Last week, Microsoft Research celebrated the opening of it’s newest lab – Microsoft Research New England with a day-long symposium at MIT on the intersection of computer science and the social sciences. You can now review the symposium individual sessions online.
There were some excellent content presented at the event including:
- Computer Science Is Everywhere
- Erik Demaine, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
- Understanding Socio-Technical Phenomena in a Web 2.0 Era
- Danah Boyd, Fellow, Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society
- Designing Experience/The Experience of Design
- Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research
- The Changing Role of Research Universities and Industrial and National Laboratories in the 21st Century
- Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
Dr HUA Xian-Sheng, a lead reseacher from the Internet Media Group (Microsoft Research Asia) was awarded the 2008 MIT Technology Review Young Innovator prize. This award is given in recognition of Hua’s work in the content-based video analysis.
The amount of video on the Web is growing at an incredible rate. Effectively searching online video, however, remains difficult.
Hua hopes to crack the problem by teaching computers to recognize objects, scenes, events, and other elements of digital images. He uses machine-learning techniques and annotated videos to train computers to automatically categorize new videos. Click here to view a flowchart explaining Hua’s video search system.
Rick Rashid (Senior VP, MS Research) announced a new Microsoft Research lab based in Cambridge, MA. Microsoft Research New England, (MSRNE) will be opened in July 2008. This new lab will have the opportunity for sustained engagements with the great educational institutions in the Boston area, in particular MIT and Harvard.
Among the MSRNE’s management team are Jennifer Chayes (Managing Director) and Christian Borgs (Deputy Managing Director).
“MSR New England will pursue new interdisciplinary areas of research that bring together theoretical computer scientists and social scientists to better understand, model and enable the computing and online experiences of the future. In particular, we plan to hire economists to help us understand how people value things, psychologists to understand why and how people make certain choices, and sociologists to understand how they interact. We hope that our social scientists will collaborate with our theoretical computer scientists to model and develop algorithms to facilitate these interactions, thereby suggesting new business models, as well as improving the quality of our customers’ online experiences. Of course, the research in the lab will extend far beyond this, since great researchers always do unexpected things!”
UPDATE [6 Feb 08]: Microsoft Research to Open New Doors for Scientists in Cambridge, Mass. (Microsoft Press Release)