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!
The Windows Azure Bootcamp will take you from knowing nothing about the cloud to actually having written some code, deployed it to the cloud service and made a simple application available on the public Internet. We’ll even give you a special free pass to help you get started.
Back in May we ran some Windows Azure Bootcamps that we got some good feedback on (thanks to those who attended), so this time the camps will run for a whole day and we’ve got a camp held in Manchester as well as London.
During the Bootcamp there'll be experienced people available to guide you through each exercise. Once you have the basics in place, you'll be up and running. To get your applications running, you'll need an Azure subscription, so we can provide you with a special free pass that will entitle you to four compute instances, 3 GB of storage, Two* 1GB Web Edition databases. You can carry on using this subscription until it expires, after you've left the training course. You don't need a credit card to activate this free pass.
When you walk away from the Bootcamp, you can either de-activate the Azure application before you leave, or leave it running so that when you get home you can continue with your Windows Azure coding adventures. In any case you'll walk away with the code you've written on your laptop and an ability to modify it, test it locally on your laptop and deploy it to your free Windows Azure subscription any time you choose!
Pre-requisites: If you're a developer who uses a laptop, you'll almost certainly have most of these development components already installed. Please pay particular attention to the SQL Server setup - you'll need to use the same account during the labs as the account that was used to install whichever version of SQL Server you decide on from the pre-requisites list.
Register for a bootcamp to get your complimentary Windows Azure Pass – we’ll send you all the necessary instructions following registration.
Important Tip: Please ensure that you have completed all of the prerequisites (including getting your Windows Azure Pass) so you can maximize your time at the bootcamp to run through the practical labs and exercises provided.
Spaces are limited, so register your place in the Windows Azure Bootcamp today!
Got a question? You might find the answer below…
How much do I need to know about Windows Azure to attend this bootcamp? You don’t need any prior experience or knowledge about Windows Azure to attend this bootcamp. The purpose of the event is to provide you with the basic skills and knowledge to get started with learning about Windows Azure.
Who can attend the bootcamps? Academics, Students, developers, technologists, hobbyist, technology enthusiasts. Everyone is welcome! All we ask is that you are ready and keen to learn about Windows Azure.
How much does it cost to attend this bootcamp? Your luck's in - it's FREE.
What do I need to prepare in advance to make the most of the bootcamp? There are a basic set of things you should prepare before attending the bootcamp, listed above. Please make sure you are prepared so you can make the most of your day at the bootcamp.
What if I have registered already and cannot make it on the day? Please let us know as soon as you can if you can’t make the camp as there’ll be plenty of people who are keen to take your spot. Please respect the trainers and your fellow delegates by turning up if you have registered and committed. Thanks!
Register at the event of your choice below. Go on. You know you want to.
Then this free day of training is the quickest way to find out all you need to know.
The Windows Phone Camps will show you how to learn and build Windows Phone apps from scratch. You'll be guided through the development process with a series of hands-on workshops and short tutorials, with some seasoned experts to give you one on one help when you need it. There'll be topics like; Introduction to Windows Phone Development, Controls & Control Toolkit, Execution Model, Storing Data, Launchers & Choosers, Accessing Cloud Services, Marketplace & Submission. Also, there will be informal Mango tutorial sessions on offer covering topics such as Multi-tasking, Debugging & Profiling, Motion API, Advertising SDK and Sockets. There's even an introductory design session to help you make your app look its best. Just pick the workshops that are most useful for you and work at your own pace.
Once you've got the basics, you’ll be off and running and ready to develop your own apps. You can work on your own projects with assistance from our Windows Phone MVPs, and of course there's the all-important opportunity to meet up with likeminded devs.
The camp kicks off at 9am and finish at 6pm. By registering and attending, you will receive (fanfare please) an exclusive Windows Phone Design Guide Sketch Pad as well as your own customized Hit & Run Windows Phone Camp T-shirt.
Spaces are limited, so register your place in the Windows Phone Camp today!
Got a question? You might find the answer below...
How much do I need to know about Windows Phone to attend this camp?
You don't need any prior experience or knowledge about Windows Phone or app development to attend. The purpose of the camp is to provide you with the basic skills and knowledge to get started with learning about Windows Phone app development.
