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This year, the Brazilian Symposium on Computer Networks and Distributed Systems (SBRC 2014) is discussing, among other topics, cloud computing, which is a fantastic technology that provides new services and applications for users and helps accelerate research in different domains. Cloud computing is expected to become even more prominent in the coming years...
—Antonio Alfredo Loureiro, full professor, Computer Science Department, Federal University of Minas Gerais
I am happy to give a quick report following last week’s 2014 Brazilian Symposium on Computer Networks and Distributed Systems (better known by its Portuguese acronym: SBRC), one of the most prestigious events for the Brazilian computer science community. It was held May 5–9, in the seaside town of Florianópolis and included a range of topical workshops, panel discussions, and demos being delivered by internationally renowned researchers. The conference had 21 technical sessions covering just about every current issue related to computer networks and distributed systems.
I’m pleased to note that Microsoft Research was among the sponsors of this conference and delivered two keynote presentations. Daron Green, a senior director at Microsoft Research Connections in Redmond, spoke on Living outside the Comfort Zone: Innovating through Research, an intriguing look into the future of collaborative computing technology and the role that Microsoft Research is playing in creating unique research opportunities, from highly configurable small-scale experimental devices to world-class cloud computing infrastructure. Feng Zhao, assistant managing director of Microsoft Research Asia, discussed Planet-Scale Sensing: from Lab to the Real World, which explored the major advances in sensor networks and their applications in such areas as energy consumption and urban planning.
We also had a booth at SBRC, where, among other relevant Microsoft Research projects, we were sharing information about our Microsoft Azure for Research program, which offers free training on using Microsoft Azure for scientific research, as well as substantial grants of cloud-computing resources for winning research proposals. The program includes a special request for proposals for the Brazilian scientific community, with a submission deadline of June 15. You can learn more about the program, including information on the RFP for the Brazilian scientific community at Microsoft Azure for Research.
The Microsoft booth at SBRC shared information about the Microsoft Azure for Research program, among other Microsoft Research projects.
The SBRC comes on the heels of Microsoft’s deployment of a datacenter in São Paolo, Brazil. This new facility gives Brazilian researchers a faster connection to Microsoft Azure’s highly scalable compute platform. Such local availability has resonated well with SBRC delegates—particularly those attending the Azure training we’ve offered as part of the conference—as they have seen virtual machines and storage provisioned for the first time in-country. At times, the Microsoft booth was swamped by attendees wishing to talk to us about how best to use Microsoft’s cloud and, of course, to pick up a cool Azure for Research T-shirt.
—Juliana Salles, Senior Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research Connections
Where would you look to find new approaches to solving today’s economic, scientific, and social problems? If you answered Viña del Mar, Chile, from today through May 9, you’re right—as that’s where and when more than 250 thought leaders are gathered for the Microsoft Research Latin American Faculty Summit 2014. The attendees come from academia, government, and Microsoft Research, and represent an array of disciplines, including computer science, engineering, mathematics, and economics.
The theme of this year’s summit is “advancing science and technology through computing research.” To fulfill this ambitious objective, the participants are exploring the role of computing in modern research—especially in handling the data deluge that typifies much of today’s research, as well as the importance of computer science education, the emergence of what’s been called the “internet of things,” and the promise of machine learning. They are also examining trends in social computing and the use of computing in studying urban problems.
Pictured from left to right: Managing Director of Microsoft Research India, P. Anandan; Vice President of Microsoft Research, Tony Hey; PhD Fellow Award Recipient, Carolina Fuentes; Chile’s Ministro de Economía, Luis Felipe Céspedes; GM of Microsoft Chile, Oliver Flogel; and Microsoft Research Faculty Summit Co-Chair, Jaime Puente
The event is held in partnership with Chile’s Ministry of Economics, and, as befits one of Latin America’s premier computer-science conferences, the summit will pay particular attention to regional challenges. Microsoft Research has long been involved in this part of Latin America, given that Chile serves as the management hub for Latin American and Caribbean Collaborative ICT Research (LACCIR), a joint research center of Microsoft Research and top-tier Latin American universities. In fact, it was introduced in 2007, during the very first Latin America Faculty Summit, which was also held at Viña del Mar.
Tony Hey delivers his keynote on Data-Driven Computing
The three-day program features speeches, talks, workshops, panel discussions, and a DemoFest. The keynote addresses cover a variety of topics, including:
We’re looking forward to three stimulating days, filled with exchanges between people who are intent on using science and technology to make the world a better place.
—Jaime Puente, Director, Microsoft Research Latin America
—Evelyne Viegas, Director of Semantic Computing, Microsoft Research Redmond