Der deutsche Education Blog

February, 2014

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.

February, 2014

  • Microsoft Research Connections Blog

    2014 Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship projects announced

    • 0 Comments

    Every year since 2004, the Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship Programme has awarded scholarships to fund PhD students’ work on selected projects in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. We are pleased to announce the selected PhD projects for 2014.

    The selection process was anything but easy. We received 79 eligible project proposals, which we assessed via a two-stage review process. During stage 1, a panel of Microsoft Researchers determined whether the proposed project met the basic selection criteria, including relevance to topics that are being researched at Microsoft Research Cambridge. Those proposals that advanced to stage 2 were then evaluated by internal and external reviewers, who provided detailed feedback.

    As a result of this comprehensive evaluation process, we selected 22 projects that will receive funding through Microsoft Research Connections starting in the academic year 2014–2015. These include eight proposals that relate to the new Joint Initiative with University College London and the Joint Initiative in Informatics with Edinburgh University.
     
    The 22 projects split across seven countries in the EMEA region (Belgium, France, Israel, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) and represent a variety of research areas, including computational biology, machine learning, health science, geo and environmental science, and computer science. Applicants, who are PhD supervisors, will collaborate with an assigned Microsoft Research co-supervisor to support a PhD student for up to three years as he or she carries out the proposed research project. Supervisors are actively recruiting graduate students for these PhD projects; candidate selection should be complete by June 2015.

    Below is a list of the selected projects, including the PhD supervisor and the institution:

    • Large-Scale Diverse Learning for Structured Output Prediction
      Pawan Kumar, Ecole Centrale Paris, INRIA Saclay
    • Computational Algorithms as Biological Regulatory Networks
      Attila Csikasz-Nagy, King's College London
    • Leveraging Data Reuse for Efficient Ranker Evaluation in Information Retrieval
      Maarten De Rijke, University of Amsterdam
    • Sketching Algorithms for Massive Graphs and Matrices
      Graham Cormode, University of Warwick
    • Verifying Concurrent Higher-Order Programs
      Matthew Hague, Royal Holloway University of London
    • GeoGraph: Efficient Geographically Distributed Graph Infrastructure
      Fernando Pedone, University of Lugano
    • Computation During Development: Characterising the Molecular Programs that Underlie Pluripotency and Differentiation in Embryoni
      Brian Hendrich, University of Cambridge
    • The Generality and Mechanism of Bet-Hedging in Bacteria
      James Locke, Sainsbury Laboratory
    • Statistical Models and Methods for Privacy Technologies
      Claudia Diaz, KU Leuven
    • Rethinking Resource Allocation in Data Centres: Optimization, Incentives, and Beyond
      Michael Schapira, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    • Why Do People Communicate?
      Constantine Sandis, Oxford Brookes University
    • Reasoning about Side Channels in Cryptographic Protocols
      Boris Köpf, IMDEA Software Institute
    • Understanding Flows of Personal Information in a Connected World
      Alastair Beresford, University of Cambridge
    • Advancing Random Forests and Other Ensembles
      Nando De Freitas, University of Oxford

    Joint Initiative with University College London:

    • 3D World: Creation, Abstraction, and Application of Massive Crowd-sourced Collections of Heterogeneous 3D Models
      Niloy Mitra
    • Private Computation as a Service
      George Danezis
    • Understanding the Moving Quadruped: Computer Vision to Advance Science, Medicine, and Veterinary Care
      Gabriel Brostow
    • Ad-hoc Cross-Device Interactions Facilitating Small-Group Collaborative Explorations and Curation of Historic Documents
      Nicolai Marquardt

    Joint Initiative with Informatics with University of Edinburgh:

    • Vision as Inverse Graphics
      Christopher Williams
    • TypeScript: The Next Generation
      Philip Wadler
    • Formal Language Support for Ecological Modelling
      Jane Hillston
    • SMT for Nonlinear Constraints with Application to Computational Biology
      Paul Jackson

    Thank you to all who applied this year.

    We look forward to receiving equally stimulating project proposals for next year’s PhD scholarships. Mark your calendar for September 1, 2014, when the submission tool for the 2015 applications will open.
     
    —Daron Green, Director, Microsoft Research

    Learn more

  • Microsoft Research Connections Blog

    Building cloud virtual machines for research

    • 0 Comments

    As regular readers of this blog know, the Windows Azure for Research program recurrently solicits proposals on the use of Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-computing platform, in scholarly research. Winning projects receive a one-year allocation of Windows Azure storage and compute resources.

    We review these proposals on the fifteenth of even-numbered months (February, April, June, and so forth), so the next deadline, February 15, is fast approaching. This marks our third round of solicitations, and the response so far has been outstanding, as a review of current grantees and their projects attests.

    New RFP series focuses on specific cloud-based research topics

    In addition to these standing, bi-monthly requests for proposals, we are initiating a new set of calls, focused on specific cloud-based research topics. Submissions for the first of these special calls are due on April 15, 2014.

    Our first special call—Science VMs for Research—requests proposals to build virtual machine (VM) images that can be shared with communities of users. While it is standard practice for scientific communities to share important open-source, domain-specific software tools, using these tools often involves complex installation procedures or the resolution of library conflicts. Cloud computing obviates such impediments by enabling communities to share a complete operating system image, pre-installed with all the tools needed by specialized groups of users. Thus, a newcomer to the group can install the image in the cloud and be doing productive work very quickly. Moreover, the community can keep the cloud-based VM image updated with the latest version of the software.

