June, 2011 - Microsoft UK Faculty Connection - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

June, 2011


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    UCL Algorithmic Trading Competition and F# opportunities in education


    My colleague Geoff Hughes recently represented Microsoft DPE Academic team at the UCL Algorithmic Trading competition, which took place in London on 28th June. Over 100 attendees comprising of city firms, researchers and computer science students attended.



    Algorithmic Trading –Global Opportunities for Research

    12.45- 13.00 Registration and coffee

    13.00-13.20 Keynote Address
    Markets, Networks and Auctions
    Microsoft Research - Peter Key

    13.20 -13.40 Algorithmic Trading – Current trends and future directions
    UCL - Prof Philip Treleaven

    13.40-14.00 Automated Trading – The technology is the business
    Barclays Capital - Chris Donnan

    14.00-14.20 Competition launch and introduction of the prizes:

    14.20-14.40 High Frequency Trading FX
    Citi - Dr John Loizides

    15.10-15.30 A Taste of F# - Functional Programming Meets Information- Rich World Microsoft – Don Syme

    15.30-15.50 The Application of Automated Trading at Knight
    Knight Capital - Kee-Meng Tan

    15.50-16.10 Real-time risk management means tick-by-tick
    LMAX – Martin Thompson

    16.10-16.30 UCL’s Algorithmic Trading System Platform
    UCL - Michal Galas

    16.30-16.40 Wrap Up
    Microsoft - Azam Husain

    Don Syme and Peter Key from MSR both presented at the event, this is very exciting and interesting as on my recent visits a number of academics are interested in now teaching F# as the first language to new UG Students. Therefore Dom’s presentation may be of great interest to you all.

    · Dom Syme Slides attached http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dsyme/archive/2011/06/28/slides-for-today-s-talk-at-ucl-algorithmic-trading-day.aspx

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Faculty Connection Newsletter


    Academic are you aware we have a dedicated monthly Faculty Connection Newsletter, this newsletter is sent directly to your inbox on a monthly basis and contains the latest information from the Faculty Connection Site http://www.microsoft.com/faculty you can simply Sign up for other newsletters  via the Microsoft Profile Centre.

    Faculty Connection Newsletter

    Faculty Connection Newsletter
    June 2011

    Welcome to the June edition of the Microsoft® Faculty Connection newsletter. This resource provides information about new curriculum resources and other useful educational content for use in the classroom. If this newsletter was forwarded to you by a colleague, please feel free to subscribe today to receive future editions directly.


    Kinect for Windows SDK

    Kinect for Windows SDK Now Available
    Microsoft announced the availability of a beta version of the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) from Microsoft Research. The SDK is designed to enable a growing community of academic researchers and enthusiasts to use Kinect technology to build compelling applications that include depth sensing, human motion tracking, and voice recognition on PCs. The SDK can be downloaded at no cost for the development of non-commercial applications.

    Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals
    Imagine Cup 2011Students from around the world were invited to New York City, USA from July 8-13, 2011 to channel their creative energy, their technical skills, and most of all, their personal passion to take part in an urgent mission. With the 2011 Theme as their inspiration, students used the power of technology and their own brilliance to present solutions to some of the world's toughest problems. Teams were formed in a total of 183 countries and regions.

    Cloud Futures Workshop 2011
    The Cloud Futures Workshop took place on June 2-3, 2011. There were about 140 people who attended in person and 80 who joined online for the simulcast version. For those not able to attend, the videos and presentations from each of the sessions are available on the Cloud Futures site. We hope to see you there next year.


    The Faculty Connection Resource Center is the place to find these and other classroom-ready teaching materials:

    Designing for Windows Phone
    Explore seven lessons on how to design for Windows Phone, from building assets and interactivity to creating layout controls in Expression Blend.

    Expanding Your Skills: Creating a Dynamic Web Template
    This teaching and learning module for Expression Web 4 shows how to create Dynamic Web Templates from which to create other pages. The instructions are useful for teachers who want to create template websites for students to use in communicating their learning and presenting assignments. The module includes a 3-4 day lesson plan, tutorial, student projects suggestions, and rubric.

    Microsoft Biology Foundation Training
    The Microsoft Biology Foundation (MBF) is a language-neutral bioinformatics toolkit, built as an extension to the Microsoft .NET Framework, and initially aimed at the area of Genomics research. This material includes slides and seven hands-on labs to help you get started with MBF. You can also view the MBF tutorial introduction presentation from the Microsoft Research eScience Workshop 2010. Visit Microsoft Biology Foundation to install, download, learn more about MBF, and to find sample tools and applications built on it. MBF is part of the Microsoft Biology Initiative.

