Faculty Connection is an online set of real-world resources and shared peer knowledge, the goal of the Faculty Connection site is to put relevant and applicable tools and information at the fingertips of technology educators.
The UK Academic Team is responsible for offering IT students and faculty members free access to software, for enhancing knowledge and skills by providing curriculum materials and other learning opportunities, for helping students achieve their dreams by organizing an international competition, and finally for assisting last year students through career resources and job opportunities at our customers and partners.
With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
Last week I was travelling the country talking to academics and students about the opportunity of building apps for Windows 8.
During the week I had a number of really interesting discussions, however on Friday I had a comment from one student, who simply believed Windows 8, was for touch devices only.
We got onto the topic of keyboard and mouse as I was presenting using a Lenovo thinkpad which supports both touch and keyboard and mouse. I was simply demonstrating Windows navigation via touch and then via keyboard and mouse during the presentation demos and the student in question seemed to be blown away by this and when we discussed this it more detail after the event he wasn't aware of the number of Windows Shortcut keys available.
So here a quick list of some of my favourites
Charms and menus
Apps Search Screen
Files Search Screen
Split to the right
Split to the left
Scroll Start Screen
Apps Options/App bar
Techila is a middleware solution for High Performance Computing that enables existing applications to utilize more computing capacity. I believe that the key problem in business and operational computing is the lack of application performance. There are enormous amounts of computing capacity available using Windows Azure cloud service.
Techila allows applications to utilise all available computing capacity. To try demonstrate this a great example of the benefits of Techila and the Windows Azure with Techila integration is a case study, which Techila did with a leading cancer researcher. The researchers in question had a project, which would have taken 15 years. He had developed his research application in MATLAB. He used the Windows Azure with Techila integration to boost the performance of his application with the combined power of 1200 Windows Azure instances. This allowed him to complete the project in 4,5 days! Being able to do something in 4,5 days, which usually takes 15 years gives a real competitive advantage.
Techila develop the solution in close co-operation with end-users and system administrators from the very beginning.
Techila has selected Pharma, Economics/ Financial, and Universities/ Academia as the key markets because of the fact that they are strong on Techila's home market, Finland. But I want to emphasize that unlike many other distributed computing solutions, Techila is a fully horizontal middleware, which can be used in any segment and which can increase the performance of any application: The code can be a MATLAB application, or it can be R (or C/C++, Java, Perl, Python, Fortran,...) They also offer an open API, which can be used to connect any ISV application (3DSMax, SAS, COMSOL, Sungard,...) to the Windows Azure capacity.
Also please find below a demo of run a 2-day long computation in a couple of minutes using 500 Azure instances using MATLAB:
Techila with R language can be found here:
Project Hawaii: Cloud-Enabled Mobile Computing Project Hawaii offers university students the opportunity to explore how the cloud can enhance mobile devices, especially the increasingly ubiquitous smartphone. Find samples of student-created applications that range from assisting people who are blind or visually impaired to identify their locations and contact other people to enabling individuals with smart phones to contribute to a variety of science research projects by gathering useful information using the sensors on their phones.
For more details see http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/hawaii/applications/
Project Hawaii SDK: Create Mobile Applications—Watch the Video Find out how you can create cloud-enabled mobile applications with the tools and services that are included in the Project Hawaii software development kit (SDK). Arjmand Samuel, research program manager from Microsoft Research Connections, talks about what the SDK contains and how it can be used to develop Windows Phone applications.
“Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.”
The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition. It provides an opportunity for students to use their creativity, passion, and knowledge of technology to help solve global challenges and make a difference in the world. While competing for cash and prizes, students gain real-life experiences, make new friends, and change the world.
Now in its tenth year, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real-world problems. 358,000 students representing 183 countries and regions registered for the Imagine Cup 2011 Competition. The Imagine Cup is one way Microsoft encourages the brightest young minds to join together and use technology to take on the toughest problems facing our world today, whether it is combatting diseases, improving education or creating disaster communication systems.
