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

October, 2011


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance Workshop 2011 in Europe


    Microsoft DynamicsThe Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance Workshop 2011 is a 1 1/2 day event to be held at Avans Hogeschool, University of Applied Science in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, November 28-29, 2011.

    Professors and educators will come together to enhance their knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics and the use of technology in the classroom. This event offers an opportunity to collaborate with educators and learn more about the world of Microsoft Dynamics, and provides an important forum for the exchange of ideas and information for current and prospective Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance members.

    There is no cost for this workshop, but registration is required. Please visit the Workshop 2011 event page on Faculty Connection for more information about this event and how to attend.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Partners in Learning Forum 24/11/2011


    · clip_image001

    The 8th Microsoft UK Partners in Learning Forum is a one-day conference, free of charge to all teachers and educators who wish to attend. The workshops and keynotes this year have a STEM ‘flavour’ and address the theme of ‘Teach more, learn more, inspire more.’

    This year the Forum is being held at the Microsoft Headquarters, Thames Valley Park in Reading on the 24th Nov 2011.


    We have a rich agenda that includes as Keynote speakers, the world renowned Ian Livingstone OBE, Life President of Eidos , Alex Bellos, the author of the popular science book Alex's Adventures in Numberland and Ollie Bray, the National Adviser for Emerging Technologies at Education Scotland

    In addition, delegates will be able to choose from a range of workshops. I would suggest that you sign up as soon as possible as places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

    · Bringing classrooms together with Skype


    In this interactive workshop, Jacqueline Botterill, head of social good for Skype, will explain and demonstrate how over 17,500 educators from over 170 countries are already using the free online community to connect with each other.

    Using the Kinect SDK/Kodu in the classroom

    clip_image005Classroom Teachers Ray Chambers from Lodge Park Technology College & Nicki Maddams from Hartsdown College, give hands-on practical guidance on how to programme and create games in the classroom

    Everyone is a Maths genius, can computer science/technology prove it?

    Dr Chris Imafidon is one of the “World’s foremost scholars on leveraging informatics for learning and exceptional achievement. This workshop will discuss how computer science/technology exposed the myths of natural Intelligence, genes, gender, IQ, age, background, post-code.

    Computing: The Science of Nearly Everything?

    clip_image008Dr Tom Crick, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), looks at the big question: How are we developing and encouraging the next generation of technology innovators in the UK?

    Be a Maker: learn to build gadgets with .NET Gadgeteer

    Dr Scarlet Schwiderski-Grosche from Microsoft Research.Do you like computer gadgets? Would you like to learn how to build and program gadgets to your own design? Then this workshop is for you!

    Medicines and innovation – the missing link

    clip_image010Kandarp Thakkar - STEM Ambassador Programme - This workshop will introduce the STEM programme and give some ‘real-life’ case studies of successful use of this programme in delivering high quality university admissions.

    Guerrilla Teaching & Learning

    Daniel Raven-Ellison is a guerrilla educator, co-founder of The Geography Collective and creative director of Mission:Explore. Join this workshop to receive initial training in how to be a guerrilla teacher and learner.

    Who’s afraid of the big bad ‘network’

    clip_image012Dan Roberts from saltash.net community school, presents light-hearted perspective and interactive & engaging discussion which considers the challenges & issues of schools using social networking, how these can be overcome?

    Also, find out who are the recipients of this year’s Microsoft UK Partners in Learning Teacher Awards.The awards will be presented to Teachers who have submitted projects that illustrate the innovative use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. Not only will they receive award recognition, but have the chance to be invited to the next Partners in Learning Forum and win a Xbox 360 and Kinect package for their school. These projects will be on display at the event.

    Don’t miss out, register today – Registration now open

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Enterprise class Apache Hadoop based distributions on both Windows Server and Windows Azure



    Today Microsoft Announced great plans about Hadoop adoption to deliver enterprise class Apache Hadoop based distributions on both Windows Server and Windows Azure.

    See the official Announcements at:-

    Microsoft will provide simplified download, installation and configuration experience of several Hadoop related technologies i.e.

    The Hadoop based service for Windows Azure will allow any developer or user to submit and run standard Hadoop jobs directly on the Azure cloud with a simple user experience. Therefore you should be able to take any standard Hadoop job and deploy it on our platform, without considering what platform you have developing your Hadoop jobs.

