May, 2007

Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

eScience & Technical Computing - Web Services and Scientific Research

May, 2007

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Microsoft SharedView Beta


    Very cool - a light weight way to share applications...brings me back to the NetMeeting days..

    There is even integration with Word - could this be the way for academic papers to be written, such that they aren't being emailed back and forth all the time.

    If a Microsoft Office Word document is being edited during a SharedView session, the Track Changes feature in Word is automatically enabled, and each change is highlighted with a text identifier indicating which user made the change.

  • Hold more effective meetings and conference calls

    Connect with up to 15 people in different locations and get your point across by showing them what's on your screen.

  • Work together in real time

    Share, review, and update documents with multiple people in real time.

  • Use when and where you want

    SharedView is easy to use, from anywhere, at a moment's notice.

  • Source: Microsoft SharedView Beta

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Delivering End-to-End High-Productivity Computing


    Here's a very good paper outlining the work by Marc Holmes (MTC) and Simon Cox on producing an end to end solution using WinCCS (HPC) and many other technologies - it would be great to get feedback from others if they have setup their WinCCS cluster this way or if there are architectures they are using for scientific research .

    Here's the technologies they have incorporated -

    Delivering End-to-End High-Productivity Computing

    by Marc Holmes and Simon Cox

    Summary: Performing a complex computational science and engineering calculation today is more than about just buying a big supercomputer. Although HPC traditionally stands for "high-performance computing," we believe that the real end-to-end solution should be about "high-productivity computing." What we mean by "high-productivity computing" is the whole computational and data-handling infrastructure, as well as the tools, technologies, and platforms required to coordinate, execute, and monitor such a calculation end-to-end.

    Many challenges are associated with delivering a general high-productivity computing (HPC) solution for engineering and scientific domain problems. In this article, we discuss these challenges based on the typical requirements of such problems, propose various solutions, and demonstrate how they have been deployed to users in a specific end-to-end environmental-science exemplar. Our general technical solution will potentially translate to any solution requiring controlling and interface layers for a distributed service-oriented HPC service.



    Architecting for high-productivity computing is not just a case of ensuring the "best" performance in order to compute results as quickly as possible; that is more of an expectation than a design feature. In the context of the overall value stream, the architecture must drive value from other areas, such as ease of access and decreasing cost of specialist skills to operate the system.

    A successful architecture for high-productivity computing solutions involves consideration of the overall process alongside the computationally intensive activities, and, therefore, might use several integrated components to perform the individual aspects of the process. Microsoft Cluster Compute Server Edition is easy to include as a service gateway inside a general n-tier application structure, and is simple to integrate via command-line or API hooks.

    Other available technologies can provide the basis for an HPC solution. In particular, Windows Workflow Foundation is well-suited to provide an application interface to CCS, because the features and extensibility of WF, such as persistence and tracking, lend themselves to the requirements of HPC-based solutions. The use of WF also opens up the available choices of user-experience technologies to be applied in a given domain.

    Source: Delivering End-to-End High-Productivity Computing

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Family.Show from Vertigo


    Every once in a while you run across really neat application that uses the latest technologies...while providing a real compelling user experience and in this case it's to map your family tree.  The experience is so intuitive - the one feature I'd like to be able to do - is grab my family contacts from Outlook and drop them directly into app - that would probably make building up these relationships even easier.

    The other good news is that it's a ClickOnce install and even runs in Firefox and the source code is available.

    I see Dead People, with Windows Presentation Foundation

    For a hobby that revolves around dead people, genealogy is remarkably  popular: it's the fastest growing scene in North America. And a perfect study for Vertigo's next Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) reference application for Microsoft.familyshow

    Our designers employed every trick in the WPF book– styles, resources, templates, data binding, animation, transforms– to present an innovative visualization of the classic family tree, freeing our developers to concentrate on behind-the-scenes features like XPS, P/Invoke wrapper for Windows Vista common dialogs, and ClickOnce for WPF.

    Source: Vertigo: Family.Show

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    [Data Service] Microsoft Project Codename "Astoria"


    Time to think about how Scientific data could utilized the Astoria service... 