How is Microsoft UK supporting Imagine Cup 2012?
This year we have changed our approach to the Imagine Cup competition in the UK.
Universities have the opportunity to hold local finals for the Software Design competition, to find the best team and project to represent their institution. The winning team of each institution that runs a local final is guaranteed a place in the UK final of the Imagine Cup, judged by a panel of the industry’s brightest and most influential business minds. Teams that do not win their local final can enter online for the chance to win a place in the Imagine Cup UK final.
Students who do not enter the Software Design competition through their institution are still eligible to submit projects into the Online Competition, judged by Microsoft, for a place in the UK final of the Imagine Cup.
To qualify for the Institution Competition:
1. The institution must commit to have a minimum of three teams entering the Imagine Cup 2012 Software Design competition. Two or more institutions can choose to run a joint competition, but only one winning team will be guaranteed a place in the UK final.
2. Each team must have one faculty mentor.
3. All competitors are bound by the Rules and Regulations of the worldwide Imagine Cup 2012 competition.
4. The Institution Competition must be clearly promoted as being part of the Imagine Cup.
5. The Institution must notify Microsoft of their interest in running a local Imagine Cup competition by sending an e-mail to email@example.com no later than 17:00 on Wednesday 30th November 2011.
The benefits of holding an Institution Competition include:
· The winning team from the Institution Competition is automatically through to the UK Imagine Cup Software Design final.
· Employees from Microsoft will be available to sit on the judging panel of the local final.
· Microsoft will endeavour to identify local technology companies that can offer industry mentors to the student teams.
· Microsoft will offer prizes to winners and runner-ups of local finals.
· Microsoft will provide Imagine Cup marketing materials to the Institution
· Microsoft will highlight the Institution Competition in blogs, on our web site and other channels.
· Teams from the Institution Competition that do not win their local final can enter the online competition for a place in the Imagine Cup UK final.
Get your students to register for Imagine Cup 2012.
The Online Competition will be for student teams who haven’t entered through their institutions or who have not won their Institution Competition for Software Design. Software Design teams entering through the Online Competition have the option to submit partially complete projects prior to the final deadline for review by, and feedback from, Microsoft.
All entrants of the Game Design and IT Challenge competitions must also enter online.
Wednesday 30th November 2011 - 17:00
Deadline for notifying Microsoft UK of the intention to run a local Institution Competition for the Imagine Cup 2012.
Sunday 4th March 2012 - 23:59
Deadline for submission of partially complete projects for review by, and feedback from, Microsoft. Feedback will be provided by Friday 16th March 5:30 pm.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Deadline for preliminary summary of project submission online at www.imaginecup.com.
Sunday 15th April 2012 - 23:59
Project submission deadline online (both online entries and institution final winner entries).
Tuesday 17th April 2012
Announcement of shortlisted online Software Design entries.
Thursday 19th April 2012
Judging of finalists in London with external judging panel.
Wednesday 25th April 2012
Live broadcast of Imagine Cup UK final results and feedback.
Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia.
For any questions or more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
See last year’s Imagine Cup winner Team Hermes from Ireland
See Team Note-Taker from the USA’s entry here.
This exciting and engaging computer science semester course enables students to apply a basic foundation in programming to create games using C# and Microsoft XNA Game Studio.
Don't forget simply login to DreamSpark.com for your FREE XNA software and developer tools.
The course guides you through the development of Games using Visual Studio 2010 C# combined with the Microsoft XNA framework which creates the XNA Game Studio – a professional game development environment for PC, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone.
The free curriculum package includes
Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Teacher Roadmap
Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Part 1 Basics
Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Part 2 Games for All Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Appendix
I’m pleased to announce that the 1st edition of “Building Windows Phone Apps: A Developer’s Guide” is available to download.
This e-book is a community effort to capture useful information and learning about building apps on the Windows Phone platform.
