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.

Bringing the cloud to researchers around the world and online

Bringing the cloud to researchers around the world and online

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These have been impressive days for European research, highlighted by last year’s discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN and this year’s publication of the fifth assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Both are stunning examples of thousands of researchers collaborating to push the boundaries of data-intensive science. But whether you’re part of a team in one of the world’s biggest research facilities or an individual working alone in a university lab, today’s research challenge remains largely the same: more data, more analysis, less time. 

Free Windows Azure for Research webinar series

Cloud computing can really help researchers resolve the issue of big data and focus on accelerating research breakthroughs and insights. That’s why we’re excited to announce the free, three-part Windows Azure for Research webinar series we are offering starting 20 November. These one-hour, interactive online sessions will bring cloud computing to life, explaining what it is, why it is so useful, and how to use it for your research in practical ways. We’re looking forward to answering your questions live during the sessions, so please join me online to explore:

Also, we’re bringing our Windows Azure for Research program to Europe and Africa. This week (11–15 November), around 100 researchers will converge on ETH Zurich and the Microsoft Research-INRIA Joint Research Centre near Paris for hands-on training on how to use Windows Azure—Microsoft’s cloud-computing platform—to simplify their data-intensive work. These two-day courses (11–12 November at ETH Zurich; 14–15 November at the Joint Centre) cover everything from Linux virtual machines, IPython, scaling out R and MATLAB calculations, cloud storage, sensor data processing, and, of course, big data processing. We’re delighted to offer several more courses across Europe and Africa over the next few weeks. Sign up now to secure your place and get hands-on experience developing and deploying your research applications in the cloud:

In addition to the trainings, we’re offering substantial allocations of Windows Azure storage and compute resources for selected proposals through the Windows Azure Research Awards Program. (Learn more about the awards.) We’re currently working with dozens of research teams across the world who responded to the first RFP, including European researchers from the British Library, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Politecnico di Milano, Freiburg University, University College London, Newcastle University, INRIA, Vavilov Institute of General Genetics Russian Academy of Science, and the University of St Andrews. We’re excited to have a range of projects, from bioinformatics and environmental science to image processing and Science 2.0.

We can’t wait to meet you, in person or online, so we can work together to help you take advantage of the cloud to make your research easier, faster, and more scalable. Please join the discussion on our Windows Azure for Research LinkedIn Group and on Twitter via @azure4research and we encourage you to use #azureresearch for all postings.

Kenji Takeda, Solutions Architect and Technical Manager, Microsoft Research Connections EMEA

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