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

September, 2011


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Build Conference



    The last week has been pretty amazing, the BUILD conference had lots of great sessions explaining how to get productive with Microsoft’s new development tools, services and technologies.

    The following are some of the highlights of the Build sessions which were attend by over  4000 developers. The complete list of sessions and videos are available at which can you can view at your leisure. 

    BUILD Keynote with Steven Sinofsky

    The Overview of Windows 8 and Metro

    Day 1 Keynote with Steven Sinofsky

    8 Traits of Great Metro Style Apps with Jensen Harris

    If you want to learn more about Windows 8 Metro UI additionally if you want more designer-oriented information, check out Designing Metro style: principles and personalities.


    Platform for Metro-Style Apps with Ales Holecek and John Sheehan

    A great overview of the platform, Windows RT and Windows 8 itself. If you want to know more about the API.

    Platform for Metro-Style Apps with Ales Holecek and John Sheehan

    Tools for Building Metro-Style apps with Chris Sells and Kieran Mockford

    This is the second part of the Platform talk

    Tools for Building Metro-Style apps with Chris Sells and Kieran Mockford

    Lap around the Windows Runtime with Martyn Lovell

    This gives you a deeper look at WinRT

    Lap around the Windows Runtime with Martyn Lovell

    Metro-style apps using XAML: what you need to know with Joe Stegman

    Get the XAML info right from the lead of Windows 8 XAML team

    Metro-style apps using XAML: what you need to know with Joe Stegman

    Metro-style apps using XAML: Make your app shine with Marco Matos

    This is the talk that explains how to deeply integrate your XAML application with Windows 8.

    Metro-style apps using XAML: Make your app shine with Marco Matos

    Make great touch apps using XAML with Alnur Ismail

    Learn all about touch and gestures obviously very important to Windows 8 Metro applications.


    Stand out with styling and animation in your XAML app with John Papa

    Here's where you'll learn about styles, animations and more

    Stand out with styling and animation in your XAML app with John Papa

    Reach all your customers' devices with one beautiful XAML user interface with Tim Heuer

    Learn how to adapt to different screen sizes, resolutions and more

    Reach all your customers' devices with one beautiful XAML user interface with Tim Heuer

    A deep dive into Visual Studio 11 Express for designing Metro apps using XAML with Joanna Mason and Unni Ravindranathan

    Want to learn about the tooling and the features of Visual Studio 11

    A deep dive into Visual Studio 11 Express for designing Metro apps using XAML with Joanna Mason and Unni Ravindranathan

    Future directions for C# and Visual Basic with Anders Hejlsberg

    Learn more about async and the future of Visual Studio with Project Roslyn copy and paste code transformation

    Future directions for C# and Visual Basic with Anders Hejlsberg

    More Videos to Watch

    Check out the full set via

    Or simply use the list below to go to content based on topic areas

    More Windows 8 XAML

    .NET and C#/Visual Basic
    Windows 8 and WinRT General
    Games and DirectX

    So overall an amazing conference, content and announcements. Please visit the following online resources to view the 200 + hours of content at your own leisure

    For further references and to download a developer preview of Windows 8 visit and keep an eye on the Building Windows 8 Blog at

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Azure updates and announcements


    Appfabric thumbAzure_thumbnailAzureMarket

    Last week at the Microsoft Windows BUILD event, a number of announcements in relation to Windows Azure were made.These announcements included the following, the release of the Azure toolkit for Windows 8, availability for Bing service APIs (including translation) internationally, a new Azure SDK , updates to Azure management capability and much more.

    Here is a list of some of the key announcements:

    For more details see Windows Azure Marketplace technical details and at the Windows Azure blog here.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    NAO’s Robotics European Tour



    If your interested in Robotics and using Microsoft Robotics studio in your teaching then your going to be interested in attending the NAO’s European Tour.


    The NAO tour aims to demonstrate how a humanoid robotic platform can be beneficial to teachers and researchers willing to attract students to scientific curriculum.

