July, 2011 - Microsoft UK Faculty Connection - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

July, 2011


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Zentity– helping you manage your digital repositories




    Microsoft Zentity is a semantically enabled repository platform that provides a suite of building blocks, tools, and services to create and maintain an organisation’s digital-library ecosystem. The research lifecycle generates a wide variety of outputs that are important to store and track as part of the on-going research process. Zentity maximizes the value of this output by helping researchers access, analyse, and unlock the previously hidden structure and relationships among data elements.

    Zentity 2.0 Introduction Video

    Microsoft Research Senior Program Manager Oscar Naim introduces Zentity 2.0 and demonstrates some of the great new features, including the Pivot Viewer and Visual Explorer.

    Get Microsoft Silverlight

    About Zentity 2.0

    Microsoft Zentity is a repository platform designed for academic, governmental, and scientific organizations that conduct and compile research. From a technical standpoint, Zentity is a hybrid store: a combination of a triplestore and a traditional relational database.

    Microsoft Zentity is data agnostic, supporting arbitrary data models, and provides semantically rich functionality that enables the ability to find and explore interesting relationships between elements both programmatically, by using the Zentity API, and visually, by using Microsoft Live Lab Pivot Viewer and Microsoft Research Visual Explorer.

    Microsoft Zentity incorporates the Pivot Collection Service, which makes it easier to maintain, display, and interact with data in flexible and innovative ways. The Pivot Collection Service works in conjunction with the Pivot Viewer, which is a Silverlight control to visualize n-dimensional data sets and the metadata associated with them. Zentity also includes the Visual Explorer Silverlight control, which enables researchers to visually navigate Zentity data by using a graph metaphor.

    Microsoft Zentity also enables interesting information aggregation scenarios, or mashups, across different data sources, by taking advantage of standard protocols such as the Open Data Protocol, OData.

    Other features of Zentity include:

    • Zentity Software Development Kit Includes dynamically created sample data sets from publicly available sources, such as Pub Med, programming examples, and API documentation.
    • Zentity Console An application based on PowerShell commandlets that provides easy access to the Zentity API by using a console application.
    • Zentity Data Service This service exposes arbitrary data models stored in Zentity to external applications. This service is based on WCF Data Services and it is ODATA compliant, which allows applications such as Excel Power Pivot to connect to Zentity and enable data mining.
    • Improved deployment experience Most users can install Zentity and begin using it within 15 minutes or less.

    For more information on Microsoft Zentity see http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/a4125c74-36ea-4f23-9278-792de0808e45/

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone Mango Beta - Update Guide for Windows Phone 7



    The Beta version of the new Mango (7.1) update for Windows Phone 7 has been made available to all registered developers which will also allow you to push the update to your WP7 device.

    For those of you wanting to get the Mango BETA update on your academic teaching and learning phones, please read the following post, the intention of this post is to ensure that you are in a position of being able to discuss the opportunity and enhancement of Mango within your teaching curricula.

    I must stress this is a Beta release and as such there will be NO upgrade path to future releases of Mango. Therefore please ensure that this isn’t your primary device as you  will need to restore your phone to a supported state before being able to install the final versions of the product.

    So what the process of installing the BETA

    Backup phone

    1. Back up your phone. You want to make sure that you can quickly get it back to a supported state ASAP should it run into difficulties or require to update the device to the final version.

    Ensure you phone is backed up prior to running the update simply use backup/restore app provided on xda-developers.com

    NB: When you do this restore, you will loose any of the changes you’ve made to your phone, this will include app installations, music added, game scores, photos, videos etc.

    After your restore you will need to reinstall all previous installed apps from the MarketPlace you will NOT be charged for them again, but you may wish to note down the apps you have installed.

    Install the Beta2 SDK

    If you have previously installed the Beta1 SDK then you need to now go to your “Control Panel” > “Programs and Features” and uninstall that SDK.

    Visit the download page for the SDK and download and read the release notes.

    NB: Please ensure you read the T&Cs and notes.

    Download and run the vm_web2.exe link

    You will now have the  Beta2 development tools for  WP7 app and the Emulator, this is excellent for your curricula notes and assessments.

    Invitation from Microsoft via email

    So if your already a  Microsoft Registered developer via Microsoft DreamSpark you will have received an email from Microsoft Connect  inviting you to download the update. If your NOT a registered developer then simply register via DreamSpark this will then give you access to the tools to get your phone updated.

    Installing the tools

    You will also need to update Zune along with other supporting utilities and the all important update instructions.