    My PC Series
    The My PC Series is a completely free and fun, hands-on, jargon-free curriculum of computer classes developed by Microsoft for adult learners. This new curriculum centers on Windows® 7 and Windows Live™ Essentials. It is based on extensive audience and instructional research about how less tech-savvy consumers want to learn new computer skills. The content is designed for adults and has been tested with more than 500,000 students.


    Microsoft ResearchFind recent news from a Microsoft Research site near you.

    Turning the 'Big Data' Problem into Opportunity
    Data sets that are too large to manipulate with conventional systems are often described as a problem. But researchers are recasting them as an opportunity for researchers to validate the shift to cloud computing.

    Interactive Visualization: The Future of Data Analysis?
    Demos shown at D.C. TechFair 2011 explore four visualization techniques that can assist people in analyzing vast data stores in intuitive ways. From sketching to simplified NetCharts, data can be streamlined and manipulated to improve exploration and analysis of complicated data sets.

    Beyond CAPTCHA: Researching New Ways to Stop Web Troublemakers
    Microsoft Research is developing new methods to stop Internet attackers, such as identifying attacker-created email accounts to help reduce spam and other malicious activities on the Internet.



    The Faculty Connection Resource Center contains recommended Curriculum Resources, Reference Materials, Software, and Supplemental Resources:


    View the Faculty Connection Resource Kit page for curriculum materials on areas such as Cloud Computing and Operating Systems. These kits contain lecture materials, PowerPoint presentations, videos, white papers, labs, and more that can be used for classroom presentations.

    Find Higher Ed and Teacher resource kits to help you engage your students.


    Find additional faculty and student resources:


    These are the top downloads by faculty and teachers from the Faculty Connection Resource Center:

    1. Web Development With .NET

    2. Windows Phone Programming in C#

    3. ASP.NET for Programmers

    4. Key Benefits of Microsoft Visual Studio Team System

    5. Introduction to Programming Through Game Development Using Microsoft XNA Game Studio

    6. Course Syllabus - Introduction to Embedded Systems using Windows Embedded CE - 2nd Edition

    7. Learn Programming with XNA

    8. A Lap Around Microsoft Expression Blend®

    9. Comparing the Linux and Windows Kernels -- CRK Unit OS-B

    10. Windows Operating System Internals Curriculum Resource Kit (CRK)


    If you have any questions or would like to know more about Microsoft Faculty Connection, please send us an email at fchelp@microsoft.com.


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Surface in education



    As many of you are aware, the new Microsoft Surface was unveiled at CES 2011.

    Microsoft Surface 2.0 also has a dedicated web site. There you’ll learn about the Surface experience and get a look at the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface.

    It seems that lots of people are really interested in Microsoft Surface. For example the last two institutions I have visited both had some great ideas and interesting research project they wanted to develop on the Microsoft Surface 2.0. As the surface device is a PC you can run application developed in Silverlight, XNA, standard windows based apps or web app for some spectacular application development and ideas take a look at Dr David Brown, from Microsoft Technology Centre blog which contains information on his awesome Surface Virtual Universe application and surface physics engine work.

    For those of you who haven't see the new Surface 2.0 device please watch the following video

    More information will be coming over the next few months in terms of offical release dates of the Surface 2.0 devices and the offical SDK for Surface, so check back with http://www.Surface.com and the Surface blog to stay up to date with the latest news.

    However If your interested in getting started on application development for Surface 2 then the best option for Surface until v2 is officially available is to start with the “Surface Toolkit for Windows Touch Beta”.

    Overview at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee957352.aspx 

    Download at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=801907a7-b2dd-4e63-9ff3-8a2e63932a74

    You can also follow Surface information and announcements via Twitter and Facebook

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Has your institution considered becoming a Microsoft IT Academy? IT Academy offers Over 300 courses and over £40,000 of Value to Education



    About the Microsoft IT Academy:

    Microsoft responds to IT Education, Training, and Employment demands. IT Academy offers Over 300 courses and over £40,000 of Value to Education

    The Microsoft IT Academy program is exclusively available to accredited academic institutions and CASA-eligible organizations to provide an affordable learning solution and toolkit from Microsoft to benefit schools. One subscription per campus will cover everyone students, faculty and staff; this is a great way to save on training.

    You can provide your customers with official Microsoft educational resources on the latest Microsoft technologies. Courses are available to students and faculty working toward proficiency with everyday business applications as well as to those pursuing advanced IT training. Membership can help to accelerate course development with a comprehensive package of courseware, e-learning programs, course management tools, and more. Schools also realize significant discounts on exams and courseware as part of the IT Academy program.

