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Outreach projects
Computer science projects
  • Code Hunt Community
    Code Hunt is a serious educational game. The Code Hunt community is interested in all aspects of research and development around the game, including analysis of the data and development of the platform.
  • Data science at Microsoft Research
    Researchers who can best capture, process, predict, and visualize data will be able to accelerate their work and push the boundaries of what is possible. We want to help you take advantage of our research and development efforts so that you can spend more time doing data science. Besides a range of tools and services, we provide valuable datasets across many areas of interest. You can download more than 40 datasets from this website and nearly 150 from the Azure Marketplace. Learn more.
  • Dryad
    The Dryad Project is investigating programming models for writing parallel and distributed programs to scale from a small cluster to a large data-center.
  • DryadLINQ
    DryadLINQ is a simple, powerful, and elegant programming environment for writing large-scale data parallel applications running on large PC clusters.
  • Microsoft Azure for Research
    The Microsoft Azure for Research project facilitates and accelerates scholarly and scientific research by enabling researchers to use the power of Microsoft Azure to perform big data computations in the cloud.
  • Open source for academics
    Open source is a powerful way to advance software development and share data for experimentation. Microsoft has research projects as well as key software—such as .NET—in open-source repositories. These tools provide opportunities for engaging with Microsoft researchers and advancing the state of the art together. The powerful software can be used in classes and projects to prepare students for real-world applications.
  • Project Catapult
    Project Catapult is a Microsoft venture that investigates the use of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to improve performance, reduce power, and provide new capabilities in the datacenter.
  • Project Hawaii
    With Project Hawaii, you can develop cloud-enhanced Windows Phone that access a set of cloud services and Windows Azure for computation and data storage. Project Hawaii provides the tools and services; you provide the creativity and imagination.
  • Try F#
    Try F# makes it easy to learn the F# programming language, create solutions to complex problems, and share code via a browser-based development environment. Because it's accessible via the web, Windows and Mac programmers can use Try F# to experience F# 3.0’s unique information-rich programming features for Big Data analytics and solve complex problems efficiently.  
  • Virtual Research Environment Toolkits
    The VRE Toolkits for SharePoint is a collaborative, multi-institutional effort to create a set of researcher-focused extensions to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2010, in order to provide core research project management and workflow capabilities, and to extend into a number of domain specific research and data management arenas.
  • Web N-gram Services
    Access petabytes of data via the Web N-gram services (Public Beta). We invite the whole community to use the Web N-gram services, made available via a cloud-based platform, to drive discovery and innovation in web search, natural language processing, speech, and related areas by conducting research on real-world web-scale data, taking advantage of regular data updates for projects that benefit from dynamic data.
Earth, energy, and environment projects
  • Environmental Informatics Framework
    Environmental Informatics Framework (EIF) is a strategy for using cutting-edge Microsoft technologies to advance environmental data discoverability, accessibility, and consumability.
  • Layerscape
    A cloud-based user experience, Microsoft Layerscape makes it easy for the Earth-sciences community to visualize and analyze large, complex datasets to facilitate the discovery of new environmental insights into Earth. By using powerful, everyday tools like Microsoft Excel, Layerscape enables users to explore new ways of looking at Earth and oceanic data, and build predictive modeling in areas such as climate change, health epidemics, and oceanic shifts.
  • NodeXL: Network Overview, Discovery and Exploration in Excel
    NodeXL is a powerful and easy-to-use interactive network visualisation and analysis tool that leverages the widely available MS Excel application as the platform for representing generic graph data, performing advanced network analysis and visual exploration of networks. The tool supports multiple social network data providers that import graph data (nodes and edge lists) into the Excel spreadsheet.
  • SciScope
    SciScope ( is a search engine for environmental data. It currently facilitates data discovery and retrieval from 1.7 million sites across the United States operated by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) as well as individual researchers and smaller regional agencies.
  • Terapixel
    Imagine having the ability to take a virtual tour of the cosmos from your living room. Not just a flat, two dimensional tour, but an experience so engrossing that you have the ability to see the entire sky at once then zoom into detailed views of distant galaxies. The Terapixel project from Microsoft Research makes all of that possible, by creating the largest and clearest image of the night sky ever produced—a terapixel image, now available in the WorldWide Telescope and Bing Maps.
  • WorldWide Telescope
    WorldWide Telescope is both a viewer of the universe and a developer’s tool to produce specialized and wonderful visualizations of astronomical and planetary data.
Education and scholarly communication projects
  • Article Authoring Add-in for Word
    This add-in for Microsoft Word enables authors and editors to save Word files in the National Library of Medicine's NLM DTD (article or book) format, which is used for publishing and archiving. In addition, the add-in enables more metadata to be captured and stored at the authoring stage and enables semantic information to be preserved through the publishing process, which is essential for enabling search and semantic analysis once the articles are archived within information repositories.
  • Beneath the Surface
    Microsoft Research Connections funded projects at five universities to explore potential applications of Microsoft Surface technology in education. Topics included input methods for mathematical and scientific diagramming applications, approaches for managing research and teaching materials and facilitating collaborative laboratory work, hybrid applications with other technologies, control systems for mixing music, and gestural vocabularies.
  • Chemistry Add-in for Word
    This project supports the authoring and rendering of semantically rich chemistry information in Microsfot Word documents. The Chemistry Add-in for Word makes it easier to insert and modify chemical information, such as labels, formulas, and 2-D depictions, within Word. It enables the creation of inline chemical zones, the rendering of print-ready visual depictions of chemical structures, and the ability to store and expose chemical information in a semantically rich manner.