Who can attend these camps?
Academics, Students, developers, hobbyist, technology enthusiasts. Everyone is welcome! All we ask is that you are ready and keen to learn about developing apps for Windows Phone.
How much does it cost to attend this camp?
Your luck's in - it's FREE.
What do I need to prepare in advance to make the most of this camp?
There are a basic set of things you should prepare before attending the camp. This includes bringing your own suitable laptop with the Windows Phone Developer tools installed (these are free), preferably the latest version of the tools.
It would also be useful if you could read the following documentation:
If you have a Windows Phone please bring it with you.
Are you holding these camps elsewhere in the country?
Yes, this is a series of Windows Phone Camps kicking off around the country. Follow us on Twitter (@ukmsdn) to see where we’re visiting next.
What if I've registered already and can't make it on the day?
Please let us know as soon as you can if you can't make the camp as there will be plenty of people who are keen to take your spot. Please respect the trainers and your fellow delegates by turning up if you've registered and committed. Thanks!
Who are Hit & Run?
They're do cool live on-site event screen-printing. You'll get the chance to create your very own t-shirt with your unique design at the end of the camp.
What’s the Windows Phone Design Sketch Pad?
In the spirit of highlighting good design, we intend to provide each attendee with an exclusive Windows Phone design sketch pad with Windows Phone design guidelines as well as open spaces and templates to sketch your next big Windows Phone app idea. Great stuff!
Register at the event of your choice below. Go on. You know you want to.
London - Saturday 17 September
Manchester - Saturday 24 September
Next steps to the next level. Once you have the fundamentals under your belt, you should begin checking out the following videos:
Today, there are more layout options available to us. For example, we can use CSS3 Media Queries to define styles based not on the actual browser being used, but the precise device capabilities being used to view our site. Media Queries is just one option, but we now are beginning to add other layout items to our arsenal with things such as CSS3 Flexible Box (“Flexbox”) Layout, CSS3 Grid Alignment, CSS3 Multi-column Layout, CSS3 Positioned Floats. If you are interested in learning more about layout options, check out:
· IE 10: The Future of Adaptive Web Design
· The future of CSS Layouts
The following is a quick guide on HTML5 Video and the Microsoft Media Platform, I have recently had a number of question and interest from a number of UK universities whom are looking at providing streamed media content both on and off campus.
Microsoft has developed the IE Test Drive Video Format support page to see some examples of how various codecs work across the different browsers.
Web developers are generally happy to leave their existing solution in place to play their pre-existing video/audio content using plugins. However many are now supplementing these plugins with the HTML5 Video and Audio tag if the browser is able to play their particular codec of choice natively. This is ideal as the most popular mobile platforms H.264, AAC and MP3 are generally well supported using the HTML5 video and audio tags.
The Microsoft Media Platform (MMP) frameworks are the glue that holds together individual pieces of the Microsoft end-to-end media solution.
Microsoft MMP is the the video platform that sits behind the Rugby World Cup 2011 event.
The Microsoft Media Platform: Player Framework (that is licensed for commercial use under the Microsoft Public License Ms-PL) has recently added a preview of support for HTML5 (API Documentation) that enables you as web developers to compliment the Silverlight player framework with a HTML5 video experience that enables you to reach additional mobile platforms.
There are a number of commercial solutions available that do all the work for you.
Example of these include
JW Player™ (licensed for commercial use)
SublimeVideo® (Player as a Service).
It is surprisingly easy to utilise your own video solution using the default browser controls and codecs that the browser supports. The markup below shows what you need to play a video in HTML5 with a “Fall Back” to an unlisted video on YouTube.
1. Video MIME types supported
Cross Browser HTML5 video running under IIS
Video Formats supported -
The order of your markup does matter please list them as above
Add in the MIME Types support to IIS.
Under IIS 7+ this is found under Website -> IIS -> MIME Types, and you’ll want to add:
File name extension / MIME type:
Turn off Compression under Website -> IIS -> Compression, and unchecking “Enable dynamic content compression”, and “Enable static content compression
Azure Storage Explorer also allows you to do this on individual files. of one of the following formats:
3. Byte Range Requests (seeking)
There are currently a few key areas not addressed by the current W3C Video Standard (full screen support, live streaming, real time communication, content protection, metadata and accessibility). Recently the W3C Web and TV Workshop discussed some of these areas and offered some early thinking on how they may be adopted as web standards in the future.