    The goal of Microsoft Codename Astoria is to enable  applications to expose data as a data service that can be consumed by web clients within a corporate network and across the internet. The data service is reachable over HTTP, and URIs are used to identify the various pieces of information available through the service. Interactions with the data service happens in terms of HTTP verbs such as GET, POST, PUT and DELETE, and the data exchanged in those interactions is represented in simple formats such as XML and JSON.
    We are delivering this first early release of Astoria as a Community Tech Preview you can download and also as an experimental online service you can access over the internet.

    Source: Microsoft Project Codename "Astoria"

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Silverlight available


    At Mix '07 this week there were some interesting relseases and demos - one spefically is Silverlight - that is cross-platform - with releases available on Windows and Mac OS. There is also a Silverlight Community site available with some examples - like the Fox Movie trailers...they looked great fullscrean on my large monitor.

    Microsoft® Silverlight™ is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based Download Silverlightmedia experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. Silverlight offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby, and integrates with existing Web applications. Silverlight supports fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality video to all major browsers running on the Mac OS or Windows.

    Watch Silverlight in Action

    Source: Silverlight

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    LinuxInsider: Security: Microsoft Invites Collaboration With Grid Computing Research


    Article on SecPAL from LinuxInsider...

    Microsoft Invites Collaboration With Grid Computing Research

    Microsoft's Security Policy Assertion Language, or SecPAL, is the company's attempt to develop a language for expressing decentralized authorization policies. The software firm hopes that making available the implementation and design information from its SecPAL project will encourage the security and grid research communities to test and experiment with it.

    Source: Linux News: Security: Microsoft Invites Collaboration With Grid Computing Research

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    2007 Microsoft eScience Workshop at RENCI


    Announcing the 2007 Microsoft eScience Workshop at RENCI

    October 21-23 2007

    The Friday Center for Continuing Education
    UNC-Chapel Hill
    100 Friday Center Drive
    Chapel Hill NC 27599-1020

    The use of computers creates many challenges as it expands the realm of the possible in scientific research and many of these challenges are common to researchers in different areas. The insights gained in one area may catalyze change and accelerate discovery in many others.

    This workshop is explicitly cross-disciplinary, with the goal of bringing together scientists from different areas to share their research and experiences of how computing is shaping their work, providing new insights and changing what can be done in science. The focus is on the research, and the technologies that make that research possible.

    The workshop will be co-chaired by Dan Reed, Director of the Renaissance Computing Institute and Tony Hey, Corporate Vice President for Technical Computing at Microsoft Corporation.  The keynote presentation will be given by Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of the Sasaki Institute.

    We would like to invite contributions from any area of eScience; examples include:

    • Modeling of natural systems
    • Knowledge discovery and merging datasets
    • Science data analysis, mining, and visualization
    • Healthcare and biomedical informatics
    • High performance computing in science
    • Innovations in publishing scientific literature, results, and data
    • The impact of eScience on teaching and learning
    • Applying novel information technologies to disaster management
    • Robotics in science
    • Scientific challenges with no obvious computing solutions

    Registration will open shortly, and abstracts will be solicited as part of the registration process.

    The deadline for abstract submission is August 1st 2007.

    All applicants will be notified of acceptance of their presentation by August 21st 2007; those abstracts not selected for verbal presentation may be presented as posters.

    Please send questions to

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Virtual Earth video


    Very cool video of 3D Virtual Earth

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    MSR Networked Embedded Sensing Toolkit updated


    The MSR Sense toolkit was updated to v.2a1 and is available for download 

    The MSR Networked Embedded Sensing Toolkit (MSR Sense) is a collection of software tools that allow users to collect, process, archive, and visualize data from a sensor network. The current version contains: a reconfigurable microserver execution environment (miuSEE), a small library implementing signal processing and event detection algorithms, an extension to Excel 2003 to import, visualize and processing sensor data, and interface to SQL server to archive and retrieve data, and a microserver interaction console miuSIC) for users to configure and control microservers. All software is implemented in C# under visual studio 2005 and .NET framework 2.0. Please refer to for more information.