    On the tour you will be able to take part in short practical workshops exploring computer sciences, mathematics, physics, mechanics, kinematics, and electronics with NAO. So lets make the curriculum exciting with NAO and Microsoft Robotics Studio so attend one of the sessions and learn how NAO is used as a teaching platform from High Schools to University meet teachers and researchers who have adopted NAO and learn from their experience and skills.

    Discover a complete teaching solution that stimulates creativity, problem-solving and team-working. Find out the tutorials for STEM classrooms developed by teachers. Research labs are using NAO to explore areas such as human robot interaction, humanoid motion, localization and mapping, cognition, learn about research projects where scientists benefit from NAO.

    Register now and attend the half day workshop FREE of charge

    Birmingham  Oct 11th 2011

    Manchester Oct 12th 2011

    Edinburgh Oct 13th 2011

    Wrexham Nov 2nd 2011

    London Nov 3rd 2011

    Dublin Oct 20th 2011.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Faculty Connection Newsletter August/September 2011


    Faculty Connection Newsletter

    Welcome to the August/September edition of the Microsoft® Faculty Connection newsletter. This resource provides information about new curriculum resources and other useful educational content for use in the classroom

    Please feel free to subscribe today to receive future editions directly to your inbox


    Python Tools for Visual Studio
    Python Tools for Visual StudioPython Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) turns Visual Studio into a Python IDE. It is a free and open source plug-in for Visual Studio 2010 from the Microsoft Developer Division. PTVS lets developers use all the major productivity features of Visual Studio to build Python code using either CPython or IronPython, and it adds new features such as support for High Performance Computing clusters to scale your code.

    Cloud Infrastructure Soars in Europe
    It was barely a year ago that European scientific and industry leaders came together to develop, test, and deploy a high-quality, interoperable cloud platform for industry and research. The result was VENUS-C (Virtual multidisciplinary EnviroNments USing Cloud infrastructures). Jointly sponsored by the European Commission and a consortium of 14 partners, among them Microsoft Research, VENUS-C was conceived to meet the needs of seven different research and commercial areas: bioinformatics, systems biology, drug discovery, civil engineering, civil protection, civil emergencies, and marine biodiversity. VENUS-C has since developed into a functional, operational platform, and is now being used for 15 new pilot projects, which received seed funds after an open call that elicited 60 proposals from throughout Europe.

    Kinect for Windows SDK Beta Refresh Available
    KinectInterest in the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) beta, released in June, 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. In support of our commitment to encourage researchers and enthusiasts in their exploration of the possibilities of the Kinect sensor, we have released a refreshed version of the SDK. The community has provided us with a lot of good feedback, and this release addresses some of the top items you've told us about.


    The Faculty Connection Resource Center is the place to find these and other classroom-ready teaching materials:

    Mango Jump Start: Building Applications for Windows Phone
    Mango Jump StartThis introductory content covers how to create Windows Phone solutions, edit program source files, add and manage program resources, and then build and run the solution. It also explores options for debugging solutions using the Windows Phone Emulator or an actual device as well as managing the solution properties for deployment in the marketplace. Once you are done with the basics, continue on with additional Mango Jump Start sessions that examine Silverlight, building interfaces with Expression, app data storage, using Bing Maps, developing with XNA, and even selling apps.

    Windows PowerShell Overview
    In this video presentation, Kurt Callemin provides an introduction to PowerShell, tells you what it is used for, why you should use it, and how it works. The goal is to make you familiar with the concepts behind this scripting language with examples and teach you how to explore the world of PowerShell in more depth.

    Students to Business Day Belgium 2011 
    View these video presentations from the event:


    Microsoft ResearchFind recent news from a Microsoft Research site near you.

    Faculty Summit 2011
    Microsoft Research Connections hosted its 12th Faculty Summit in July, providing a forum for lively debate on the development, application, and funding of technologies in the environmental, medical, and educational spheres. Presentations and streaming video of keynotes, talks, panels, workshops, and demonstrations are now available on-demand; find links to them on the Faculty Summit agenda page.

