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I had the pleasure of joining members of the Mexican research community on May 28, 2014, to celebrate the launch of the Spanish edition of The Fourth Paradigm: Data Intensive Scientific Discovery, a seminal collection of essays that expand on the vision of pioneering computer scientist Jim Gray. The event took place in the beautiful Casa Rafael Galván cultural center at the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) in Mexico City, one of the most prestigious public universities in Mexico. This fascinating book's title refers to a concept in data-intensive science. The speed at which any given scientific discipline advances depends on how well its researchers collaborate with one another, and with computer scientists, in areas of eScience such as databases, workflow management, visualization, and cloud computing technologies. Gray envisioned a new "fourth paradigm" of discovery based on data-intensive science, and shared his insights into how it can be fully realized. The book expands on Gray's ideas through essays written by members of the scientific community.The Fourth Paradigm Spanish edition is the result of a partnership between UAM and Microsoft Research. We worked together on the translation and co-sponsored its publication. We also co-hosted the launch event, welcoming our colleagues from UAM, National Polytechnic Institute, National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), and Microsoft Mexico, plus faculty and staff.Dr. Walter Beller, director of University Press at UAM, welcomed us to the event and discussed the importance of the project and the university's partnership with Microsoft Research. Tony Hey, vice president of Microsoft Research and one of the book's editors, made a pre-taped appearance onscreen. Tony highlighted the importance of how the new edition will extend the idea of data-intensive scientific discovery to a worldwide audience of Spanish speakers. He concluded by thanking everyone involved in the successful launch of the Spanish edition.
Tony Hey, vice president of Microsoft Research and one of the book's editors, made a pre-taped appearance onscreen at the launch celebration.
We had many terrific speakers throughout the event. Harold Javid, director of Microsoft Research, formally unveiled the book and presented some applicability examples of the Fourth Paradigm to specific research scenarios. Dr. Luis Hernandez, director of Research Networks at CONACYT, reiterated the importance of translating material like The Fourth Paradigm into other languages to make it accessible to a broader audience. The discussion continued with additional presentations. Dr. Luis Villa, Director of the Center for Computing Research (CIC) at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) spoke on the third chapter of the book, "Scientific Infrastructure," and related it to the Microsoft Azure for Research training session held at IPN in Mexico City, May 29–30, 2014. Other speakers that afternoon included Carlos Allende, public sector director from Microsoft Mexico, and me.While the event was definitely a celebration, it was also a great way to recognize the important role this translated work will play in the Spanish-speaking world. Sharing ideas and concepts is a critical part of the research lifecycle, but language barriers can make it difficult. This new, translated edition of Gray's innovative work means a broader audience, and potentially future generations of scientists, will now be able to explore his ideas and the concepts developed by using his work as a starting point. That is truly something worth celebrating.—Jaime Puente, Director, Microsoft Research Latin AmericaLearn more
If you are interested in learning about some of the new technologies that Microsoft Research has developed, please join our live, online coverage from the 2014 Microsoft Research Faculty Summit on July 14, 09:00 to 17:30 Pacific Time.
The Faculty Summit is an annual event—this marks our fifteenth year—that brings 350 elite academic researchers to Microsoft’s world headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Here they explore the latest directions and hottest trends in computing with Microsoft researchers from our labs around the world. Our live stream from day one of the summit will bring you selected keynotes and a trove of engaging, thought-provoking interviews with top researchers. And it’s not just a passive experience, as you’ll have the opportunity to pose questions directly to the interviewees.
This year’s opening keynote comes from Harry Shum, executive vice president of the Microsoft Technology and Research group. As the person responsible for driving Microsoft’s overall technical directions—including strategy, policy, and R&D—Harry has a unique perspective on the future of computing. We think you’ll benefit from hearing what he has to say.
