Der deutsche Education Blog

June, 2010

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.

June, 2010

  • Microsoft Research Connections Blog

    Microsoft Research and WorldWideScience.org Collaborate to Remove Language Barriers

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    In Helsinki, Finland, on June 11, during the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) Annual Conference 2010, it was my honor to participate in the announcement of the official launch of multilingual WorldWideScience.org. This new, global resource is the result of collaboration between Microsoft Research and WorldWideScience.org, an international alliance of national science and technology agencies and libraries representing 65 countries. The operating agent for WorldWideScience.org is the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Scientific and Technical Information. WorldWideScience.org uses Microsoft Translator technology developed by Microsoft Research and pairs it with federated searching technology from Deep Web Technologies.

    Photo source: Jakke Nikkarinen/STT Info Kuva. From left: Walter Warnick, U.S. Department of Energy (Office of Science); Office of Scientific and Technical Information, Director; Yuri Arskiy, All-Russian Institute of Scientific and Technical Information (VINITI), Director; Tony Hey, Microsoft External Research, Corporate Vice President; Richard Boulderstone, British Library, Director of e-Strategy; and Wu Yishan, Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (ISTIC), Chief Engineer

    I am excited because multilingual WorldWideScience.org provides unparalleled access to science across what were previously language barriers, enabling real-time searching and translation of multilingual scientific literature. Thanks to Microsoft Research's translation technology, the website can simultaneously search and translate more than 400 million pages of scientific research published in 70 countries around the world, 96.5 percent of which is not available via any other search engine. Initially, multilingual WorldWideScience.org enables users to search non-English databases and content in China, Russia, France, Germany, Japan, and several Latin American countries. Multilingual WorldWideScience.org translates search results into the user's language of choice for native speakers of Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian. More languages will be added in coming months.

    Developing technology that ensures that large volumes of translations are available quickly in a breadth of languages is an ongoing priority at Microsoft Research. Translation technology plays an important role in our work to foster open communication and collaboration among researchers. Bringing these goals together in our collaboration with WorldWideScience.org has been especially fulfilling. Together, we are helping to make the world's scientific and technical information easily accessible to researchers, students, and governments across the globe.

    The launch of multilingual WorldWideScience.org adds yet another resource that we all can leverage in support of collaborative relationships. Those relationships, in turn, expedite our ability to drive research that has the power to improve lives around the world. All of us at Microsoft Research look forward to more meaningful contributions to multilingual WorldWideScience.org to make the world's scientific and technical information globally accessible. It has been an honor to be involved in this groundbreaking project.

    I invite you to visit the new, improved website and give it a try. I think you will be impressed.

    Tony Hey, corporate vice president, Microsoft External Research

     

     

  • Microsoft Research Connections Blog

    Stanford Students Take to the Cloud

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    In conducting research, we often look to the past for answers. Today, at Stanford University, I had the opportunity to look to the future. This morning I watched four excellent presentations delivered by the teams of students enrolled in CS210, Project-Based Computer Science Innovation & Development; and this afternoon, I attended the class' fair, modeled after a trade show, where I was able to delve more deeply into each of the projects. If the inquisitiveness, passion and determination of the students I met today are any indication, the future of our profession is in very good hands.

    The goal of CS210 is to provide computer science students with an opportunity to collaborate on a real-world project provided by a corporate partner. The challenge of the project Microsoft External Research handed over to the students was to make satellite data more accessible to environmental scientists. Specifically, Team Nimbus was tasked with reducing the costs, time and complexity associated with managing satellite images while at the same time improving the reliability of those images, which are often difficult to manipulate on a desktop.

    The result of the team's work is CloudLab, which utilizes the Windows Azure platform to remove the heaviest work from the desktop and put it in the cloud, where there is far more computing power and accessibility. During the development of CloudLab, scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory served as the team's customers. For the students in the class, which was taught by Jay Borenstein, the benefits go far beyond a passing grade. Throughout the class, students gained practical insight into many applied aspects of computer science, such as source control and agile programming methodologies. By working on a real project with the potential to have an impact on industry, the students became better informed about what they may wish to pursue professionally.

    Beyond the experience gained by the students, Stanford will use its up-close view of what's important throughout the industry to continue refining its academic offerings. For me, this collaboration effort provided the chance to get to know people whose names I'm confident will one day be familiar to us all. Finally, and most importantly, the experience is a compelling reminder, for all of us throughout the global research community, of how important it is to look at our work and all of its challenges through the perspectives of others as often as possible.  

    Dan Fay, director, Earth, Energy, and Environment, Microsoft External Research

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    New Award Honors Significance of Open, Available Data

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    For several years, Microsoft External Research has been a proud sponsor of the BioMed Central Research Awards. The awards honor excellence in an approach to publishing known as "open access research," whereby content is available not only to subscribers but also to anyone online.

    This year, as a result of  productive discussions with BioMed Central's managing director, Matthew Cockerill, the increasingly significant role data plays in research has been recognized with the first BioMed Central Open Data Award, which was presented last night to Yoosook Lee for her article Ecological and genetic relationships of the Forest-M form among chromosomes and molecular forms of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto. Since 2007, Lee has been a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis.

    Selecting Lee's article for the award, which includes a $5,000 prize, was determined in large part by the Panton Principles, which were unveiled in February 2010. The Panton Principles offer guidance for those who want to make data related to their published science free of financial, legal, and technical barriers. The Principles were put to use by the judges as guidelines that they were able to use to help them rate, rank, and reward authors for how openly they were sharing their data with others.  (One of the judges, Cameron Neylon, summarizes the judging process in this blog entry.)

    The term "open data" is literal: It calls for the data supporting research to be open and available to all readers. Making data open and available upon publication has become increasingly popular over the past 15 years and is, in fact, mandated by many in the global research community. While the trend toward making data available is a logical step in the evolution of scholarly communication, it is still in an early stage of incubation. Therefore, it's a special honor for Microsoft External Research to support a practice that will encourage innovation and discovery both within and across domains.

    From all of us at Microsoft External Research, congratulations to Yoosook Lee as well as the other winners of this year's BioMed Central Research Awards.

    Lee Dirks, director, Education & Scholarly Communications, Microsoft External Research

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