    NB: Please ensure you read update instructions

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Datacentre’s


    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.


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Imagine Cup 2011 World Wide Finals


    The 2011 Microsoft Imagine Cup Finals took place yesterday from 16:00-19:00 EST (NYC Local Time) 8pm to 11pm GMT you can watch a video recording of the stream here.

    The “World Festival Awards Ceremony” will be held at the David H. Koch Theater at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in downtown New York City!  The event capped a six-day celebration of technology that featured more than 400 students from 70 countries.

    Microsoft had a dedicated Social Media Team at the Microsoft Imagine Cup,  made up of Microsoft Student Partners, the team of 25 were tweeting, blogging and streaming as much as possible about every aspect of the finals. To see all 25 Microsoft Student Partners on the Social Media Team tweeting, check out our Twitter List!


    For more information on the Imagine Cup see the dedicated Official Imagine Cup Facebook Page which has been made available for things Imagine Cup!

    So what is the Imagine Cup?

    The Imagine Cup 2011 consisted of Student projects that tackle global problems such as improving road and fire safety, eradicating poverty, and creating a more sustainable environment.

    The Imagine Cup is a awesome event and I have to state I was tremendously inspired, enthused and excited by the events of yesterday. Over 350,000 students globally took part in the competition over the past months, leading to the Worldwide Finals in New York City July 8-13. The UK managed to secure two places to the World Finals represented by two teams Project Ove, from the University of Manchester, competing in the Software Design Competition and Cycling into Trees, from the University of York, competing in the Embedded Development Competition. Project Ove were unfortunate to be knocked out in the first round in New York however Kevin Pfister team Cycling into Trees made it to the Final Six and the grand final see more details below!


    Ireland’s Team Hermes won the competition’s premier Software Design category and $25,000 (U.S.) with their project that combined embedded technology, mobile devices and cloud computing technology to change driving habits and reduce road deaths.


    "Thank you Imagine Cup for the opportunity to develop a solution to address this global, serious problem of road traffic accidents,” said team member Aine Conaghan as they collected the Imagine Cup trophy. “Initially we were inspired due to the fact of this problem in Ireland. The more research we carried out, we realized ‘yeah, we're going to make an impact globally.’”

    The members of Team Hermes said traffic accidents are a huge problem in Sligo, the North Western Irish city where they go to University. "Initially we wanted to do something to improve road safety," said team member Calum Cawley. "So many people are dying we had to do something about it."

    Women in Technology

    It was encouraging to see so many female contestants at the Imagine Cup World Final, the more women we see enter science, technology, engineering and math fields will help fill the shortage of viable candidates in the tech sector, encouraging more females into the sector will bring a new wave of ideas and perspectives. Over Sixty women participated in the Imagine Cup Finals, double last’s year numbers. Those female students can help inspire more women to take an interest in tech and enter future competitions. 

    Allison Watson, corporate vice president of the U.S. Marketing and Operations group at Microsoft, hopes the Imagine Cup continues to get more women to attend. On Sunday Watson led a panel discussion where she invited women competitors to talk about the issues and challenges surrounding getting more women into STEM fields and to inspire them to be role models for others. “(We need) to bring the voice and stories of the women competitors to others," she said. "The more women you can get here, the more you can create a community of people who can support each other.”

    Role models can make a huge difference in getting more women interested in technology careers, which can be intimidating, so well done to team Hermes! it shows that the Imagine Cup is a great platform for female students, noting that even the Imagine Cup name is approachable: "We want people to dream.”

    Imagine Cup 2011 Award Highlights and Winners

    Team Hermes – Winners Software Design 2011

    Ireland’s Team Hermes won this year’s Software Design competition with a project that combined embedded technology, mobile devices and cloud computing technology to change driving habits and reduce road deaths.
    Ireland’s Team Hermes won this year’s Software Design competition with a project that combined embedded technology, mobile devices and cloud computing technology to change driving habits and reduce road deaths.

    The team developed a smart device that can plug into any car made after 2000, Conaghan said. It uploads driving information to the cloud and gives the driver a report on their behavior. "Research has shown that educating the drivers reduces fatalities on the roads," she said.

    The team used a number of Microsoft technologies to create their project including Silverlight, Azure, and SQL Server. "It's all compatible," said James McNamara, also a team member. "It's a great system to work in."

    Looking ahead, Team Hermes wants to get their project out into the world to make an impact on roads worldwide. "We want to develop a sustainable project that not only saves lives but generates enough income to bring the product forward and establish a mass user group and a mass community, because the more users we have the more lives we can save," McNamara said.