After Harry’s keynote, join us for our Research in Focus interview series about cutting-edge developments in online education, computational biology, and the miniaturization of computing devices. You’ll also learn about the research that went into designing Cortana, advances in using biofeedback to improve performance, and new computerized aids for people with paralysis.
It’s a full day of insights into what’s next in computing. So save the date, because you won’t want to miss this webcast.
—Harold Javid, Faculty Summit General Chair, Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2014
The United Kingdom has faced some tough economic times in the past 10 years, but the technology industry has remained strong throughout. The tech sector has played a key role in helping the economy bounce back from the recessions of 2008–2009 and 2011–2012. Nationwide, IT industry employment grew 5.5 percent between 2009 and 2012 and rose 20 percent in London (more than three times faster than the sector average) since the recession. Today, more than 1.3 million people work in the UK technology sector, and the industry is expected to grow more quickly in London than in the Silicon Valley in the next decade.
Participants of the workshop, Tips and Tools for Scientific Research Success, at the Microsoft Research Cambridge lab
The tech industry has traditionally been a male-dominated field. The huge growth in the field would seem to be a natural incentive for young women to join their peers in the computer science classroom—especially since female students now account for 55 percent of the enrollments in higher education in the UK (HESA 2013). Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case. Fewer than 3 percent of the UK’s 403,000 higher education graduates in 2013 received computer science degrees. Women accounted for a meager 17 percent of that number (HESA 2013).
In an effort to encourage more women to stay in computer-related PhD programs and understand the opportunities in this field, Microsoft Research offered a workshop on Tips and Tools for Scientific Research Success at its Cambridge lab, June 16–18, 2014.
Following the example of successful programs created by CRA-W Graduate Cohort and Future Science Leaders at Oxford University and the British Royal Society, the course aimed to educate attendees about Microsoft research tools, equip them with advice from experienced researchers about the opportunities of being an early-career researcher, and inspire them with examples from Microsoft Research that show the potential of computer science to change the world. The event started with a day devoted to cloud computing and its potential for research. Participants could get hands-on experience with Microsoft Azure and create WordPress blogs and data-driven websites in no time. They experienced the power of Microsoft Azure for big data processing, sharing research data, deploying cloud services, and using Excel with Power BI to slice, dice, and visualize data. They learned how the Microsoft Azure for Research program could help researchers with their work, even if they decide to start their own business.
Rane Johnson-Stempson, Kenji Takeda, and Clare Morgan of Microsoft Research greeted participants at the Microsoft Azure for Research training that kicked off the workshop.
Attendees gained a better understanding of the tools Microsoft Research provides to help researchers (including Sand Dance, GeoS, CodaLab, ChronoZoom, and WorldWide Telescope) and of the opportunities available in working in an industry research lab. For example, Principal Researcher Don Syme (Microsoft Research Cambridge) told the story of how F#, the cutting-edge functional programming language, jumped from being a project in the lab to part of Microsoft’s mainstream language portfolio. To help assure their ongoing success, workshop participants have been paired up with Microsoft Researchers in Cambridge, who will serve as informal coaches to provide guidance and advice in their first and second years of PhD study.
"A hands-on workshop to experience firsthand the mighty power of Microsoft Azure; an exciting lineup of talks discussing cutting-edge research; an inspiring induction to being skilful researchers; most importantly, an ever so valuable one-to-one interaction session with a mentor from Microsoft Research Cambridge. A truly interesting and thoroughly engaging event—a genuine inspiration to becoming champion researchers in Industry Research Labs."—Kavin Narasimhan, PhD student at Queen Mary, University at London
We look forward to helping these talented researchers grow throughout their careers. We’ll be running another workshop in the fall, so please let us know if you’re interested by emailing us at MSRWIC@microsoft.com.—Rane Johnson-Stempson, Principal Research Director, Education and Scholarly Communication, Microsoft Research —Kenji Takeda, Solutions Architect and Technical Manager, Microsoft Research
—Simon Mercer, Director of Health and Wellbeing, Microsoft Research