    Source: Microsoft Research Networked Embedded Sensing Toolkit

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Dynameomics - Protein folds by Molecular Dynamics Simulation


    Valerie Daggett and her team at UW have put up a site with their simulations of over 300 proteins for a combined simulation time of more than 35 microseconds. This site contains information for their top 30 targets.  The other interesting part is that they have built this using SQL Server and use SQL Server Analysis Services to create cubes of the molecule locations.


    Dynameomics is a continuing project in the Daggett group to characterize the native state dynamics and the folding / unfolding pathway of representatives from all known protein folds by molecular dynamics simulation.

    This effort began with the creation of a consensus fold list. This was done by cross-referencing the fold definitions used in SCOP, CATH, and the Dali Domain Dictionary as described in the Origin of the Fold List page. Next, targets were selected from the consensus fold list. A target refers to a specific protein structure from the PDB that has been chosen to represent a given fold (see the example on the left). The specifics of this choice are give on the Target Selection page. The complete list of consensus folds, their populations and targets are provided in the fold and target pages.

    At this time, we are continuing to simulate targets from the fold list, generally in order of decreasing fold population. The simulation protocols, software, and analyses are described on the methods page.

    Source: Dynameomics - Home Page

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    HD View Utilities 1.1 Released


     Version 1.1 of HD View Utilities Released

    Today we've posted a new version of the HD View Utilities.  Thank you to everyone who has given us feedback in the past few weeks.  Most of the changes are based on bugs and suggestions sent to us by users. 

    Source: HD View

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    [Paper] How We Watch the City: Popularity and Online Maps


    Very interesting paper by Danyel Fisher on what users are looking at when using Virtual Earth - one interesting piece was the very bright spot on the shores of Lake Washington that points out Bill Gates house.

    How We Watch the City: Popularity and Online Maps

    One way of conceptualizing physical spaces is to look at where people notice, remember, or note them. Computer-assisted methods give us new tools based on implicit, rather than explicit, data about how users have examined and travelled online through cities. “Hotmap” is a tool that visualizes how people have used, an interactive mapping service, looking at what parts of the maps they find most compelling.

    Source: How We Watch the City: Popularity and Online Maps

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Summer Faculty Workshops in 'Modern Software Development with Microsoft .NET"


    Here's a great opportunity for profs and scientists to learn about .NET development - I first met Joe Hummel many moons ago at SIGCSE where he was teaching a VB tutorial and how it could be used for teaching, talk about bucking the trend.  I'm glad to see the faculty workshops that Dennis Crain and I first supported are still continuing on....

    Summer Faculty Workshops in

    Modern Software Development with Microsoft .NET

    July 29 - August 3 to be held at the U. of Evansville

    As in past summers, we’ll be offering high school and college faculty the opportunity to attend introductory and advanced workshops on Modern Software Development with Microsoft .NET. The workshops will be held on the campus of the University of Evansville and include extensive hands-on experience. We’ll run an introductory track first, followed by a more advanced track. Attendees may attend either workshop, or both.

    The first workshop track will serve as an introduction to .NET, appropriate for newcomers or those seeking a refresher. It will begin at 5pm on Sunday July 29th, and conclude by 9pm on Tuesday July 31st. For more information, click here.

    The second workshop track will focus on more advanced topics. It will begin at noon on Wednesday August 1st, and conclude by 5pm August 3rd. For more information, click here.

    Source: Modern Software Development with Microsoft .NET

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    [Paper] Bioconjugated quantum dots for multiplexed and quantitative immunohistochemistry


    Great to see this paper on Quantum Dots in Nature Protocols by May Wang and Shuming Nie...along w/ the other authors from GaTech and Emory.

    I've been tracking their work and it really seems promising on helping to get to the goal of personalized medicine. 

