July, 2009

Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

eScience & Technical Computing - Web Services and Scientific Research

July, 2009

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    SciScope app and code available for download


    sciscope-logoEarlier today the code behind the SciScope site was made available at SciScope.CodePlex.com.  This enables others to make their datasets/repositories available and allow others to discover, download and utilize their data in a simple to use website.     Also the semantic support is quite useful in finding related data.

    SciScope Project Description

    SciScope (see it live) is a prototype web application that allows data discovery from across multiple distributed heterogeneous data repositories. It leverages Bing Maps (formerly Microsoft Virtual Earth) and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 to support queries involving spatial, temporal and thematic constraints over an index of sensors operated by agencies such as USGS, EPA and NOAA as well as user provided data. SciScope leverages taxonomies stored as triples in SQL Server to provide search suggestions and for dealing with semantic heterogeneity between different data repositories.

    SciScope Web Application User Interface Screenshot
    SciScope screenshots (discovering/downloading insecticide data, browsing ecoregions left to right) for video tutorials click here
    This CodePlex release includes some desktop tools to simplify data publishing and content crawling for SciScope namely Catalog Publisher and Catalog Updater.

    SciScope - Home

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Project Tuva: Richard Feynman is now available to all.

    Project Tuva's Feynman Lectures: Gates' gift to lifelong learning

    Project Tuva, an enhanced video player showcasing Richard Feynman’s “Messenger” lectures is available for all to try out.  It’s the way I’d like to view talks and related information – check it out.  Not only does it allow for web links, images, but it also integrates with the WorldWide Telescope control to help augment the example Feynman uses in the gravitational talk.  Currently only the first lecture in the series “Law of Gravitation – an Example of Physical Law” utilizes all the annotations/links, but the do all have the transcripts, so you can search on something like “particles” and see where it is mentioned in all the different videos, and then jump directly to the location.

    Microsoft Research and Bill Gates Bring Historic Physics Lectures to Web

    Lecture series by celebrated physics professor Richard Feynman is now available to all.

    REDMOND, Wash. — July 14, 2009 — Microsoft Research, in collaboration with Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, today launched a Web site that makes an acclaimed lecture series by the iconic physicist Richard Feynman freely available to the general public for the first time. The lectures, which Feynman originally delivered at Cornell University in 1964, have been hugely influential for many people, including Gates. Gates privately purchased the rights to the seven lectures in the series, called “The Character of Physical Law,” to make them widely available to the public for free with the hope that they will help get kids excited about physics and science.

    The historic lectures and related content can be seen at http://research.microsoft.com/tuva. The name “Tuva” was chosen because of Feynman’s lifelong fascination with the small Russian republic of Tuva, located in the heart of Asia.

    Feynman was one of the most popular scientists of the 20th century, equally regarded for his scientific insights as well as his ability to convey his enthusiasm for science through his lectures and writings. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 and was also known for his quirky sense of humor and eccentric and wide-ranging interests.

    “No one was more adept at making science fun and interesting than Richard Feynman,” said Gates. “More than 20 years after first seeing them, these are still some of the best science lectures I’ve heard. Feynman worked hard during his life to popularize science, so I’m sure he’d be thrilled that now anyone, anywhere in the world, can just click a button and experience his lectures.”

    Curtis Wong, a principal researcher with Microsoft Research, enhanced the experience of viewing the lectures by integrating the historic video with a Microsoft Silverlight-based video player that allows viewers to search the lectures for references to particular subjects, take notes that are synchronized to the video, and click on hyperlinks to related Web content, among other customized operations.

    “There is a lot of public interest in building innovative educational resources online,” Wong said. “This is an opportunity to take some existing educational content and utilize software and the wealth of resources available on the Web to create a richer learning experience. And because people can annotate the lectures with their own comments and links to related resources, I expect this experience to become richer and richer over time.”

    Microsoft Research has been exploring video annotation for many years and chose to publish the Feynman “Messenger” lectures with a new enhanced video player. Neither Microsoft nor the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were involved in the acquisition of the rights to the lectures.

    Microsoft Research and Bill Gates Bring Historic Physics Lectures to Web: Lecture series by celebrated physics professor Richard Feynman is now available to all.

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Project Trident: A Scientific Workflow Workbench available for download


    Project Trident CTP is now available for download.  Project Trident is a scientific workflow workbench MSR External Research has been working on for the past few years, which allows scientists to analyze large, diverse datasets.  It’s built on Windows Workflow and utilizes SQL Server (Express or Server).  Download it and try it out…

    Project Trident

    Built on the Windows Workflow Foundation, this scientific workflow workbench allows users to:

    • Automate analysis and then visualize and explore data
    • Compose, run, and catalog experiments as workflows
    • Capture provenance for each experiment
    • Create a domain-specific workflow library to extend the functionality of the workflow workbench
    • Use existing services, such as provenance and fault tolerance, or add new services
    • Schedule workflows over HPC clusters or cloud computing resources


    Project Trident: A Scientific Workflow Workbench - Microsoft Research

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Environment and Energy Workshop at Faculty Summit 2009


    For the past two days at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, we hare hosted a Environment and Energy Workshop to look at areas where computing and IT can help solve some of these grand challenges.  Output from the workshop will be posted on the site in the next few weeks.

    Faculty Summit 2009 - Microsoft Research

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Michael Jackson Memorial Concert Live in HD on the Web


    Just heard that the Michael Jackson Memorial concert will be broadcast live in HD over the Web.  They will be using IIS Smooth Streaming and Silverlight, the technology that delivered on-demand video for the 2008 Sumer Olympics on NBCOlympics.com.

    Michael Jackson Memorial Concert | Sympatico / MSN inMusic

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Preview the upcoming Eclipse of the Sun in WWT


    On July 22nd there will be a total eclipse of the Sun that will last for over 6 mins that is visible from within a narrow corridor that traverses half of Earth.  One of the best regions to see it will be China and the organizers have published a WorldWide Telescope tour previewing the Eclipse.


    See the trailer (below) for the project, "Multi-site Federated Live Broadcast of Solar Eclipse on July 22, International Year of Astronomy 2009"

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    eScience Workshop 2009 – Call for Papers


    The 2009 eScience Workshop will be held at the Gates Center for Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA,  October 15-17, 2009.  The call for papers closes on July 31, 2009.

    eScience Workshop 2009

    Call for Papers

    We invite contributions from all areas of eScience and e-Research including:

    • Computational support for scientific research in life sciences, biomedical computing, environment, energy, and other scientific grand challenges
    • Knowledge discovery and merging datasets
    • Large-scale scientific data analysis, mining, and visualization
    • High-performance computing applied to solving problems in a variety of scientific disciplines
    • Dissemination of scientific literature/results and the discovery, curation, and sharing of data
    • Scientific sensors, data-gathering tools and technologies
    • Collaboration/workflow tools and technologies
    • Data-intensive science
    • Emerging multidisciplinary fields such as Digital Heritage and eEconomy
    • Research implications of computational thinking
    • How strategies for semantics and ontology formulation enable scientific discovery

    eScience Workshop 2009

    The eScience Workshop, to be held October 15-17, 2009, will provide a unique opportunity to share experiences, learn new techniques, and influence the domain of scientific computing. Scientists and researchers will explore the evolution, challenges and potential of computing in scientific research, including how the latest tools, Web services and database technologies are being applied to scientific computing.

    Workshop Theme
    Facilitating Scientific Discovery through Data-Intensive Computing

    Hosting and Location
    Co-hosted by Microsoft Research and Carnegie Mellon University, this workshop will take place in the Gates Center for Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

    eScience Workshop 2009 - Microsoft Research

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