Research.Microsoft.Com Refreshed

Over the weekend, the Microsoft Research website was given a new coat of paint. The new home page features a cleaner information layout and two Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) researchers interviews with Drs. Guo Baining and Zhang Dongmei.

  • Dr Guo Baining (Interview: Microsoft Research Asia’s Guo Discusses the Future of Graphics) is a computer graphics researcher and also the Assistant Managing Director of the Beijing lab. In his interview, he shared about his passion for geometrical modeling which led him into computer graphics, his Microsoft Research experience and also discussed Internet Graphics group future research directions.

Congratulations to the 2008 Singapore and Australia Microsoft Research Asia Fellows

Zhang Yantao - 2008 MSRA Fellow from NUS
Zheng Yantao (NUS) received the 2008 Fellowship Award from Hon Hsiao-Wuen (MD, MSRA) during the Singapore 21st Century Computing Conference. Dr Su Guaning (NTU) and Prof Tan Eng Chye (NUS) witnessed the ceremony.

This years 4 winners from Singapore and Australia top universities received the Microsoft Research Asia Fellowship award after undergone a highly competitive and stringent process. These students received an open internship invitation to Microsoft Research Asia, a cash award and a commemorative plaque.



Congratulation to ALL our 2008 MSRA Fellowship winners across Asia Pacific.

Using Computer Science Theories to Fight HIV: Rick Rashid


Last week in Singapore, Rick Rashid, Microsoft Senior Vice-President (Research) highlighted how computer science theories (and not just computers) are increasing scientists’ arsenal to fight the HIV virus. Below is an extract from the interview “Microsoft takes computer science into fight against HIV“.

Computer science is giving scientists new ways to look at the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), perspectives that may help efforts to develop an effective vaccine and other medicines, according to the head of Microsoft’s research arm.

“It’s really focused on new ways of thinking about how to describe and analyze systemic activities within a cell,” said Rick Rashid, “Computer science theory, especially computer science languages, can actually be used to describe cell processes, and then the mathematics that we use to analyse programs can also be applied to analyse cell activities because there’s an underlying mathematical relationship,” Rashid said.

“It’s opening up peoples minds to how computers can help them, not just to do their work better, but how the underlying theory and underlying computer science changes the way they look at their problems,” he said.

Since 2005, Microsoft has sought to apply machine-learning techniques, including technology used in spam and antivirus filters, to AIDS research. The goal is to find genetic patterns in HIV that can be used to “train” the human immune system to fight the virus. In particular, Microsoft has looked for ways to track how HIV mutates to evade the human immune system.

“The idea is that because the genome is basically digital, it can be described as a string and analyzed as a string. It opens up an opportunity to think about a lot of problems in that space as data mining or machine-learning problems,” Rashid said.

My signed copy of the Singapore 21CCC conference book

Organising the 21st Century Computing Conference is the largest event I have ever been personally involved. It is a honour to be part of the team that brought the Asia lab’s flagship conference to Singapore. To commemorate this special event, I asked all the speakers to autograph my conference book.

Conference Book at Singapore Computing in the 21st Century, Microsoft Research Asia
Rick Rashid at Singapore Computing in the 21st Century, Microsoft Research Asia
Raj Reddy at at Singapore Computing in the 21st Century, Microsoft Research Asia
Tony Hoare at Singapore Computing in the 21st Century, Microsoft Research Asia
Hsiao-Wuen Hon at Singapore Computing in the 21st Century, Microsoft Research Asia
Butler Lampson at Singapore Computing in the 21st Century, Microsoft Research Asia

Pictures from Computing in the 21st Century Conference (21CCC) in Singapore, 7 Nov 2008

IMG_5747 Last Friday (7 Nov 2008), Microsoft Research Asia held its flagship conference – Computing the 21st Century Conference in Singapore for the very first time. There were more than 1100 researchers, academics, students and industry attendees at this event. Leading academics from Singapore took time from their heavy schedule to be at this event.

IMG_5762 RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, CEO, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore was the guest of honour at this event. Dr Su Guaning (President, Nanyang Technological University) and Prof Tan Eng Chye (Deputy President & Provost, National University of Singapore) provided the academia opening address.

DSC_4120 The University Presidents also witnessed the Microsoft Research Asia Fellowship award ceremony. Huang Yi was the NTU Fellow and is currently undertaking her internship in the Beijing lab. Her supervisor, Assoc Prof Cham Tat-Jen accepted the award on her behalf. NUS Fellowship was awarded to Zheng Yantao.

Rick Rashid, Microsoft Senior Vice-President, Research, Singapore 2008 Computing in the 21st Century Raj Reddy, Professor, CMU, at Singapore 2008 Computing in the 21st Century Tony Hoare, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research Cambridge Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Managing Director, Microsoft Research Asia Butler Lampson, Technical Fellow, Microsoft New England at Singapore 2008 Computing in the 21st Century

The conference kicked off with an introduction to MS Research, lead by Rick Rashid, the Senior VP (Research). This is followed by Raj Reddy, Tony Hoare, Hsiao-Wuen Hon and Butler Lampson. It is almost unheard of to have 3 Turing award recipients in 1 stage.

Q & A Session with the Speakers

After Butler Lampson’s session, there was a vigorous Q&A session from the floor. 15mins later, Baining Guo, the Conference Chair announced the successful conclusion of the 2008 21st Century Computing Conference in Singapore.

More conference pictures –

7 Nov 2008: Computing in the 21st Century Conference, Hall 601, Suntec City Convention Centre, Singapore

11 Nov 2008: Click here for the 2008 Singapore 21st Century Computing Conference summary and pictures.


This week, Microsoft Research Asia celebrates our 10th Anniversary with two major celebrations in Beijing and Singapore. The celebration kicks off with the Microsoft Research Asia Faculty Summit, Beijing Computing in the 21st Century (held in Peking University) and Innovation Day in Beijing. This coming Friday, 7 Nov 2008, Singapore will host the second leg of the Computing in the 21st Century Conference (21CCC) at Hall 601, Suntec City Convention Centre.

The Singapore event speakers line-up consist of:

Computing in the 21st Century is an academic conference held by Microsoft Research Asia supported by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore. This event is targeted at researchers, academics, students and ICT trends/ research/ education policy decision makers.

For close to ten years, the conference has welcomed Turing Award recipients, famous Microsoft scientists and well-known scholars from all over the world to share their vision on the future of computing and exchange ideas with the innovative minds of China and Asia.

The conference Guest of Honour is RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay (CEO, Infocomm Development Authority, Singapore) and the event will also be opened by Dr Su Guaning (President, Nanyang Technological University) and Prof Tan Eng Chye (Deputy President & Provost, National University of Singapore)

Download Event Flyer. To register for the conference, please visit this link.

To find out more about this conference, please visit

Microsoft Research Asia Academic Collaboration 10 Year Anniversary Commemoration Book

Microsoft Research Asia released a book (“Innovation Together” ISBN 978-0-387-87860-7) which contained papers previously published in respected journals to coincide with its 10 Year Anniversary celebration. These papers compiled by the University Relation team is a testimony of Microsoft Research Asia’s collaboration with the Asia Pacific academic community.

Click on the images for expanded view.

Springer-Microsoft-Research-Asia-10-year-Anniversary-Academic-Research-Collaboration-Book UR-team-members-who-helped-out-the-book 
(I got a mention in the Editor’s forward!)