Download Building Windows Phone Apps: A Developer’s Guide
For more details on this publication and its authors see Mike Ormond's Blog, please feel free to use this book with students and your courses also if you have any comments suggestions or ideas for additional chapters or content please post your feedback on Mike’s Blog.
So its now only a few days until the Build Windows conference, BUILD takes place between 13th – 16th of September 2011.
The event has been total sold out for many months. I have to say I am pretty excited! why? I am lucky enough to be attending the event. As your aware from my previous posts Build Windows is a new event that shows modern hardware and software developers how to take advantage of the future of Windows. So make sure you take note of the URLs and twitter addresses below to learn how the new Windows 8 UI is being designed to work seamlessly with a diversity of devices and form factors.
BUILD will be the first place to take a dive deep into the future of Windows. Microsoft is extending its newest developer event Build Windows globally in multiple ways including live streamed keynotes, having a major international presence in Anaheim. So it want to learn about the future of Windows make sure you take a look at the following..
BUILD Conference Site - http://www.buildwindows.com/
BUILD Conference Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/bldwin make sure you follow @bldwin
BUILD Conference Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Build/156095381124816
Building Windows 8 Blog - http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/
Building Windows 8 Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/BuildWindows8 make sure you follow @BuildWindows8
Learn to programme in C# over the course of 24 episodes, our friend Bob Tabor from www.LearnVisualStudio.net will teach you the fundamentals of C# programming.
Learn the skills and concepts applicable to video games, mobile environments, and client applications.
The following tutorials and videos walk you through getting the tools, writing code, debugging features, customizations and much more! Each concept is broken into its own video so you can search for and focus on the information you need.
Download the entire series' source code
Watch all 24 Episodes
Over the past few days I have had lots of question from academic’s in relation to COST the No1 Question being how much will the cloud or more specifically Microsoft Windows Azure cost?
To try and help others struggling with this question here is a quick summary .
Microsoft Windows Azure processor core costs are extremely cost effective for short periods of use. The pricing table below gives the list pricing (this drops by 20% under an Azure Enterprise agreement and there are specific pricing for addition of Azure to EES).
Compute Instance Size
Cost Per Hour
2 x 1.6 GHz
4 x 1.6 GHz
8 x 1.6 GHz
So if your looking to undertake some workload using 128 cores based on small instances, the hourly cost would be $15.36 which is about £10. The benefit is huge in that you can literally just pay for a few hours if that is all you need. So you don’t need to make the huge upfront capex and opex investments in terms of some of the following. The time taken between requirement and installation physical resources such as servers, network hardware, software, storage, additional staffing resources, heating, lighting, cooling and power for your equipment.
Windows Azure Storage is metered in units of the average daily amount of data stored (in GB) over a monthly period.
Standard pay-as-you-go pricing for storage
$0.14 per GB stored per month based on the daily average
$0.01 per 10,000 storage transactions
So if you required 10TB you would be looking in the region of £900 per month (before discounts), which includes making 3 copies of the data for resiliency. It also then becomes readily accessible to supported users. There are also some charges for data transit, but we don’t charge for loading data in, downloads are $0.15 per GB, so this should stay relatively small unless the whole 10TB is moved about regularly. If your interested in learning more about Windows Azure please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
You can start building and using Microsoft Windows Azure by following the following steps:
1. Setup an Account:
Set up an account and obtain a free subscription for accessing the online portals for Windows Azure an SQL Azure. You can sign up and get the trial from http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/. Note: With the new capping functionality available you are assured that no charging will happen once your trial offer has expired.
2. Create your First application and Deploy it on the Windows Azure Platform:
Download the tools and learn how to create an application using .NET, JAVA, Node.js or PHP and deploy it on Windows Azure at http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/overview/
When all steps are executed successfully you will have a implemented a Windows Azure Platform.
Learn more about how to use Windows Azure as a student or within your teaching curriculum from http://www.microsoft.com/faculty