    What is for developers:

    • Enable integration with Microsoft developer tools
    • Investment in making Javascript a first class language for Big Data.
    • Making it possible by writing high performance Map/Reduce jobs using Javascript.
    • This announcement will really benefit the broader Open Source community by enabling them to take their existing skill sets and assets use them on Windows Azure and Windows Server,
    • It is also another example of Microsoft's on-going commitment to providing Interoperability, compatibility and flexibility.

    What is for end users:

    • Hadoop-based applications targeting the Windows Server and Windows Azure platforms
    • The applications will easily work with Microsoft’s existing BI tools like PowerPivot and Power View
    • Providing an ODBC Driver and an Add-in for Excel, each of which will interoperate with Apache Hive, to enable self-service analysis on business information

    Released today: New connectors to enable customers, work effectively with both structured and unstructured data.

    • SQL Server connector for Apache Hadoop lets customers move large volumes of data between Hadoop and SQL Server 2008 R2
    • SQL Server PDW connector for Apache Hadoop moves data between Hadoop and SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW).
    • To enable this we will be delivering an ODBC Driver and an Add-in for Excel, each of which will interoperate with Apache Hive. 


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Kinect for Windows SDK Beta and .NET Gadgeteer Makes it to Future of Technology in Eduction FOTE 2011

    clip_image002 Kinect clip_image004

    Kinect for Windows SDK Beta and .NET Gadgeteer Makes it to Future of Technology in Eduction FOTE 2011

    The session discussed Microsoft Kinect within teaching, learning and research. Since its release of Kinect, there has been tremendous enthusiasm and fascination. Kinect is not only a tool to help navigation and interaction, but a tool to help students to get even more engaged in learning.

    Kinect is already making a difference in getting students more excited about their learning environment, and helping students to get engaged…and actually get more excited about studying. We are at an exciting time with the availability of the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK). Kinect and NUI will bring more interactive classroom environments, the development of new learning styles that will help students with and without disabilities to get more engaged with learning, as well as the potential for much more interactive navigation tools, helping to get students involved in the teaching, learning and research.

    The power of Kinect is here it’s now your turn for ideas and exploration, for more details of the event and to watch the presentation see http://fote-conference.com/wordpress/

    The Microsoft stand was represented by a two-way partnership between the Microsoft Research Connections team and the Microsoft Faculty Connection  team and contained demos of Kinect for Windows SDK beta, Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer, and Microsoft Robotics with support from Microsoft Research Connections

    Kinect and Gadgeteer also made an attendance at  the World Maker Faire 2011

    The Maker Fair is an inspiring showcase of creativity and cool technology that celebrates technology enthusiasts of all ages. From September 17 to 18 at the New York Hall of Science, Microsoft was represented by a three-way partnership between the Kinect for Windows SDK beta, Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer, and Microsoft Robotics with support from Microsoft Research Connections. The showpieces were the launch of Robotics Developer Studio 4 beta and a new reference design robot, Eddie, from Parallax, Inc. Which had a number of  Kinect SDK beta demos which included: on-board robot sensing and natural user interface (NUI) robot control, including a roving “party photographer” robot.

    Kinect for Windows SDK Beta

    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 academic developers and researchers are experimenting with natural user interface (NUI) applications and 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 exciting possibilities of the Kinect sensor. The community has provided us with a lot of good feedback, and we hope the latest  release addresses some of the top items you’ve told us about.

    Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer Launched


    Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer is an open-source platform for building and refining prototype electronic devices quickly and easily.

    It was developed by Nic Villar and James Scott in the Sensors and Devices group at Microsoft Research Cambridge that is managed by Steve Hodges. The Microsoft EMEA Press Centre announced its commercial availability and the hardware is available for pre-order through GHI Electronics. Learn more.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    WorldWide Telescope SDK Features



    WorldWide Telescope SDK Features

    The powerful tools contained in the WorldWide Telescope (WWT) SDK enable developers to create applications that allow users to import and visualize their data in the WWT Windows Client and share it with others.

    The WWT SDK can convert flat images of the entire Earth, a section of the Earth, or of any other planetary body, into a format that will render in full 3-D in the WWT.

    The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) was featured in the Morrison Planetarium for NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences on September 29. This is the largest all-digital planetarium in the world, Morrison Planetarium’s state-of-the-art projector and software technologies allow the planetarium to produce the most accurate and interactive digital universe simulation.