A real issues is the lack of a solution for live and adaptive streaming. Currently there are three proprietary solutions that support live and adaptive streaming.
Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) is currently in Draft International Standard. It looks likely that it will get W3C support if it is offered royalty free.
HTML5Labs is where Microsoft prototypes early and unstable specifications from web standards bodies such as W3C. Sharing these prototypes helps Microsoft have informed discussions with developer communities to provide better feedback on draft specifications based on this implementation experience.
On the labs site Microsoft has released a Media Capture Audio Prototype that implements the audio portion of this W3C specification. The next prototype will support Speech recognition and will implement the Microsoft proposal available on the W3C website.
If you are hosting progressive download video and audio on the web you should be looking to support HTML5 video and audio today to extend the reach of your content.
An integrated environment for developing Python in Visual Studio 2010
- Support for CPython & IronPython (and Pypy and Jython)
- World-class intellisense, Browsing, Find All refs, Refactor, …
- Integrated REPL, including support for MSR’s Sho and the IPython REPL
- Advanced local & remote Debugging, including Attach scenarios
- Profiling with A/B comparison
- Support for HPC clusters, MPI programming model & cluster Debugging
- Interactive parallel computing via IPython
- And it’s Free & Open Source!
Python Tools for Visual Studio 2010 - Core editing experience with Python Tools for Visual Studio
Python Tools for Visual Studio 2010 - Profiling with Python Tools for Visual Studio
Download - http://pytools.codeplex.com
To install, please see: Installing Python Tools Visual Studio
I was at the University of York yesterday and had a quick conversation re: the opportunity of the Microsoft Kinect SDK and Bing maps. The conversation was specifically in relation to Bing Street Side View Maps and Open Street Maps and the interaction with a NUI using the Kinect device.
This conversation was interested as yesterday I posted a blog about the new WPF for Surface 2.0 so I wanted to share some further detail in light of yesterdays conversation into the PrimeSensor in WPF.
To help explain this I want to share the following video from InfoStrat.
Using the same techniques that allow us to use WPF on Surface, we can now use depth camera hand tracking to control multi-touch applications. Here is a very rough proof-of-concept where Joshua Blake, Microsoft Surface MVP author Multitouch in .NET book and (WPF 4 & Surface SDK)controlling the InfoStrat.VE WPF 4 multi-touch control using a depth camera.
Josh simply controls Bing Maps with the Kinect 3D-sensing technology
In this multi-touch application Josh display an outlines of the tracked hands to provide better feedback about what is going on he also used OpenNI and NITE from PrimeSense.
The tracked hands can participate in all of the multi-touch manipulations and gestures that you’ve already written for your touch application. You can even interact using hand tracking and touch at the same time in the same window. The code that enables this is part of the InfoStrat MotionFx open sourced project which is available from http://motionfx.codeplex.com/
What is shown above in the video that it is feasible to use the WPF Touch stack and Surface SDK as the unified platform for both multi-touch and motion tracking modalities.
Understanding the Immune Response to HIV HIV infection may not be the death sentence it once was, but it remains an undeniably serious condition that requires aggressive, life-long treatment and entails the ever-present threat of severe immunological impairment. Consequently, medical researchers continue to investigate the mechanisms by which HIV infection evades detection by the body’s normal immune responses. In the August 3, 2011, issue of Nature, investigators from the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard; Imperial College London; the National Cancer Institute; and Microsoft Research have shed light on the interactions of HIV and the immune system’s natural killer (NK) cells. The paper is the first to show that NK cells play a direct role in fighting HIV. This knowledge opens a new path of research into ways to beat the virus.
Graduate Women's Scholarship Program The Microsoft Research Graduate Women’s Scholarship is a one-year scholarship program for outstanding women graduate students and is designed to help increase the number of women pursuing a PhD. This program supports women in the second year of their graduate studies. Women who are interested in this scholarship must apply during their first year of graduate studies. Scholarships are granted by Microsoft Research at the discretion of Microsoft. Microsoft began accepting applications on Tuesday, August 16, 2011. To be considered, all applications must be submitted by Thursday, October 6, 2011, 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time.