    IT Academy members in the UK also receive a free Live Meeting training session and on-boarding support to ensure usage of their IT Academy benefits are maximized. This on-boarding is provided by our appointed Microsoft UK Academic Engagement Provider.

    Please contact our Microsoft Academy Service Partner Consultant or  Click Here for Details of the Microsoft Academy Program

    IT Academy Benefit Highlights:

    • Reduced costs for technology training through an extensive portfolio of benefits for students, and for faculty and staff professional development. E-learning provided to just four students or teachers saves schools the equivalent of their annual membership fee.

    • Save faculty time with a “ready to go” solution for technology education.

    • E-learning - over 300 courses available, as well as a course management tool allowing instructors to administer courses and monitor students’ progress.

    • Link academic learning to real-world skills to prepare students with the IT skills needed for the workforce.

    • Access for teachers to get direct link and form communities with Microsoft’s network of more than 15,000 certified instructors teaching on Microsoft technologies around the globe.

    • E-Reference Library – members receive three complimentary faculty subscriptions to a digital, fully searchable online database of more than 600 technology titles published by Microsoft Press. Faculty members can save time finding that specific technical reference they need for teaching and research. Plus 60% discounts are available for additional faculty and for student subscriptions.

    • Workforce credentials – Certifications available in IT Academy help prepare students for the work world ahead and are globally recognized, workforce credentials, recognized by Microsoft customers and partners worldwide.

    • Flexibility to incorporate IT Academy content to existing curriculum pathways and learning solutions.

    IT Academy Facts:

    • Microsoft IT Academy is one of the fastest growing industry-academic partner programs- growing from 6,000 member institutes to 9,000 during 2010

    • Microsoft IT Academy provides students, faculty and staff with access to hundreds of official Microsoft e-learning courses for one low membership price

    • Microsoft IT Academy contributes to workforce development initiatives on campus and student employability objectives

    • Microsoft IT Academy helps connect student learning with workforce skills

    • Microsoft IT Academy provides flexibility for inclusion in credit, degree-granting programs and certificates as well as non-credit programs

    • Microsoft IT Academy provides schools, faculty and students with exclusive exam and textbook discounts

    • Microsoft IT Academy provides learning resources for campus community members to better understand and leverage the technology stack and range of software solutions in your Campus or School Agreement

    • Microsoft IT Academy provides opportunity to differentiate the institution as a leader

    • Microsoft IT Academy allows Institutions  to brand programs and the institution with the Microsoft IT Academy logo

    • Microsoft IT Academy membership gets Institutions and key contact information listed in the academy locator tool on the Microsoft public website

    For more information on the Microsoft IT Academy program benefits, please visit www.microsoftitacademy.com

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio Getting Started, Hobbyist? Academic? Researcher?



    The Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3 (Microsoft RDS) is a Windows based environment for academic, hobbyist, and commercial developers to easily create robotics applications across a wide variety of hardware. All previous editions of Microsoft RDS 2008 R2 (Express, Standard and Academic) have been combined into one new version, RDS 2008 R3 and can be downloaded at no charge from MSDNAA or DreamSpark.

    The Microsoft CCR and DSS Toolkit 2008 R2 is no longer available as a standalone product and is now included for no charge with RDS 2008 R3. RDS 2008 R3 includes a lightweight asynchronous services-oriented runtime, a set of visual authoring and simulation tools, as well as templates, tutorials, and sample code to help you get started.

    The key problem with both games and robots has been the cost and complexity of producing the necessary building blocks that faculty can use to create computer science assignments. By partnering with faculty who are domain experts in robotics and teaching, Microsoft External Research has collaborated with many institutions and researchers to advance state-of-the-art curricula, coupling existing practices with compelling, practical, and affordable robotics technology.


    Research Tools and Services

    Hardware Support

    Academic Publications

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Embedded Systems- Using Windows 7 Embedded



    Microsoft is committed to higher learning, and Windows Embedded delivers one of the best sets of embedded technology and resources to the academic field. Windows Embedded offers the opportunity to take advantage of the career potential that goes along with the current growth of the embedded market and provides a platform for exposure to embedded systems.

    The Windows Embedded Academic program provides professors and students access to the Windows Embedded CE and Windows Embedded Standard operating systems.

    Check out the Embedded Suggested resources from Faculty Connection here:


    Additionally check out the Windows Embedded Academic Program site: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded/en-us/evaluate/windows-embedded-academic-programs.aspx

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Dare to be Digital–Microsoft Windows Phone and Kinect Teams


    What Dare is...


