The Opening of Microsoft Research New England

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

Related links:

A week in the life of a Microsoft Research Asia University Relations Manager

John Warren (my manager) wrote an article about the life as a University Relations (UR) manager on Microsoft Research Asia web site. In the article, he describes about various UR programs, the multi-facets engagements and the challenges this role entails.

Inside the article he discussed about:

  • MSRA “theme projects”
  • Internal (Public Sector, Legal and Corporate Affairs) and external customers (from research institutions and sometimes government agencies)
  • The amount of legal agreement negotiation and review we undertake for each joint research projects (it’s not funny, trust me)
  • The reasons why he enjoys his role as a UR manager

If you are interested to get a snap shot of what I do, check out John’s article “A week in the life of a University Relations Manager

Microsoft Research Asia’s Role in China’s High Tech Human Capital Development

Last week, Zhou Minliang, a Research Fellow from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences wrote an complimentary article about Microsoft Research Asia’s role in the development of China’s R&D capabilities. The article (微软亚洲研究院带给我们什么 – literally What has Microsoft Research Asia brought us) appeared in China’s Scientific Times (科学时报).

In the article, Mingliang applauded lab’s advancement computing and Bill Gate’s decision to open the lab in China. The lab’s creation has developed deep inroads to the Chinese’s psyche and brought upon great sense of pride and self-belief. He also described the lab’s dynamic and open environment as the key that foster creativity among its researchers in the midst of China’s transformation to a knowledge based economy.



PhotoSynth 1.0 Avaliable for Download

Remembered the dazzling PhotoSynth 3D-demo of St Mark’s Basilica and the NASA?  Imagine all the photos of your favourite holiday pictures all joined together to form your own 3-D panoramic vistas.

You can now download the officially released Photosynth version 1.0.

PhotoSynth was based on Photo Tourism, a joint research project between University of Washington (UW) and Microsoft Research. You can read more about it’s history from here or watch an early version of this technology presented during the 2006 SIGGRAPH.

Email Prioritizer – An Outlook plug-in developed by Office Labs and Microsoft Research

Download Email Prioritizer prototype.

Email Prioritizer is an free add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 that helps you manage email overload.  and it prioritizes email to help you focus on the email messages that are most important to you with a 0-3 star rating system. It also provides a “do not disturb” button that temporarily pauses new email arrival.

It does this by using various algorithms to automatically identify the importance or urgency of e-mail messages delivered into an Outlook 2007 in-box. This idea was developed from a research project by Eric Horvitz and Mary Czerwinski.

Click here for a video demo of Email Prioritizer (Soapbox).

Source link: Microsoft Targets E-Mail Overload With Outlook Plug-In (Networking Computing India)

Microsoft Research Asia Researcher Awarded the 2008 MIT TR35 Young Innovator Prize

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.

Congrats Xian-Sheng!

Related links:

Bill Gates marks anniversary of Microsoft research arm

On Tuesday (12 Aug 2008), Bill Gates said that the dramatic growth of the Internet would eventually help eliminate “the last constraints we have” and spark a software-writing revolution.

Bill was at a forum in Hong Kong to mark the 10th anniversary of the software giant’s Asian research arm (Microsoft Research Asia). He added that technology currently being developed would transform the way people use computers, expanding their ability to interact with the machines.

Gates also praised the work of his company’s Asian research division and voiced confidence in the power of science and technology as a force for positive change. “Whether it’s software or energy or agriculture, the promise of science is … much greater than ever before and that’s why I’m so optimistic,” he said.”

Read the full article “Gates marks anniversary of Microsoft research arm” (IHT)

Related link: Gates: Privacy an ‘interesting challenge’ (ZDNet Asia)