    The WWT software displayed imagery from the best ground- and space-based telescopes in the world on the 75-foot wide planetarium screen.

    how to build a planetarium for use with WWT.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Project Hawaii: Cloud-Enabled Mobile Computing

    clip_image001 Win7PhoneNew

    Project Hawaii: Cloud-Enabled Mobile Computing

    Project Hawaii offers university students the opportunity to explore how the cloud can enhance mobile devices, especially the increasingly ubiquitous smartphone.

    Find samples of student-created applications that range from assisting people who are blind or visually impaired to identify their locations and contact other people to enabling individuals with smart phones to contribute to a variety of science research projects by gathering useful information using the sensors on their phones.

    For more details see http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/hawaii/applications/

    Project Hawaii SDK: Create Mobile Applications—Watch the 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.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Iterative MapReduce on Windows Azure



    Project Daytona: Iterative MapReduce on Windows Azure

    This new platform expands the toolset for scientists in need of large-scale data computation capabilities, making it easier for scientists to use the cloud and access their data. 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

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Research Twentieth Anniversary



    Microsoft Research Twentieth Anniversary

    In the 20 years since it was founded, Microsoft Research has worked consistently to help shape computer science and scientific research in the digital age. Through Microsoft Research Connections’ collaborative efforts, we link dedicated researchers at Microsoft Research worldwide labs with the top minds in academia, pushing the boundaries of technology to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. Together, we encourage the next generation of world-class computer scientists and provide support to great thinkers who dream the impossible.

    Review some of our past accomplishments and get an idea of our goals for the future:

    · Microsoft Research Twentieth Anniversary

    · Science@Microsoft

    · Happy Birthday, Microsoft Research…Now Blow out the Candles and Back to the Lab

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone a close up from Silicon Valley comes to the UK


    Its been a busy few days at Microsoft, At the weekend I attended The Silicon Valley Comes to the United Kingdom Appathon.

    This was the first ever Silicon Valley Comes to the United Kingdom. SVc2UK for short and twitter hash #SVc2UK and took place at Sheffield Hallam University. The past few day have been enormous amount of fun and I attend the event representing Microsoft as a mentor and a judge. During the event I had a number of Windows Phone devices which were used to show the attendees the recently launched 7.5 Mango upgrade and for them to use devices for the testing of applications using a HTML5 browser or dedicated Windows Phone application.

    If you haven't seen Windows Phone watch the following video, which details the functionality of the device. 

    The overall feedback of the device ‘HTC Surround’ was excellent and one of my favourite tweets was by a fellow mentor and Judge @chrismurray0 from http://www.epigenesys.co.uk/


    The SVc2UK event is the joint work of Ellen Levy's new organization Silicon Valley Connect and Sherry Couto via her association with the Cambridge Judge school of business and NESTA.

    I met some incredible people during the event and would like to thank all the students, mentors and academic’s who held support arrange and attend the event from the Universities in Yorkshire.


    I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have a very high regard for the teams and the amount of effort everyone involved put into the days to make it a great event.

    The winning teams simply now have to go and finish of their apps and make sure they take on the feedback provided and make sure their app is entered before the closing date.


    So get developing and if you want a list of all the resources available to attendees please visit Welcome to the Microsoft resource page for the SVc2UK Appathon on the Microsoft Student Blog

    Best of luck!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Curriculum on Game Development using XNA



    This exciting and engaging computer science semester course enables students to apply a basic foundation in programming to create games using C# and Microsoft XNA Game Studio.


    Don't forget simply login to DreamSpark.com for your FREE XNA software and developer tools.

    The course guides you through the development of Games using Visual Studio 2010 C# combined with the Microsoft XNA framework which creates the XNA Game Studio – a professional game development environment for PC, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone.

    Students will

    • Address social causes and real-world problems
    • Explore game and simulation development as communication and art
    • Apply knowledge of variables, conditionals, loops, object-oriented programming, recursion, and data structures to game creation.

    The free curriculum package includes

    • Teacher Roadmap
    • Daily lesson plans
    • Demonstration projects
    • 14 video tutorials
    • 22 lab assignments and solutions
    • Student activities
    • Assessment tools with keys and exemplars


    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Teacher Roadmap

    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Part 1 Basics

    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Part 2 Games for All

    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Appendix

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