    NTHUCS - Winners Embedded Development 2011

    Taiwan’s Team NTHUCS sets up their display booth at the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals. The team won the Embedded Development contest with project RIGHT!! This Way, which computes the safest fire escape routes in real time as detected by a wireless sensor network.
    Taiwan’s Team NTHUCS sets up their display booth at the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals. Taiwan’s Team NTHUCS won the Embedded Development contest and $25,000 with their project RIGHT!! This Way, which computes the safest fire escape routes in real time as detected by a wireless sensor network, while the three winners from the Game Design category all focused on some aspect of environmental sustainability.

    Signum Games - Winners Games Design Windows/Xbox 2011

    Brazil’s Team Signum Games demos their winning Game Design – Windows/Xbox entry Brazil’s Team Signum Games demos their winning Game Design Windows/Xbox entry "UCan," a strategy game that invites players to solve urban problems involving health, education and the environment. One member of Brazil’s Signum Games team that won the Windows/Xbox category of Game Design shouted at the crowd, “If we can, you can!” Team Signum’s Fernanda Fonteles said she was amazed her team came out on top. “It's unbelievable," she said. "We saw the other projects – they are very strong.” The team’s game was inspired by volunteers who helped clean up their home city of Curitiba, Brazil. "It's very important to bring the top prize to our university," Fonteles said.

    Geeklogic - Winners Games Design Mobile 2011

    Team Geeklogic from France won the Game Design – Mobile contest with
    Team Geeklogic from France won the Game Design – Mobile contest with "Brainergy," a Windows Phone 7 puzzle game in which the player has to solve different challenges based on renewable energy.I had the pleasure of meeting the team earlier in the Month at the FDG2011 conference and the game was superb so well done! As France’s Geekologic collected its award in the Game Design – Mobile category, a team member thanked the crowd and urged them
    “to continue this work and we will really make this world a better place.”

    Cellardoor - Winners Games Design  Web 2011

    Members of Poland’s Team Cellardoor demo

    In the Games Design web category, Winners were Poland’s Team Cellardoor demo "The Book of Elm". The game,  won the Game Design – Web category, it illustrates the importance of taking care of the environment in everyday life through the interactive story of Elm, a creature on a quest to fix the mistakes done by people around the world.

    HOMERUN - Winners Windows Phone 2011

    In the Windows Phone 7 category, Korea’s Team HOMERUN took first place with Peekaboo, an application designed to help family members communicate with each other through a treasure-hunt game.
    In the Windows Phone 7 category, Korea’s Team HOMERUN took first place with Peekaboo, an application designed to help family members communicate with each other through a treasure-hunt game.

    Other winners

    Alaniarides - Winners Interoperability Challenge 2011

    Greece’s Team Alaniarides won the Interoperability Challenge with their Touring Machine, which offers adults and children a new kind of cultural experience

    M.N.A – Winners Digital Media 2011

    Romania’s Team M.N.A. won the Digital Media category.

    Jean-Sébastien Duchene Winner IT Challenge 2011

    France’s Jean-Sébastien Duchene won the IT Challenge.

    BizSpark_Overview_Logo       StudentsToBusiness_Overview_Logo

    During the ceremony, Microsoft also unveiled plans to launch a three-year, $3 million competitive grant program to help recipients realize their vision of solving the world’s toughest problems  and announced that Imagine Cup finalists will be eligible to apply for grants that include a combination of cash, software, training, consulting and other support via the Microsoft BizSpark programme. Microsoft will announce details about the grant program and application process later this summer.and BizSpark membership packages.

    “The innovators, entrepreneurs and humanitarians who compete in the Imagine Cup have developed an inspiring spectrum of projects, raising the bar higher and higher each year,” said S. Somasegar, senior vice president, Developer Division, Microsoft. “We are in awe of the students’ solutions for addressing social and real-world challenges, and want to help them take their projects to the next level with the financial, technical and business support they need to change the world.”

    At the awards ceremony, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and activist and actress Eva Longoria also expressed their awe of the students’ tech skills and passion to change the world.

    When the finals kicked off last Friday, economist Jeffrey Sachs gave the students a homework assignment: saving the world. “You don't just leave here with the Imagine Cup and think your work is done – you have a lot of work ahead,” he said.

    Many of the participants hope to meet that challenge by forming their own companies. Dennis Anderson, a professor of management and information technology at St. Francis College in New York and longtime advisor to the Imagine Cup, said ‘the event serves as a launching pad for many students.(The Imagine Cup) opens up career pathways for many of the finalists,’ said Anderson, who also served as one of the judges in this year’s Software Design category. "This is definitely more than a competition. They are working very hard to start new businesses.”