    Project Hawaii SDK: Create Mobile Applications
    Create cloud-enabled mobile applications with the tools and services 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.


    CALL FOR PAPERS: Worldwide Microsoft Dynamics Academic Preconference 2012
    Microsoft DynamicsThe Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance (DynAA) will host the Worldwide Microsoft Dynamics Academic Preconference in Houston, Texas, USA on March 17-18, 2012. This is an event that all members of the DynAA should attend! You have the chance to:

    • Experience hands-on training with Microsoft Dynamics products
    • Hear from Microsoft experts
    • Present and attend concurrent sessions from other DynAA faculty
    • Attend DayONE User Group sessions with Microsoft Dynamics customers
    • Attend Convergence 2012 keynotes, general sessions, user labs, and parties!

    Find more information about this event, including links to last year's preconference.

    DynAA invites papers/abstracts in research, research-in-progress, teaching, applications, and case studies incorporating Microsoft Dynamics into business and information systems curricula. The deadline for refereed paper submission is January 1, 2012. DynAA will publish conference proceedings in CD/DVD format and online. In addition, the best quality papers from those accepted will be recommended to the Journal of Integrated Enterprise Systems (ISSN: 2162-9285) for publication. The deadline for presentation and panel discussion submissions is February 1, 2012. For more detailed information, please visit:

    Sign up for other Microsoft newsletters



    The Faculty Connection Resource Center contains recommended Curriculum Resources, Reference Materials, Software, and Supplemental Resources:


    View the Faculty Connection Resource Kit page for curriculum materials on areas such as Cloud Computing and Operating Systems. These kits contain lecture materials, PowerPoint presentations, videos, white papers, labs, and more that can be used for classroom presentations.

    Find Higher Education and Teacher resource kits to help you engage your students.


    Find additional faculty and student resources:


    These are the top downloads by faculty and teachers from the
    Faculty Connection Resource Center:

    1. Windows Phone Programming in C#

    2. Introduction to Programming Through Game Development Using Microsoft XNA Game Studio

    3. Windows Operating System Internals Curriculum Resource Kit (CRK)

    4. A Comparative Analysis of Cloud Computing Environments (简体中文)

    5. Programming with C# and XNA 0.5: Jump Start

    6. A Lap Around Microsoft Expression Blend®

    7. Learn Programming with XNA

    8. Expression Web 4 Quick Start Tutorial: Beaches Around the World

    9. Введение в современные веб-технологии (in Russian)

    10. Introduction to Mobile Application Development Using Silverlight (Lecture 3 of 3)


    If you have any questions or would like to know more about Microsoft Faculty Connection, please send us an email at

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Integrate Core Windows technologies into your teaching curricula


    OS curriculum and Kernel source code

    The Windows Academic Program provides universities with curriculum materials, Windows kernel source code, and a project environment for teaching operating system principles using Windows.

    Windows CRK

    The Curriculum Resource Kit (CRK) is a collection of instructional materials that follows the ACM/IEEE-CS Operating System Body of Knowledge and illustrates operating system (OS) concepts using Windows XP as a case study.

    Who it's for

    The CRK is free and available to any professor or student who accepts the terms of the Microsoft Curriculum License Agreement.

    Learn more

    Additional Windows CRK Information


    Windows Research Kernel

    The Windows Research Kernel (WRK) packages core Windows XP x64/Server 2003 SP1 kernel sources with an environment for building and testing of experiments and projects based on modifying the Windows kernel, enabling advanced teaching and research that promote better understanding of the Windows architecture and implementation.

    Who it's for

    The WRK is free and available to eligible academic faculty members, researchers, and students at accredited universities who accept the terms and conditions of the Microsoft Windows Research Kernel Source Code License - updated.

    Learn more

    Additional Windows Research Kernel Information



    ProjectOZ is an experimental environment that is built on top of the native NT API for universities to use as a platform for operating system projects.

