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!
Researchers from the University of Washington and Microsoft Research Connections are working together to develop a non-invasive, technological solution to improve both the health and overall quality of life for diabetics: a contact lens that monitors blood glucose levels. The functional contact lens is an example of how natural user interfaces (NUI) can enable the development of innovative solutions. To learn more, read the blog, Functional Lens Promises to Improve the Quality of Life for Diabetics and Others.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell, Microsoft Surface, and Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio developed a human-robot interaction application to create novel remote controls for rescue robots. Once perfected, this approach could enable emergency responders to safely manoeuvre rescue robots through buildings that are damaged by earthquakes, fire, or even terrorist attacks.
The eXtreme Computing Group within Microsoft Research has developed an iterative MapReduce runtime for Windows Azure, code-named Daytona. It enables laboratories, small groups, and individual researchers to use the power of the cloud to analyse data sets on gigabytes or terabytes of data and run large-scale machine-learning algorithms on dozens or hundreds of compute cores. The Project Daytona download includes a deployment guide, developer and user documentation, and code samples for both data analysis algorithms and client application. Learn more:
· Microsoft Research Debuts ‘Daytona’ Azure Analytics Tools
· Microsoft Research Releases Details About "Daytona" at Faculty Summit
· Free Tool Kit to Assist Big-Data Scientists
We are pleased to announce the launch of a program that supports collaborations between Microsoft Research Connections and major research institutions to build the foundations for a unified game layer for education. Our first official project is Just Press Play, an experiment to craft gameful experiences for the students of Rochester Institute of Technology undergraduate game design program. (Gameful experiences incorporate the use of game play mechanics that focus on the user's intrinsic motivation—engaging the user in a way that can produce long-lasting and powerful results.)
Learn about Microsoft Research Accelerators tools and services for academics and researchers that are designed to help scientists, researchers, teachers, and students explore science, analyze and visualize data, and publish the results of their research. This video provides a brief introduction to just a few of our many Research Accelerators, including the Chemistry Add-in for Word, Zentity, Scientific Workflow Workbench, and Try F#.
Find out how you can create cloud-enabled mobile applications with the tools and services that are included in the Project Hawaii software development kit (SDK). Arjmand Samuel, research program manager from Microsoft Research Connections, talks about what the SDK contains and how it can be used to develop Windows Phone applications.
The twelfth Microsoft Research Faculty Summit provided 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. The program consisted of keynote presentations, discussions, panels, workshops, and demonstrations. Learn more about the event and the integral role that industrial research plays in society, education, and technology transfer.
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. The community has provided us with a lot of good feedback, and in support of our commitment to encourage researchers and enthusiasts in their exploration of the exciting possibilities of the Kinect sensor, we will release a refreshed version of the SDK soon. The upcoming Kinect for Windows SDK beta refresh will address some of the top items you’ve told us about.
The Oxford University vaccine group is conducting a clinical trial to help save lives by making it easier for Nepalese patients to get a complete round of pneumonia vaccinations. The current vaccination regime consists of two injections administered consecutively; but to complete the regime, a third injection is required six months later. This third injection often does not get administered in Nepal, where it is difficult for many patients to access hospitals. Oxford University’s trial aims to determine whether three vaccines administered in a shorter time period can provide similar pneumonia protection. A system that employs Microsoft SharePoint and InfoPath enabled the vaccine group to create and deploy the clinical trial support infrastructure more quickly and inexpensively than by conventional methods. Oxford University Computing Lab and Microsoft Research Connections developed the system jointly.
What is Microsoft Cloud Services, well Microsoft’s cloud is now comprised of a globally distributed datacentre infrastructure supporting hundreds of online services and millions of transactions on a daily basis.
Microsoft Cloud services include Windows Azure, Live@edu, SkyDrive, Office 365, Bing, MSN, Windows Live, Hotmail and Xbox Live and have more than a billion customers and 20 million businesses in over 70 countries who actively use these services.
The Microsoft Data centre strategy has continually evolved, from the initial Microsoft datacentre which was built in 1989 starting with the Generation 1 to todays Generation 4 series datacentres all of which have ISO and PCI certifications, SAS70 Type II attestations, and FISMA certification and accreditation.
PUEs in the Generation 4 centres has been driven even lower as we are also using free air cooling for our N+1 modular designs. These fully modular facilities have reduced Microsoft's ability to provide services by 50% and deliver outstanding PUEs, low water utilization and low total cost of ownership.
For more details of Microsoft datacentre strategy and facilities see the following video tour and read further details at the Microsoft Datacentre blog.
For all of you whom are interested in open source take a look at The Interoperability bridges and Labs Center, the site is dedicated to technical collaborative work to improve interoperability between Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies.
On the web site, you will find a live directory of freely downloadable technical resources and related content such as demos, technical guidance and articles. The Center is run by the Microsoft Interoperability Strategy Group working with the Open Source community.