    ‘Students aren’t merely seeing dollar signs with plans to form their own companies,’ said Mark Hindsbo, vice president of Microsoft’s Developer and Platform Evangelism Group in the U.S. "I haven't heard one of the teams say they want to make money," he said. "They want to make a difference in the world."

    The New Zealand know a thing or two about success after the Imagine Cup. Two members from OneBuzz participated in last year’s competition, where they finished third in the Software Design category. Their project, called OneBeep, transmits educational data over radio waves to impoverished communities.

    Vinny Lohan said that after last year’s Imagine Cup, he and his OneBeep teammates formed their own company to license the technology. Since then they’ve attracted the attention of Icehouse, one of the top 10 incubation firms in the world, which is providing the young company with funding and support. Today they are conducting field tests in South America, and Lohan, the company’s CEO, said they’re six months from global deployment.  He credited the Imagine Cup and Microsoft’s BizSpark program with getting their company off the ground. "(The Imagine Cup) is the beginning, not the end of the journey," he said. "The Imagine Cup turns students into entrepreneurs."

    In New York City, it appeared many students were already on their way. Our very own Kevin Pfister, a one-man team called Cycling Into Trees who represented the U.K. in the Embedded Development category is now well on this journey.


    Kevin’s Child Sleep Safe project uses a mixture of embedded hardware, software and home automation systems to reduce crib death numbers by monitoring babies while sleeping. “It represents the next generation of baby monitoring,” he said.

    Kevin has already built a working prototype of Child Sleep Safe and presented it to Mothercare, the U.K.’s largest specialist retailer for parents. “They gave us a good response,” Pfister said. “I’m going to move ahead with it.”

    The Peoples Choice Awards

    Eva Longoria told the students ‘she was honoured to support and shine a light on the finalists’ work, which she had a chance to review earlier in the day. She called out specific teams like Thailand’s NewKrean, who responded to a devastating flood in their country with a project that will help rescue workers find victims after a disaster. Before leaving the stage, Eva Longoria told the students ‘they were the next generation of leaders who were going to give us all a better future'.’

    She then announced the winner of the People’s Choice Award, Bangladesh’s Team Rapture, whose project, ThirdEye, is a smartphone device for the visually impaired.


    Earlier, Bloomberg encouraged the students to work together as they tackle the world’s toughest problems, just like the diverse residents of New York City do. It will take collaboration to eliminate poverty and illness, combat global warming, and preserve the environment, he said. He then held up his friends Bill and Melinda Gates as two people who were truly changing the world and challenged the finalists to follow in their footsteps. He closed with an invitation for all the students to make New York City their future home.

    So will you be the next Imagine Cup HERO!

    The number of students competing or the number of countries represented, the Imagine Cup 2011 was the biggest event yet. However we need your help as parents, teachers, academics and faculties to help lead students to go into science, technology engineering fields (known as STEM), where there is projected to be a major shortfall of job candidates in the coming years.so let's go from 350,000 competitors to 35 million people.

    So if your a UK School teacher, FE or HE academic, I cannot think of a  better way to inspire students so think about the Imagine Cup for future challenges or curricula competitions! We simply need to inspire more students to enter technical fields as STEM is critical in driving the worlds economy.

    So I hope to see your entries for next year competition which will take place in Sydney, Australia. If you would like more details or information relating to the UK entry requirements simply get in touch!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Want to know more about building solutions on Azure



    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.

    Additional Resources

    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: azuresitefeedback@microsoft.com.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Introduction to the Windows Azure Marketplace




    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.

    So what is available on the Marketplace


    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 UK Faculty Connection

    HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2 Update




    HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2 is available for download

    HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2 is now available for download. This service pack updates the HPC Pack 2008 R2 products listed in the 'System Requirements' section. It provides improved reliability as well as an enhanced feature set including:

    • Enhanced Windows Azure integration - you can now add Azure VM Roles to your cluster, you can Remote Desktop to your Azure nodes, and you can run MPI jobs on Azure nodes.
    • Use a new 'resource pool' job scheduling policy that ensures resources are available to multiple groups of users.
    • Access job scheduling services through a REST interface or through an IIS-hosted web portal.
    • Assigning different submission and activation filters to jobs based on job templates.
    • Over-subscribe or under-subscribe the number of cores on cluster nodes.