    Who it's for

    ProjectOZ is free and available to any professor or student who accepts the terms of the Microsoft Curriculum License Agreement.

    Learn more

    Additional ProjectOZ Information


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    TechDays.Online FREE ONLINE Training in October 2011–REGISTER NOW


    I am pleased to announce a series of free Tech.Days Online Conferences for academic and student developers.

    Tech.Days online conferences simply give you access to hand-picked video content and technology training from our UK team, and the chance to get involved online, listen to speakers and ask our panel questions Live.


    Windows Azure Online Conference / Tuesday 4 October, 3-5pm

    Register for this event here / Click here for more details

    If you are just getting started with cloud computing with Windows Azure, this is the perfect starting point for you This online conference will help you get over any initial stumbling blocks, so you can quickly be productive in this new environment.


    Windows Phone Online Conference / Wednesday 5 October, 3-5pm

    Register for this event here / Click here for more details

    We’ll help you familiarise yourself with different aspects of designing for Windows Phone, including the philosophy behind Metro and Application design. You don’t need any experience of Windows Phone development, you just need an interest in developing phone apps.


    Internet Explorer Online Conference / Thursday 6 October, 3-5pm

    Register for this event here / Click here for more details

    In this conference we’ll discuss the difference between a website and a web application. You’ll also learn about HTML5 features that allow applications to do more than is currently possible with just AJAX and HTML 4. In-depth web development experience isn’t necessary you just need to be keen to build your knowledge of the different aspects of IE9.

    How do you Register?

    1. Register simply click on the link for the Tech.Days Online Conference above.

    2. View content - Once you’ve registered you will be sent an email highlighting the video and white paper content to view and digest before the day of your online conference. This hand-picked content helps you cut through the clutter of information around your area of interest.

    3. Send questions or points in advance -  the live online conference will be used to address all your comments and questions - whether they’re sent in advance or asked live.

    4. Attend your live online conference - Join the conference at the scheduled time using the LiveMeeting platform. This will not simply be a presentation based experience: the first part will be a wrap-up and high level summary of the video content; the second part will be a Q&A session where you can post questions to the panel and interact with peers.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Silicon Valley comes to the UK




    10 LUCKY University Students to win an ALL PAID EXPENSES TRIP TO SILICON VALLEY for creating apps around health, education and environmental data from the Gov’t!

    Silicon Valley comes to the UK (SVc2UK), announces a month long, multi-site competition, dubbed, the SVc2UK Appathon, the competition supports and encourages university students to use government data to "hack" together innovative consumer applications in Healthcare, Education, and the Environment. This competition allows students to unlock the power of government data to make both a positive social impact and enhance its accessibility to peers, parents, and grandparents. This ambitious initiative represents the UK's largest ever mobilisation of students to create apps’. We don't know yet what they will create, but we are hoping for a 'good school's guide’ where you can find out where the good schools are near you, a 'good doctor's guide,’ where you can find a doctor near you, and a 'clean city guide' where you can find the cleanest city near you - or the dirtiest!

    This national ‘coding competition’ helps to address the void that exists in most university curricula, creating a real world opportunity for those developers with the ambition, appetite and aptitude to code and build applications that can have real value to users. With support, not only from their peers, but the wider technology community, and a network of mentors, these students will be able to take control of, and enhance, their own education outside of the classroom and make a difference.

    Continuing the historic success of SVc2UK, approximately 1,500 students from 15 universities across the UK are expected to be drawn “like magnets” to six UK locations including Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, Sheffield, Southampton and London to take part in the Appathons. Full access to the data and details of participating universities and hosts can be found at

    The SVc2UK Appathons will run during early October and are open to university students across the country. The competition has the full support of Downing Street, which will supply their technical guru’s from In addition, pretty much the whole technology industry is lending their support to the effort University students who enter the competition have until 23 October to submit their apps to be judged by leading Global entrepreneurial icons including Reid Hoffman, Joi Ito and more (see

    The winners of the SVc2UK Appathon will attend an awards ceremony in November as part of ‘Silicon Valley comes to the UK’ ( and 9 winners will be invited to take part in a road trip to Silicon Valley followed by the legendary South by Southwest Conference early next year.