Microsoft Platform & Java Cloud Interoperability HTML5 Labs Windows Azure for PHP Windows Phone Interoperability
Apache POI OpenXML Java API Apache Stonehenge
AppFabric SDK for Java AppFabric SDK for PHP AppFabric SDK for Ruby Windows Azure Command-line Tools for PHP Windows Azure SDK for PHP Windows Azure Companion Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse with Java Windows Azure SDK for Java Windows Azure SDK for PHP Windows Azure Storage for WordPress Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse
Bing 404 for WordPress Bing 404 Web Page Error Toolkit for PHP Bing Maps Module for Drupal Bing Search Library for PHP
Eclipse Tools for Silverlight Enhancements of Eclipse on Windows 7 Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse with Java Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse
Information Cards for C Information Cards for Java Information Cards for PHP Information Cards for Ruby
Lab: Development Environment and Software Configuration Management (SCM) Interoperability Lab: Directory Management Interoperability Lab: Document & Records Management Across Portals Lab: Federated Identity Lab: Interoperability with Open XML Lab: Multi-platform System Management Lab: Portal Aggregation and Integration Lab: Remote Desktop Interoperability Lab: Systems Management
OData Client for Objective C (iPhone-Mac) OData Module for Drupal OData SDK for PHP Restlet Extension for OData
Office Binary to Open XML Translator OpenXML Document Viewer/HTML Translator OpenXML/ODF Translator OpenXML/UOF Translator
Samples for PHP with Silverlight Samples for PHP with Webslices & Accelerators SQL CRUD Application Wizard for PHP SQL Server Reporting Services SDK for PHP Toolkit for PHP with Virtual Earth (Bing Maps) Windows Azure Command-line Tools for PHP Windows Azure SDK for PHP
Silverlight Pivot viewer Module for Drupal
Windows Live ID Module for Drupal
WSRP Producer for Microsoft SharePoint Server Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin Download HTML5 Extension for Windows Media Player Firefox Plug-in Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome
If your new to cloud computing and want to have some guidance on using Windows Azure take a look at the Getting Started Tutorials.
Tutorials and Guidance
The Azure getting started tutorial resources have been developed to help you get up-and-running quickly. In addition the new tutorials section on the Windows Azure product website contains all the content, tutorials and guidance of all aspects of the Windows Azure platform.
Some of the new getting started tutorial include:
The resource bring together, Windows Azure tutorials from across several Microsoft sites and groups them by task and experience level to make it easy for you to get started with cloud services.
How to move an existing application to Windows Azure - Migrate Services and Data Tutorials
Adding authentication to an existing Windows Azure application, - Control Access Tutorials.
For feedback on these resources please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Windows Azure Marketplace is a global online market for customers and partners to share, buy, and sell finished SaaS applications and premium datasets.
The marketplace offer a interesting resource for academic worldwide. The marketplace simply provides you access to Windows Azure based applications & datasets, the Windows Azure Marketplace is a one-stop location supported by Microsoft to help you succeed.
The data section of Windows Azure Marketplace includes data, imagery, and real-time web services from leading commercial data providers and authoritative public data sources. Customers will have access to datasets such as demographic, environmental, financial, retail, weather and sports. The data section also includes visualizations and analytics to enable insight on top of data.
The application section of the Windows Azure Marketplace contains valuable finished applications to help you, all built on the Windows Azure Platform. From billing engines to content managements systems to HPC solutions and everything in between, the applications in the Windows Azure Marketplace can help accelerate your success with the platform.
Interested in publishing your application? Click here to learn more here
Microsoft Openness goal is to promote greater interoperability, opportunity and choice for customers and developers throughout the industry by making our products more open and by sharing even more information about our technologies.
Microsoft has changed as a company and is becoming more open in the way that we work with and collaborate with others in the industry, in how we listen to customers, and in our approach our the cloud services, tools and support.
For example did you know Microsoft is one of the biggest contributes to the Linux 3.0 project? LWN.net published an article listing the different contributors to the changes in the source code of Linux kernel 3.0. According to the article, Microsoft has contributed 361 changes/patches to the Linux kernel 3.0, which makes it Microsoft the seventh largest contributor to the kernel and fifth largest corporate contributor.
Watch this video where James Utzschneider, General Manager of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Microsoft explains how Microsoft is becoming more open.
At Microsoft, we’re building bridges across platforms, applications and data to create a more interoperable IT ecosystem. On this site, you’ll find stories of governments, companies, universities and individuals who have found success mixing Microsoft technologies with other technologies – including open source – to make efficient, forward-thinking solutions. And we’d love to hear from you, too.