    Download HPC Pack 2008 R2 Service Pack 2 

    In the "Download HPC Pack 2008 R2 Service Pack 2" section you will three files:

    HPC2008R2SP2-Update-x64.zip (123.0 MB)

    HPC2008R2SP2-Update-x64 :
    Download this .zip file to obtain the updater for use on your head nodes, compute nodes, broker nodes, and x64-based clients and workstation nodes. It also contains the Web Components (REST and Web Portal), Azure VM, and KSP ('soft card') installers necessary to use those features.

    HPC2008R2SP2-Update-x86.zip (121.0 MB)

    HPC2008R2SP2-Update-x86 :
    This .zip file contains the updated for use on 32-bit clients and workstation nodes. It also contains the KSP ('soft card') installer for 32-bit clients.

    SP2 Media Integration Package.zip (570.0 MB)

    SP2 Media Integration Package:
    For customers who will be doing multiple new cluster installations (setting up brand new head nodes, not just updating existing clusters) you can use this package to update your original ('RTM') installation media to have SP2 integrated from the beginning. (Instead of installing from your RTM DVD, then applying SP1, then applying SP2.) Please refer to the instructions on the HPC team blog for more information.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Research Faculty Summit LIVE KEYNOTE Presentations




    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

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    July Update from Microsoft Research & Faculty Connection



    Functional Contact Lens Monitors Blood Sugar Without Needles – Video

    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.


    Learn How Robots Can Help When Disaster Strikes – Video

    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.

    Research in Action


    Download Project Daytona: Iterative MapReduce on Windows Azure

    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

    The Promise of Games in Lifelong Learning

    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.)

    Microsoft Research Accelerators – Video

    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#.

    Project Hawaii SDK: Create Mobile Applications – Video

    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.


    Faculty Summit: Get Information about the Speakers and Presentations and Watch the Videos

    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.

    Coming Soon

    Kinect for Windows SDK Beta Enhancements Coming Soon

    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.

    Pneumonia Vaccine in Nepal: Clinical Trial Uses Microsoft-Based System

    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.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Foundation of Digital Games Conference





    Last week I attended the International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games which was hosted in the beautiful city of Bordeaux. FDG is a focal point for academic efforts in all areas of research and education involving games, game technologies, gameplay and game design.

    WP_000177 WP_000146 WP_000143

    The goal of the conference is the advancement of the study of digital games, including new game technologies, capabilities, designs, applications, educational uses, and modes of play.

    FDG 2011 was an interesting event and well attended by academics, commercial gaming vendors along with a number of staff from Microsoft Academic Developer Evangelists teams from the US and a group from Microsoft Game Studios.

    As part of the event the entire US and UK team developed, created and presented the final keynote presentation entitled ‘Kinect in the Classroom’.


    clip_image005 clip_image006 clip_image007

    The presentation featured a history and the evolution of gaming consoles, controller and then closed with details on the Kinect device hardware configuration and a drill down on the newly released Kinect SDK. The presentation also included information on Microsoft Game Studio’s Edison Project which includes Kinect Fun Labs and the Kinect Share community which were launched recently on to the Xbox community.


    Integrating Imagine Cup into current and proposed Curricula

    Andrew Parsons, Microsoft US ADE team and Captain of the Imagine Cup Game Design Competition chaired an interesting panel session on the value of leveraging Imagine Cup within the academic curriculum.

    The panel included Tara Walker Microsoft US ADE, Professor Frank Lee from Drexel University, Ian Parberry from the University of Texas and Frederic Pedro, a former Imagine Cup game competitor and now CEO of his own game company, Pohlm Studio and mentor of this years French Imagine Cup winning team.


    Each of the panel members recounted their success in integrating Imagine Cup into the academic curriculum. If your interested in learning more about the imagine cup please visit http://www.imaginecup.com

    Andrew presented a showcase of this years entries and the video of entries including the following video on the order of this years competitors For information on this years Imagine Cup Game Design entries see the entry video below and visit Andrews blog for the latest information on the Games Design Competition and an analysis of this years competitors.

    So if your interested in entering next years Imagine Cup and making students aware of the competition then these are the key dates for the Games Design competition are as follows more information will be posted on http://www.imaginecup.com




    Round 1 – Storyboard/Summary Submission

    July 13, 2011

    February 14, 2012

    Round 2 - Game Submission

    February 16, 2012

    March 13, 2012

    Round 3 - Worldwide Finals Qualifying

    April 3, 2012

    May 1, 2012

    Round 4 - Worldwide Finals

    July 2012

    July  2012


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