    The Appathon will conclude with winning developers, coming to London (UK), for the finale: a show and tell event where the developers will explain and demonstrate their efforts to a selected audience of their peers, politicians, advisers, civil servants, and the press.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Tech.Days Online Conference Design from a User Perspective, 5 October, 3-5pm BST



    It’s one thing to create an application for Windows Phone. It’s another to *design* an application for Windows Phone that centres on experience of the user and delights them at every turn.

    Join this FREE online conference Microsoft be offering some recommended viewing / reading to help you familiarize yourself with different aspects of designing for Windows Phone (e.g. the philosophy behind Metro, considerations for mobile apps, tools, control palate, design guidelines etc.) and discuss the key principles and try to answer the questions you have related to applying these principles to your own applications.

    This new series will offer you the opportunity to ask questions you would like answered from Microsoft. Register today and start!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Updating your DreamSpark developer phones to Mango



    ‘Mango’ OS Beta: Updating from 7712 to RTM


    All registered DreamSpark Developers can now update their devices to Windows Phone 7.5 without having to fall back to the backup taken at the beginning of the provisioning process.

    This update is being made available to those running build 7712 on a retail device that was updated using the provisioning tool we published to Connect a couple months ago. Read more.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows HPC with Burst to Windows Azure Training Course


    This Resource Kit contains samples that demonstrate HPC application types and concepts shown in the article "Windows HPC with Burst to Windows Azure Application Models and Data Considerations". This new version of the resource kit includes samples that demonstrate the new features of the HPC Pack 2008 R2 SP2, including using the Message Passing Interface (MPI) on Windows Azure nodes, and the HPC Job Scheduler's representational state transfer (REST) API.

    Download Offline Training Kit

    Target Audience

    This training kit is intended for use by academic whom wish to learn how to use the Azure burst scenario, which is described in the article Windows HPC with Burst to Windows Azure: Application Models and Data Considerations.

    Technical Prerequisites

    Parametric Sweep

    Parametric sweep provides a straightforward development path for solving delightfully parallel problems on a cluster (sometimes referred to as "embarrassingly parallel" problems, which have no data interdependencies or a shared state that would preclude linear scaling through parallelization). One such problem is the calculation of prime numbers over a large range. Parametric sweep applications run multiple instances of the same program on different sets of input data stored in a series of indexed storage items, such as files on a disk or rows in a database table. Each instance of a parametric sweep application runs as a separate task, and many such tasks can execute concurrently, depending on the amount of available cluster resources.


    Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is an architectural style designed for building distributed systems. The SOA actors are services: independent software packages that expose their functionality by receiving data (requests) and returning data (responses). SOA is designed to support the distribution of an application across computers and networks, which makes it a natural candidate for scaling on a cluster. The SOA support provided by Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 is based on Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), a .NET framework for building distributed applications. Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2 improves SOA support by hosting WCF services on Windows Azure nodes in addition to the on-premises nodes.

    Excel Offloading

    The execution of compute-intensive Microsoft Excel workbooks with independent calculations can sometimes be scaled using a cluster. The integration of Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2 with Windows Azure supports User Defined Function (UDF)-offloading. Excel workbook calculations that are based on UDFs defined in an XLL file can be installed on the cluster’s nodes (on-premises and/or Windows Azure). With the XLL installed on the cluster, the user can perform the UDF calls remotely on the cluster instead of locally on the machine on which the Excel workbook is open.

    Message Passing Interface (MPI)

    Message Passing Interface (MPI) is a platform-independent standard for messaging between HPC nodes. Microsoft MPI (MS MPI) is the MPI implementation used for MPI applications executed by Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2. Integration of Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2 with Windows Azure supports running MPI applications on Windows Azure nodes.

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