    Dare to be Digital is a video games development competition for extremely talented students at Universities and Colleges of Art. Teams of 5 students, usually a mix of artists, programmers and audio, assemble at Abertay University for 9 weeks during June to August to develop a prototype video game, receiving mentoring from industry.

    At the end of the competition, the prototypes are displayed at talent showcasing event Dare ProtoPlay. The general public and industry experts get to play and vote for the games. At the Dare awards ceremony, three prizes of £2500 will be awarded to the three highest scoring teams based on the criteria of innovation and creativity, market potential and use of technology (none of the three will be specifically attributed to any particular criterion). Seven months later the winning teams attend the BAFTA Video Games Awards to compete for the coveted "Ones to Watch Award".

    Microsoft is proud to be an official sponsor for the provision of Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft Kinect

    Kinect  Win7Phone

    In this blog I want to focus on the Windows Phone Teams a further blog will be written about the Kinect team

    The Windows Teams are:

    Team Rebel Donut social-twitter @Rebel_Donut

    blog: http://rebeldonutgames.blogspot.com/  

    Dare blog: http://www.daretobedigital.com/team-information-2011/team.php?idTeam=1315&year=2011 

    Team Tea and Techno social-twitter @TandTechno

    Dare blog: http://www.daretobedigital.com/team-information-2011/team.php?year=2011&idTeam=1435

    Here are the benefits for students taking part:

    • Enhance your CV
    • Get mentoring from the industry
    • Produce a demo to take to interviews
    • Hone your skills and get the experience that employers are looking for
    • Expose your skills and work to games industry luminaries / potential employers
    • Experience working as part of a team

    Want to know more

    Simply visit http://www.daretobedigital.com/

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    New Pricing Structure for Windows Azure from 1st July 2011–FREE inbound data transfers


    cloudpower      Azure_thumbnail

    We are pleased to announce a change in pricing for the Windows Azure platform that will provide significant cost savings for customers whose cloud applications experience substantial inbound traffic, and customers interested in migrating large quantities of existing data to the cloud. For billing periods that begin on or after July 1, 2011, all inbound data transfers for both peak and off-peak times will be free.

    This is a positive move for UK Academic and educational customers, this announcement has already created a great deal of excitement within the UK academic sector.

    As a team were very excited by this change, the cost of inbound data transfer has been a significant concern to academic researchers and the changes will make research projects easier to estimate and removes a barrier or uploading large data sets.

    Buy making this announcement, we hope its make Windows Azure more affordable for the academic community, no matter what the project or research activity is or how large or small.

    So now if your transferring megabytes, gigabytes or terabytes, eliminating data ingress fees will significantly reduce the time and resources required for research and development, testing and significantly reduce operational costs

    We hope that changes such as these continue to increase the value of the Windows Azure platform for our customers.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft wins Best Cloud Service award at Cloud Computing World Series Awards



    Microsoft has won the Best Cloud Service award at the 2011 Cloud Computing World Series Awards.

    Having been judged by an independent panel of industry experts, the awards were presented to Microsoft at the 3rd annual Cloud Computing World Forum on the 21st June, Olympia, London.

    Since the Windows Azure platform became generally available over a year ago, it has been adopted by customers across 41 countries. These customers are creating new services and gaining greater efficiencies as they take their companies to the cloud, enabling them to able to address customer needs quickly with innovative solutions that are cost effective and reliable.

    “It’s fantastic for us to see this type of recognition for the Windows Azure platform. We’re seeing companies creating business solutions in record times, reinforcing the new possibilities created by the cloud,” said Michael Newberry, Windows Azure lead, Microsoft UK.

    For more information on Microsoft visit http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    UK institutions using Live@edu SkyDrive has been upgraded



    Today Microsoft launched a update to its amazing SkyDrive services, the updates include speed boosts, a revamped UI, and improvements to photo viewing.

    SkyDrive is a service bundled into Microsoft Live services which all UK Academic receive for free if they provide the Microsoft Live@edu services.

    Windows Live enables you to do the things that are important to you, such as staying connected with all your friends. Read your friends’ status messages with the “What’s New” feed, or chat with them using Windows Live Messenger online, on your desktop, or via mobile. Windows Live includes Photo Gallery, SkyDrive, Windows Live Messenger, Movie Maker, and more. It’s the place where you can share photos, files, e-mail, and socialize with friends.

    The latest version is a update to the SkyDrive services which is now  almost four-year-old service has cut wait time on actions like clicking folders, from six to nine seconds down to 100 to 300 milliseconds.

    The updated software also features H.264 video playback, a navigation system and a single view for files, docs, and photos.

    A video tour of its SkyDrive cloud based services below. For tips on using SkyDrive more effectively click here

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