Microsoft Research Cambridge has available a 6-month contract position for development of web-based user interfaces for designing and simulating computer models of biological systems. We are looking for an experienced and highly-motivated individual to produce easy-to-use interfaces for the software tools developed by our Computational Science Lab. The aim of the post is to produce user interfaces to simplify and encourage the trial and adoption of our research prototypes within the wider research community, and the initial focus of the work will be on software for Biological Computation (http://research.microsoft.com/biology).

The user interfaces will be for a family of modelling languages, which are being used in a number of key scientific projects, from building computational circuits in DNA (http://research.microsoft.com/dna), to genetic engineering of living cells (http://research.microsoft.com/gec), to understanding and predicting the response of the human immune system (http://research.microsoft.com/spim). The candidate will be working in an exciting new field at the intersection of computer science and biology, and the results of the project could potentially have an impact on a broad community of researchers, both in academia and industry.

The first phase of the project will involve investigating the feasibility of translating existing computational modelling software from Silverlight to HTML5, with the help of existing translation tools such as Websharper (http://www.websharper.com) and Sharpkit (http://sharpkit.net).

The second phase of the project will involve investigating the feasibility of translating a Silverlight visual editor to HTML5. The visual editor relies on a C# library for graph layout, developed within Microsoft Research (http://research.microsoft.com/msagl). There is also an opportunity to extend the C# library to improve its visual editing capabilities.

This is an exciting opportunity to work at the intersection of cutting-edge software development, visual programming language design, and research into computational modelling of complex natural systems The  candidate must be willing to work in Cambridge, UK, and the contract is for 6 months with the possibility of extending this to 2 years. Interested candidates should contact Andrew Phillips (firstname.lastname@microsoft.com) with a CV. The start date is flexible, however the position is available from February 2012.

Duration: 6 months

Location: Cambridge, UK

Required skills:

  • HTML5, Silverlight, WPF, C# programming
  • User interface development
  • Ability to capture user requirements and translate these into easy-to-use tools

Additional desired skills:

  • Knowledge of automatic graph layout algorithms
  • Experience in developing visual editors
  • Experience in F# programming