    Microsoft Open Technologies operates VM Depot, a community-driven catalog of preconfigured operating systems, applications, and development stacks—VM images that can installed in minutes by anyone with a Windows Azure account. Several VM Depot images have proven popular with the scientific community. For example, Elastacloud has donated an image called Azure Data Analysis, which includes R, IPython, and a number of high quality open-source, data analysis tools. Several other domain-specific VMs are in the works.

    The Science VMs for Research call will provide grants of Windows Azure resources to develop and test new contributions to the VM Depot. Submit your proposals for the special call via our submission site; proposals should include “Science VM” in the project title and must be received by April 15.

    We’re looking forward to reviewing both the February 15 and April 15 proposals, as we work together to bring the power of cloud computing to scholarly and scientific research.

    Dennis Gannon, Director of Cloud Research Strategy, Microsoft Research Connections

    Learn more

  • Microsoft Research Connections Blog

    From flying robots to energy-efficient memory systems

    • 0 Comments

    Today, February 5, 2014, marked the kickoff workshop for the Swiss Joint Research Center (Swiss JRC), a collaborative research engagement between Microsoft Research and the two universities that make up the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology: ETH Zürich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, which serves German-speaking students) and EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, which serves French-speaking students).

    Introducing the new Swiss Joint Research Center

    The Swiss JRC is a continuation of a collaborative engagement that began five years ago, when these same three partners embarked on ICES (Innovation Cluster for Embedded Software). In renewing our collaboration, we have broadened and deepened the computer science engagements, as we chart a course for another five years of research.

    During the two-day workshop at Microsoft Research Cambridge, we will launch seven new projects that constitute the next wave of research collaborations for the Swiss JRC. Today, we heard EPFL’s Edouard Bugnion describe the planned work of the Scale-Out NUMA project, which involves the study of the computer architectural and system software implications of aggressive scale-out, energy-efficient computing in datacenters.

    Workshop speakers, listed clockwise from upper left: Daron Green, Andrew Blake, James Larus, and Markus Püschel
    Workshop speakers, listed clockwise from upper left: Daron Green, Andrew Blake,
    James Larus (EPFL), and Markus Püschel (ETH Zürich)

    Now I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s sessions, especially the presentation by Otmar Hilliges (ETH Zürich), who will discuss the fascinating topic of human-centric flight. This proposed research seeks to create an entirely new form of interactive systems, leveraging micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs), also known as flying robots, to create novel user experiences. This project could have a profound impact on our future ability to navigate environments that are inhospitable to people or standard land-based robots.

    Attendees of the kickoff workshop for the Swiss JRC
    Attendees of the kickoff workshop for the Swiss JRC

    The following seven projects will be launched at the workshop:

    Scale-Out NUMA
    Edouard Bugnion, EPFL
    Babak Falsafi, EPFL
    Dushyanth Narayanan, Microsoft Research

    Micro-Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) for Interaction, Videography, and 3D Reconstruction
    Otmar Hilliges, ETH Zürich
    Marc Pollefeys, ETH Zürich
    Shahram Izadi, Microsoft Research

    Software-Defined Networks: Algorithms and Mechanisms
    Roger Wattenhofer, ETHZ
    Ratul Mahajan, Microsoft Research

    Investigation into fundamental issues concerning software-defined networks and how they can be tackled using a game theory approach

    Efficient Data Processing Through Massive Parallelism and FPGA-Based Acceleration
    Gustavo Alonso, ETH Zürich
    Ken Eguro, Microsoft Research

    Exploration of efficient implementation of FPGAs as co-processors in data centers and support for database querying

    Authenticated Encryption: Security Notions, Constructions, and Applications
    Serge Vaudenay, EPFL
    Ilya Mironov and Markulf Kohlweiss, Microsoft Research

    Developing enhanced security notions for authenticated encryption schemes and proving that they are secure

    Towards Resource Efficient Data Centers
    Florin Dinu, EPFL
    Sergey Legtchenko, Microsoft Research

    Researching how memory can be best utilized in homogeneous computational situations, where the operating system must handle parallel, data-intensive tasks

    Availability and Reliability as a Resource for Large-Scale in Memory Databases on Datacenter Computers
    Torsten Hoefler, ETHZ
    Miguel Castro, Microsoft Research

    Researching new approaches to building resilience and predicting resilience in systems with more economical, lower levels of redundancy

    These projects represent some of the most interesting and engaging research challenges in Microsoft Research’s broad portfolio of university partnerships. I particularly value the opportunity to share our domain expertise in these open collaborations with two of the world’s top computer-science research departments. All three organizations bring unique perspectives and great talent to the collaboration, and all focus on solving tough technical challenges in areas as diverse as human-computer interaction, machine vision, performance and energy scalability, mobile computing, and data center optimization.

    I’ll keep you up to date on this journey over the coming months and years, as the Swiss JRC works to accelerate scientific discoveries and breakthroughs that push the boundaries of our imagination.

    Daron Green, Senior Director, Microsoft Research Connections

    Learn more

Page 1 of 3 (7 items) 123