Share your story or simply give some feedback via the Openness site http://www.voiceofopenness.com/
Openness Blog - http://blogs.technet.com/b/openness/
Openness Case Studies and Stories - http://www.voiceofopenness.com/
Openness Site - http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/openness/default.aspx
Openness on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/openatmicrosoft
Microsoft & SUSE Linux Support https://expandedsupport.com
Just over a month we released the Azure toolkit for Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has now released the Azure tookit for iOS, and Android is next in line.
The toolkit contains a “compiled Objective-C library for working with services running in Windows Azure (e.g. push notification, authN/authZ, and storage),” along with Objective-C source code and Xcode project files. It also includes a sample iOS application and its source code, designed to show developers how Azure can be used inside of the platform.
The toolkit has been posted to github and can be found at the following three links:
Details on how to get started can be found here.
Microsoft are pleased to announce the release of the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games
This toolkit is a preview but will allow you and your students to quickly get started building new social games in Windows Azure.
The toolkit includes the following assets
3. Developer tools
The toolkit also includes specific services and code to handle capabilities unique to games, such as storing user profiles, maintaining leader boards, in-app purchasing, and so forth. In addition to releasing the toolkit, we have also teamed with industry innovator Grant Skinner and his team to create a game called Tankster.
Tankster is built with HTML5 and comes complete with reusable service-side code and documentation. It also supports a variety of social interactions including messaging, wall posts, and comments while player achievements and game stats are presented on a live leaderboard so gamers can interact with each other.
For more information please visit the following
Windows Azure Team Blog: Build Your Next Game with the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games
WA.com: Social Gaming on Windows Azure
Channel 9: Social Gaming on Windows Azure
CodePlex: Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Gaming
Microsoft has developed an iterative MapReduce runtime for Windows Azure, code-named "Daytona." Project Daytona is designed to support a wide class of data analytics and machine learning algorithms. It can scale out to hundreds of server cores for analysis of distributed data.
Project Daytona was developed as part of the eXtreme Computing Group’s Cloud Research Engagement Initiative and made its debut at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit.
Project Daytona MapReduce Runtime for Windows Azure can be download, along with sample codes and instructional materials that researchers can use to set up their own large-scale, cloud data-analysis service on Windows Azure.
Project Daytona features the following key properties.
1. Designed for the cloud, specifically for Windows Azure.
2. Designed for cloud storage services.
3. Horizontally scalable and elastic.
4. Optimized for data analytics.
So what can you use Daytona for?
There are a number of use cases for Project Daytona,
1. Data analysis
2. Machine learning
3. Financial analysis
4. Text processing
5. Indexing, and search.
Almost any application that involves data manipulation and analysis can take advantage of Project Daytona to scale out processing on Windows Azure.
Data analytics as a service
Using Windows Azure, which is accessible to a host of clients NOT just windows clients!
Project Daytona is about turning utility cloud computing into a service model for data analytics. In our view, what is key is that this service is not limited to a single data collection or set of analytics, but the ability to upload data and select from an extensible library of models for data analysis. Powered by Project Daytona, the service will automatically scale out the data and analytics model across a pool of Windows Azure VMs without the overhead that is usually associated with typical business intelligence (BI) and data analysis projects.
Example of Application
Excel DataScope. From the familiar interface of Microsoft Excel, Excel DataScope enables researchers to accelerate data-driven decision making.
Project Daytona DataScope analytics service offers a library of data analytics and machine learning models, such as:-
2. Outlier detection
4. Machine learning
5. Information visualization
Users can upload data in their Excel spreadsheet to the DataScope service or select a data set already in the cloud, and then select an analysis model from our Excel DataScope research ribbon to run against the selected data.
Project Daytona will scale out the model processing by using possibly hundreds of CPU cores to perform the analysis. The results can be returned to the Excel client or remain in the cloud for further processing and/or visualization. The algorithms and analysis techniques are applicable to any type of data, ranging from web analytics to survey, environmental, or social data.
· See Overview for information about what is included in the release package.
What’s Next for Project Daytona?
Project Daytona is part of an active research and development project in the eXtreme Computing Group of Microsoft Research.The current release of Project Daytona is a research technology preview (RTP). Microsoft Research are still tuning the performance of Project Daytona and adding new functionality.
For more information on project Daytona please see http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/azure/daytona.aspx
WATCH THE MICROSOFT RESEARCH FACULTY SUMMIT 2011 KEYNOTES ONLINE JULY 18 – 20 2011
The world of computing is ever changing, and nowhere more so than in the combination of software and consumer devices. We have entered the age of natural user interfaces, and this fact requires innovation in areas of computer vision, translation, audio sensing, and machine learning.
Security, privacy, and the effect of the data deluge in the systems we build have taken on global significance in our socially networked world. The twelfth Microsoft Research Faculty Summit provides a forum for lively debate of the development, application, and funding of these technologies in the environmental, medical, and educational spheres over a long period of time.
The keynotes and Design Expo from the Summit can be viewed in real time here: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/events/fs2011/streaming_video.aspx