Kinect for Windows SDK Beta Refresh Available Interest in the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) beta, released on June 16, 2011, has been strong, and we’re delighted to learn that so many developers and innovators who are experimenting with natural user interface (NUI) applications have taken advantage of the SDK to explore the potential of the Kinect sensor. In support of our commitment to encourage researchers and enthusiasts in their exploration of the exciting possibilities of the Kinect sensor, we have now released a refreshed version of the SDK. The community has provided us with a lot of good feedback, and this release addresses some of the top items you’ve told us about.
Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship Program for 2012 The Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship Program for 2012 started accepting applications on Tuesday, August 16, 2011. This program recognizes the best and the brightest Ph.D. students in the United States and Canada. Applicants must be enrolled in a full-time PhD program in an accredited university in the United States or Canada, with a research focus in computer science, mathematics, or electrical engineering. All applications must be submitted through the office of the department chair. To be considered, all applications must be submitted by Thursday, October 6, 2011, 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time.
Cloud Infrastructure Soars in Europe It was barely a year ago that European scientific and industry leaders came together to develop, test, and deploy a high-quality, interoperable cloud platform for industry and research. The result was VENUS-C (Virtual multidisciplinary EnviroNments USing Cloud infrastructures). Jointly sponsored by the European Commission and a consortium of 14 partners, among them Microsoft Research, VENUS-C was conceived to meet the needs of seven different research and commercial areas: bioinformatics, systems biology, drug discovery, civil engineering, civil protection, civil emergencies, and marine biodiversity. VENUS-C has since developed into a functional, operational platform, and is now being used for 15 new pilot projects, which received seed funds after an open call that elicited 60 proposals from throughout Europe.
Faculty Summit 2011 As you may already know, Microsoft Research Connections hosted our twelfth Faculty Summit in July, providing a forum for lively debate of the development, application, and funding of technologies in the environmental, medical, and educational spheres over a long period of time. Presentations and streaming video of keynotes, talks, panels, workshops, and demonstrations are now available on-demand—find links to them on the agenda page.
September 8–9 Microsoft Biology Foundation Workshop 2011, Phoenix, AZ
September 27 Microsoft Research 20-Year Anniversary, Redmond, WA, United States
October 20—21 Microsoft Biology Foundation Workshop 2011, San Diego, CA
October 23—25 eScience Workshop: Transforming Scholarly Communication, Cambridge, MA
November 9–12 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Portland, OR, United States
December 4–8 2011 eScience in Action Workshop, Stockholm, Sweden
I am pleased to announce to all those interested in Surface 2.0 developments that the Bing team have released the Beta of a WPF version of their Bing maps control. You can now Download the map control and write some mapping enabled Surface applications.
The Bing Map APIs will be consistent with the Silverlight version of the control. If you already know how to use the Silverlight map control, you are set. It will support the following map styles: Road, Aerial and Hybrid.
The map uses WPF4’s manipulation events for scaling, translation and rotation – providing a consistent familiar experience for Microsoft Surface users. The WPF control supports full rotation and inertia with options to turn both off. Plus, infinite scroll maps, touch to lat/lon to pixel conversions and the ability to plug into the Bing Maps REST API for geocoding and routing or the Bing API for search.
For more detailed information on the Bing WPF map control see the Bing Team Blog or read the documentation contained within the download.
I look forward to hearing what mapping applications or research you undertake with this.
Overview of Cloud Computing and the Windows Azure Platform: an Academic Perspective This presentation talks about the benefits of Cloud Computing and provides an in-depth look at Windows Azure.
Windows Azure Platform Virtual Labs Click the link above to visit the MSDN site for Azure Platform Virtual Labs or click on any specific lab below. Virtual labs are simple, with no complex setup or installation required.