    Bioconjugated quantum dots for multiplexed and quantitative immunohistochemistry


    Bioconjugated quantum dots (QDs) provide a new class of biological labels for evaluating biomolecular signatures (biomarkers) on intact cells and tissue specimens. In particular, the use ofQDs multicolor QD probes in immunohistochemistry is considered one of the most important and clinically relevant applications. At present, however, clinical applications of QD-based immunohistochemistry have achieved only limited success. A major bottleneck is the lack of robust protocols to define the key parameters and steps. Here, we describe our recent experience, preliminary results and detailed protocols for QD–antibody conjugation, tissue specimen preparation, multicolor QD staining, image processing and biomarker quantification. The results demonstrate that bioconjugated QDs can be used for multiplexed profiling of molecular biomarkers, and ultimately for correlation with disease progression and response to therapy. In general, QD bioconjugation is completed within 1 day, and multiplexed molecular profiling takes 1–3 days depending on the number of biomarkers and QD probes used.

    Source: Bioconjugated quantum dots for multiplexed and quantitative immunohistochemistry : Abstract : Nature Protocols

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    MSR Asirra: A Human Interactive Proof


     Nice to see Asirra available and ready to add to web sites...


    Asirra is a human interactive proof that asks users to identify photos of cats and dogs. It's powered by over two million photos from our unique partnership with Protect your web site with Asirra — free!

    The JavaScript works in all major browsers; it has been tested in IE6, IE7, Firefox 2, Safari, and Opera 9.

    Source: MSR Asirra: A Human Interactive Proof

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Virtual Labs - giving away a Camera


    Just saw that the Virtual Labs folks are giving away a camera for using the labs...

    I'd recommend the

    Win a Digital SLR Camera! Win a Digital SLR Camera!

    Take part in any TechNet or MSDN virtual lab or labcast through June 30, 2007, and you could win* a digital SLR camera package.

    Source: Welcome to the TechNet Virtual Labs

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Golden Age of Scientific Computing Video


    Cool video on the "Golden Age of Scientific Computing" from the Chris Johnson and the folks with the Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute at the University of Utah. 

    found the link on

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Microsoft Unveils Microsoft Math 3.0


    I wish I had this when I was in school...sure would beat that old TI calculator I used :-) ...

    Microsoft Unveils Microsoft Math 3.0

    New software helps students efficiently complete assignments while garnering the knowledge to succeed in the most difficult of school subjects.

    Today Microsoft releases Microsoft® Math 3.0, a new software solution designed to help students complete their math and science homework more quickly and easily while teaching important fundamental concepts. Microsoft Math 3.0 features an extensive collection of capabilities to help students tackle complicated problems in pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, physics and chemistry, and puts them all in one convenient place on the home PC. Similar to a hired tutor, Microsoft Math 3.0 is designed to help deepen students’ overall understanding of these subjects by invoking a full-featured graphing calculator and step-by-step instructions on how to solve difficult problems.


    Microsoft Math offers a variety of tools that address a wide range of tasks in math and science:

    • A full-featured Graphing Calculator with extensive graphing and equation-solving capabilities expands students’ understanding of complex mathematics.
    • Using step-by-step math solutions, students are guided through problems in subjects ranging from pre-algebra to calculus, helping them solve equations more efficiently.
    • The Formulas and Equations Library contains more than 100 common math equations and formulas that enable students to identify and easily apply the right equation to solve math and science problems.
    • The Triangle Solver explores triangles and teaches students the relationship between different components used to calculate sides, angles and values and solve formulas.
    • The Unit Conversion Tool allows students to quickly and easily convert units of measure, including length, area, volume, weight, temperature, pressure, energy, power, velocity and time.
    • The new Ink Handwriting Support works with Tablet and Ultra-Mobile PCs, allowing students to write out a problem by hand and acquire assistance from Microsoft Math.

    Microsoft Math is scheduled to be available for download in early May 2007 for an estimated retail price of $19.95* (U.S.). Microsoft Math is also available in a variety of Microsoft Academic Volume Licensing programs for educational institutions.

    Source: Microsoft Unveils Microsoft Math 3.0: New software helps students efficiently complete assignments while garnering the knowledge to succeed in the most difficult of school subjects.

Page 1 of 1 (18 items)