Microsoft Research Connections Blog

The Microsoft Research Connections blog shares stories of collaborations with computer scientists at academic and scientific institutions to advance technical innovations in computing, as well as related events, scholarships, and fellowships.

Brazilian Researcher Wins Coveted Rigo Award

Brazilian Researcher Wins Coveted Rigo Award

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Professor Maria Cecília Calani Baranauskas, of the Institute of Computing at the University of Campinas (IC-Unicamp), was named co-winner of the 2010 Rigo Award, the prestigious biennial honor bestowed by Association of Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Design Communication (AMC SIGDOC) on researchers who have made outstanding contributions in the realm of communications design. Baranauskas was honored for her groundbreaking research in human-computer interactions, including her work funded by the Microsoft Research-FAPESP Institute for IT Research, a joint venture of the External Research division of Microsoft Research and FAPESP (the São Paulo Research Foundation).

The award ceremony took place during the 28th ACM International Conferences on Design of Communication (ACM SIGDOC '10) that was held in São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil. Baranauskas shared the prize with Professor Clarisse de Souza, Department of Informatics of Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio).

Professor Maria Cecília Calani Baranauskas and Professor Clarisse de Souza shared the 2010 Rigo Award.

Professor Maria Cecília Calani Baranauskas, of the Institute of Computing at the University of Campinas (IC-Unicamp), shared the 2010 Rigo Award with
Professor Clarisse de Souza, Department of Informatics of Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio).

The Special Interest Group on the Design of Communication (SIGDOC) is a subgroup of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), an international society that brings together researchers and other professionals who are involved in the advancement of computing. The Rigo Award was established in honor of Joseph Rigo, the founder of SIGDOC, and is dedicated to outstanding achievements in the development of communication projects.

Baranauskas highlighted the fact that her recent works are focused on the theme of citizenship, noting her efforts as coordinator of e-Citizenship, a Microsoft Research-FAPESP Institute project that seeks to develop social networks for users with low literacy and little or no experience in using computers.

One of the results of e-Citizenship is the social network that was developed in partnership with the local government of the city of Campinas and coordinated by Baranauskas. Known as Village in Network, this project provides access to government services through a user-friendly interface that requires minimal reading or computer skills.

Baranauskas also praised the international funding of e-Citizenship. "It is important to see that the international community values the work focusing within Brazil," she said. The Microsoft Research-FAPESP Institute, the result of a cooperation agreement signed between the two institutions in April 2007, is a pioneering initiative in Brazil that binds the public and private sectors in order to stimulate the generation and application of knowledge in information and communication technologies.

The Institute's request for proposals closed on October 18, 2010. The goal of this RFP is to select and finance projects that explore the application of computer science to the challenges of fundamental research in such areas as education, health, and welfare or energy. The total amount that is available to fund the selected proposals is $1 million (Brazilian Reais).

—Juliana Salles, senior research program manager in the External Research division of Microsoft Research

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