• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Curriculum on Game Development using XNA



    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.

    Students will

    • Address social causes and real-world problems
    • Explore game and simulation development as communication and art
    • Apply knowledge of variables, conditionals, loops, object-oriented programming, recursion, and data structures to game creation.

    The free curriculum package includes

    • Teacher Roadmap
    • Daily lesson plans
    • Demonstration projects
    • 14 video tutorials
    • 22 lab assignments and solutions
    • Student activities
    • Assessment tools with keys and exemplars


    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

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone Interoperability



    Got a porting question?

    Interested in Windows Phone but your currently a iPhone, Android or QT developer want to know more about porting your Android, iPhone or Qt apps over to the Windows Phone platform?

    Check out the  great resources, free easy-to-use tools to help you through the process, and even experts monitoring forums to answer porting questions. see http://windowsphone.interoperabilitybridges.com/ 

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone codenamed "Mango" Training Course



    Version: 1.1

    Mango offers a lot of new capabilities for developers to create even better, more immersive user experiences on Windows Phone. This course will give you hands-on experience with important developer features in Mango.

    After completing this course, you will be able to:

    · Get more out of the hardware with new APIs for compass, gyro, camera and a virtual motion sensor
    · Take advantage of the new multi-tasking capabilities such as fast app switching, background agents, alerts and reminders
    · Improve integration with the phone by using live tiles, Bing search extras, Bing maps, and the new calendar and contacts APIs

    Happy Windows Phone coding!

    Download Offline Training Kit

    Target Audience

    This training course is designed for developers who are familiar with Windows Phone development. The course focuses on new features in the Mango release. If you are new to Windows Phone, consider our introductory Windows Phone 7 training course to get a familiar with Windows Phone development.

    How-To Index for Windows Phone

    A How-to topic has also been produced this has been developer to allow you to complete a task by presenting a series of procedures, a code example, or both.

    How-to topics are a good place for you to start if you are trying to perform a specific task. For a full list of How-To see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg278408(v=VS.92).aspx

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    2012 Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship Program



    Microsoft Research are presently seeking applications from EMEA for the 2012 Faculty Fellowship Program which is targeted at early career faculty members whom are nominated by their institution.

    Announcing the 2012 Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship Program

    Microsoft Research is inviting nominations for its Faculty Fellowship program, starting on September 30, 2011. This program recognizes and supports exceptional early-career faculty engaged in innovative computing research. The objective is to stimulate and support the research of promising individuals who have the potential to make a profound impact on the state-of-the-art in their research disciplines and to become future thought leaders.  Each fellowship award includes a cash gift that is appropriate for the region and is intended to help fund research activities for up to two years.

    The winners of the 2012 faculty fellowship awards will be announced at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit in July 2012. Note that only one (1) application will be accepted per research institution (e.g. one from Harvard University all departments included).  The potential Fellows for the Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship program must be nominated by their research institution, and their nominations must be confirmed by a letter from the head of the institution (e.g., office of the Dean, Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor, President, and so on). Direct applications from new faculty members are not accepted.

    Nominations open: September 30, 2011.

    Nominations and application deadline: October 31, 2011.

    Nominations are to be submitted online at: https://cmt.research.microsoft.com/MSRFacultyFellowship/

    For further information, please visit http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/collaboration/awards/msrff.aspx for eligibility criteria and instructions.


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Celebrating 20 Years of Success at Microsoft Research


    Celebrating 20 Years of Success

    27 September marked the 20 year anniversary of Microsoft Research (MSR). To celebrate this milestone the six worldwide labs hosted a series of co-ordinated events. Beginning in Beijing, Craig Mundie kicked off the proceedings, followed by Bangalore, Cambridge, the lab in New England and then Silicon Valley and Redmond.

    To an audience of academics, media and staff, host Gareth Mitchell of the BBC and Imperial College, started the Cambridge UK event by inviting Rick Rashid, Nathan Myhrvold and a series of others to talk about the impact of MSR via pre-recorded video. Gareth then handed the stage over to lab director Andrew Blake, who spoke in more detail about the history of MSR, particular achievements of the Cambridge lab and set the tone for an event that celebrated how proud and excited we all are to be part of Microsoft Research. Showcasing the breadth of basic research from the lab, the audience heard from panellists about the future of software verification, speakers on subjects including programming life, why we build data centers like we do, the future of looking back, model-based machine learning for e-health records, medical imaging in the hospital and finally NUI panellists discussing and demoing the future of digital interaction. All this was sandwiched around an open demo-fest for visitors to wander freely, meet with researchers and experience some of our latest projects for themselves.

    From feedback received, it seems that attendees thoroughly enjoyed the event. To quote one academic “Naturally, I had high expectations for the day. Microsoft exceeded them. I was particularly impressed to see the continued emphasis on fundamental and theoretical work- this is a great tribute to Microsoft's focus on contributing to the state-of-the-art."

    We have seen a number of media articles from those that attended. The first main piece being a glowing report on KinectFusion, which was demoed during the NUI panel session: Kinect Project Merges Real and Virtual Worlds (MIT, Technology Review) and another being a three page article in c't magazin (with a prime score of 200).

    Check out the Microsoft Research Anniversary web site and blog for more about what went on during the worldwide celebration.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows HPC with Burst to Windows Azure Training Course


    This Resource Kit contains samples that demonstrate HPC application types and concepts shown in the article "Windows HPC with Burst to Windows Azure Application Models and Data Considerations". This new version of the resource kit includes samples that demonstrate the new features of the HPC Pack 2008 R2 SP2, including using the Message Passing Interface (MPI) on Windows Azure nodes, and the HPC Job Scheduler's representational state transfer (REST) API.