Windows Phone 7 and The Cloud Exploring Windows Azure Storage Debugging Applications in Windows Azure Advanced Web and Worker Roles Windows Azure Native Code Building Windows Azure Services with PHP Getting Started with Windows Azure Storage Building Windows Azure Services Using Windows Azure Tables
Introducing the Windows Azure Platform (Whitepaper) Using computers in the cloud can make lots of sense. Rather than buying and maintaining your own machines, why not exploit the acres of internet-accessible servers on offer today? Learn about the Windows Azure Platform in this white paper.
Introducing Windows Azure (Whitepaper) Cloud computing is here. Running applications on machines in an Internet-accessible data center can bring plenty of advantages. Yet wherever they run, applications are built on some kind of platform. For on-premises applications, this platform usually includes an operating system, some way to store data, and perhaps more. Applications running in the cloud need a similar foundation. The goal of Microsoft’s Windows Azure is to provide this. Part of the larger Windows Azure platform, Windows Azure is a platform for running Windows applications and storing data in the cloud.
Additional Windows Azure Whitepapers Follow the link above to see a list of additional whitepapers about Windows Azure.
Microsoft Web Platform Installer Download the Microsoft Web Platform Installer plus other tools and videos on topics such as SQL Azure Database, PHP on Windows Azure, Web seminars and the Cloud Developer Center on MSDN.
Windows Azure Platform Training Kit The Windows Azure Platform Training Kit includes a comprehensive set of technical content including hands-on labs, presentations, and demos that are designed to help you learn how to use the Windows Azure platform including: Windows Azure, SQL Azure and the Windows Azure AppFabric.
Windows Azure SDK and Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio (March 2011) Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio, which includes the Windows Azure SDK, extends Visual Studio 2010 to enable the creation, configuration, building, debugging, running, packaging and deployment of scalable web applications and services on Windows Azure.
And you can even develop your course curricula as a learning journey for development on Windows Azure.
Week 1. Controlling Access in the Windows Azure Platform
Week 2. Handling Blobs in Windows Azure
Week3. Going NoSQL with Windows Azure Tables
Week 4. Disconnecting with Windows Azure Queues
Week 5. Developing Hosted Services for Windows Azure
Week 6. Digging into Windows Azure Diagnostics
Week 7. Managing Hosted Services with the Service Management API
Week 8. Using SQL Azure
Week 9. Looking at the Windows Azure AppFabric
Microsoft Showcase Videos on Windows Azure This site contains 300+ videos on Windows Azure.
Windows Azure Case Studies Learn how others are using the Windows Azure platform to cut costs and increase their agility. Follow the link above to see a list of case studies about Windows Azure.
Azure Research Engagement from Microsoft Research The Azure Research Engagement project aims to change the paradigm for scholarly and scientific research by extending the power of the computer into the cloud. We build the components of cloud technology and work with researchers in the field on projects that push the frontier of client and cloud computing.
Azurescope: Benchmarking and Guidance for Windows Azure The purpose of this site is to present the results of regularly running benchmarks on the Windows Azure platform. These benchmarks are intended to assist you in architecting and deploying your research applications and services on Windows Azure. Included in the benchmark suite are tests of data throughput rates, response times, and capacity. Each benchmark is run against a variety of test cases designed to reflect common use scenarios for Windows Azure development.
Recently I have been asked the same question by a number academics..
how to try to make teaching programming interesting?
how to try to make teaching programming interesting?
As we all know one of the key things of learning is it has to be interesting, so simply getting students to use notepad to code isn't interesting and students will become quickly disengaged or simply turn off.
So why not try to make things more interesting and teach them how to program a browser-based game, Key goals are the outcome is cross-platform compatible and also build upon some the skills your students may already have, in terms of web design and may also be really stimulating and of use to them in extra curricula activities so with these factors I am sure they would be really interested in learning more.
In terms of curricula you can teach canvas element, audio and video implementation, event handling, form input validation and the usage of information storing. These are all new functions in HTML5.
And you can even develop your course curricula as a learning journey.
Week 2. Programming these functions followed by drawing the animation using the canvas element.
Week 3. Using the canvas element,
Week 4. Create the game logics (including the collision engine)
Week 5. Using form input validation and adding some AI such as basic artificial gravity.
Week 7. You can use HTML5`s local storage API.
Week 8. Develop a game uses and which includes the above and have a mini challenge between the students.