student: Miltiadis Allamanis (web)


Machine Learning Methods for Formal Dynamical Systems: a Systems Biology Case Study
Supervisor: Jane Hillston (web)/Guido Sanguinetti (web), University of Edinburgh
MSR Supervisors: Luca Cardelli, Andrew Phillips
Student: Anastasis Georgoulas (web)


Fabian NagelHolistic Evaluation in LINQ
Supervisor: Stratis Viglas, University of Edinburgh
MSR Supervisor: Gavin Bierman
Student: Fabian Nagel (web)