    Download Offline Training Kit

    Target Audience

    This training kit is intended for use by academic whom wish to learn how to use the Azure burst scenario, which is described in the article Windows HPC with Burst to Windows Azure: Application Models and Data Considerations.

    Technical Prerequisites

    Parametric Sweep

    Parametric sweep provides a straightforward development path for solving delightfully parallel problems on a cluster (sometimes referred to as "embarrassingly parallel" problems, which have no data interdependencies or a shared state that would preclude linear scaling through parallelization). One such problem is the calculation of prime numbers over a large range. Parametric sweep applications run multiple instances of the same program on different sets of input data stored in a series of indexed storage items, such as files on a disk or rows in a database table. Each instance of a parametric sweep application runs as a separate task, and many such tasks can execute concurrently, depending on the amount of available cluster resources.


    Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is an architectural style designed for building distributed systems. The SOA actors are services: independent software packages that expose their functionality by receiving data (requests) and returning data (responses). SOA is designed to support the distribution of an application across computers and networks, which makes it a natural candidate for scaling on a cluster. The SOA support provided by Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 is based on Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), a .NET framework for building distributed applications. Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2 improves SOA support by hosting WCF services on Windows Azure nodes in addition to the on-premises nodes.

    Excel Offloading

    The execution of compute-intensive Microsoft Excel workbooks with independent calculations can sometimes be scaled using a cluster. The integration of Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2 with Windows Azure supports User Defined Function (UDF)-offloading. Excel workbook calculations that are based on UDFs defined in an XLL file can be installed on the cluster’s nodes (on-premises and/or Windows Azure). With the XLL installed on the cluster, the user can perform the UDF calls remotely on the cluster instead of locally on the machine on which the Excel workbook is open.

    Message Passing Interface (MPI)

    Message Passing Interface (MPI) is a platform-independent standard for messaging between HPC nodes. Microsoft MPI (MS MPI) is the MPI implementation used for MPI applications executed by Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2. Integration of Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2 with Windows Azure supports running MPI applications on Windows Azure nodes.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Updating your DreamSpark developer phones to Mango



    ‘Mango’ OS Beta: Updating from 7712 to RTM


    All registered DreamSpark Developers can now update their devices to Windows Phone 7.5 without having to fall back to the backup taken at the beginning of the provisioning process.

    This update is being made available to those running build 7712 on a retail device that was updated using the provisioning tool we published to Connect a couple months ago. Read more.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Tech.Days Online Conference Design from a User Perspective, 5 October, 3-5pm BST



    It’s one thing to create an application for Windows Phone. It’s another to *design* an application for Windows Phone that centres on experience of the user and delights them at every turn.

    Join this FREE online conference Microsoft be offering some recommended viewing / reading to help you familiarize yourself with different aspects of designing for Windows Phone (e.g. the philosophy behind Metro, considerations for mobile apps, tools, control palate, design guidelines etc.) and discuss the key principles and try to answer the questions you have related to applying these principles to your own applications.

    This new series will offer you the opportunity to ask questions you would like answered from Microsoft. Register today and start!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Silicon Valley comes to the UK




    10 LUCKY University Students to win an ALL PAID EXPENSES TRIP TO SILICON VALLEY for creating apps around health, education and environmental data from the Gov’t!

    Silicon Valley comes to the UK (SVc2UK), announces a month long, multi-site competition, dubbed, the SVc2UK Appathon, the competition supports and encourages university students to use government data to "hack" together innovative consumer applications in Healthcare, Education, and the Environment. This competition allows students to unlock the power of government data to make both a positive social impact and enhance its accessibility to peers, parents, and grandparents. This ambitious initiative represents the UK's largest ever mobilisation of students to create apps’. We don't know yet what they will create, but we are hoping for a 'good school's guide’ where you can find out where the good schools are near you, a 'good doctor's guide,’ where you can find a doctor near you, and a 'clean city guide' where you can find the cleanest city near you - or the dirtiest!

    This national ‘coding competition’ helps to address the void that exists in most university curricula, creating a real world opportunity for those developers with the ambition, appetite and aptitude to code and build applications that can have real value to users. With support, not only from their peers, but the wider technology community, and a network of mentors, these students will be able to take control of, and enhance, their own education outside of the classroom and make a difference.

    Continuing the historic success of SVc2UK, approximately 1,500 students from 15 universities across the UK are expected to be drawn “like magnets” to six UK locations including Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, Sheffield, Southampton and London to take part in the Appathons. Full access to the data and details of participating universities and hosts can be found at http://www.svc2uk.com/appathon.

    The SVc2UK Appathons will run during early October and are open to university students across the country. The competition has the full support of Downing Street, which will supply their technical guru’s from data.gov.uk. In addition, pretty much the whole technology industry is lending their support to the effort http://www.svc2uk.com/sponsors. University students who enter the competition have until 23 October to submit their apps to be judged by leading Global entrepreneurial icons including Reid Hoffman, Joi Ito and more (see http://www.svc2uk.com/speakers).

    The winners of the SVc2UK Appathon will attend an awards ceremony in November as part of ‘Silicon Valley comes to the UK’ ( http://www.svc2uk.com) and 9 winners will be invited to take part in a road trip to Silicon Valley followed by the legendary South by Southwest Conference early next year.

    The Appathon will conclude with winning developers, coming to London (UK), for the http://www.svc2uk.com/techcity finale: a show and tell event where the developers will explain and demonstrate their efforts to a selected audience of their peers, politicians, advisers, civil servants, and the press.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Download Building Windows Phone Apps: A Developer’s Guide



    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.

    Happy reading!

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