  • ChronoZoom
    The primary goal of ChronoZoom is to make time relationships between different studies of history clear and vivid. In the process, it provides a framework for exploring related electronic resources. It thus serves as a "master timeline" tying together all kinds of specialized timelines and electronic resources, and aspires to bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences and to bring together and unify all knowledge of the past.
  • Conference App
    This apps provides electronic program guides for conferences. The app includes information on the sessions and talks of the conference and co-located events. The "Now" page indicates what sessions are happening at the moment and what sessions are next. Tap on a paper to see its abstract and add it to favorites if you like it.
  • ConferenceXP
    ConferenceXP integrates recent advances in high-performance audio, video, and network technologies to seamlessly connect multiple, distant participants in a rich, immersive environment for distance conferencing, instruction, and collaboration. ConferenceXP provides an extensible foundation for interactive collaborative environments and serves as a research platform for designing and implementing distance conferencing and learning applications.
  • Creative Commons Add-in for Office
    This add-in for Microsoft Office enables authors and editors to embed Creative Commons licenses directly into Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents. With a Creative Commons license, authors can express their intentions regarding how their works may be used by others. The add-in allows the selection of a license, downloads it from the Creative Commons website, and inserts it directly into the working document.
  • Digital Heritage and Humanities
    Digital Humanities is about applying new technologies to enhancing the scholarly lifecycle, preserving and exposing collections that are otherwise difficult to access, encouraging new creative expression by using digital media, and studying the impact of technology in the humanities or providing cultural commentary. Digital Heritage is a subset of Digital Humanities that focuses on preserving and exploring our combined cultural heritage.
  • Games for Learning
    We think differently about games. Instead of disconnected experiences that are difficult to assess, we empower the educator to teach in new ways. Technological innovations drive our research toward building a new platform for education. Instrumentation of the digital and analog worlds of educators, students, administrations, and institutions enables new kinds of longitudinal studies. We engage with the community and advocate within Microsoft to transform the education experience.
  • Just Press Play
    Just Press Play is a collaboration with Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to wrap gameful and ludic experiences around the traditional pedagogical processes of a modern university. Starting in October of 2011, 750 students at RIT’s school of Interactive Games and Media received some cryptic instructions to log onto a website, create a profile, talk to a professor, and pick up a keychain.
  • Large Artwork Display on Surface (LADS)
    Created for Microsoft Surface 2.0 by the Graphics, Visualization, and Interaction Group at Brown University, led by Andy van Dan, LADS is a platform for viewing large, digitized images on touch screen devices. LADS takes advantage of Deep Zoom, Surface, and other novel Microsoft technologies to create an intuitive browsing experience combined with a simple and powerful authoring interface.
  • One Mouse Per Child
    Emerging from an ongoing relationship between Microsoft Research Connections and Miguel Nussbaum at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, the One Mouse Per Child project is a broad spectrum of experiments in the education space around games for learning. Using Single Display Groupware and multiple mice, collaborative learning activities are supported which improve the way resources can be used in schools and foster personalized learning with individual feedback.
  • Ontology Add-in for Word
    Microsoft Research Connections' goal with this project is to enable communities who maintain ontologies to more easily experiment and to enhance the experience of authors who use Microsoft Word for content creation, incorporating semantic knowledge into the content. This add-in is intended to simplify the development and validation of ontologies.
  • Unified Game Layer For Education
    Supporting collaborations between major research institutions and Microsoft Research Connections, this program intends to build the foundations for a unified game layer for education. By instrumenting our everyday experiences, we can transform them into gameful experiences and, by doing so, provide the inputs for entirely new capabilities such as eportfolios, adaptive learning, and project-based learning. We look forward to inviting you to the game!
Health and wellbeing projects
  • Medical Imaging at Microsoft Research
    An increased dependence on medical imaging for patient diagnosis and treatment places new challenges upon the clinical community. Existing image processing workflows struggle to keep up with the pace at which imaging technology is developing. Microsoft Research is working with top research institutes around the world to make available data and tools and advance the state of the art in automatic analysis of medical scans.
  • Microsoft Biology Initiative
    The Microsoft Biology Initiative (MBI) is a Microsoft Research effort to bring new technology and tools to bioinformatics and biology research. This initiative is comprised of two primary components, .NET Bio (formerly Microsoft Biology Foundation [MBF]) and the Microsoft Biology Tools (MBT).
  • Project Premonition
    This project uses autonomous methods such as drone-enabled, mosquito-collection devices/traps to collect mosquitos and then conduct cloud-based, next-generation gene sequencing analysis of pathogens in the mosquito blood to detect early signs of infectious diseases.
  • SenseCam
    SenseCam is a wearable camera with a wide-angle lens that takes periodically photos without user intervention. This simple device turns out to have many valuable applications.
  • Stroke Recovery with Kinect
    Stroke Recovery with Kinect is an interactive rehabilitation system that helps stroke patients improve their upper-limb motor functioning in the comfort of their own home. By using the Microsoft Kinect sensor’s gesture recognition technology, the system recognizes and interprets the user’s movements, assesses their rehabilitation progress, and adjusts the level of difficulty for subsequent therapy sessions.
Natural user interface projects
  • HoloLens for Research
    Microsoft HoloLens goes beyond augmented reality and virtual reality by enabling you to interact with three-dimensional holograms blended with your real world. It is more than a simple heads-up display, and its transparency means you never lose sight of the world around you. High-definition holograms integrated with your real world can unlock all-new ways to create, communicate, work, and play. The primary goal of this RFP is to better understand the roles of and possible applications for holog
  • Kinect for Windows SDK Beta
    The Kinect for Windows SDK beta from Microsoft Research is a programming toolkit for application developers. It enables the academic and enthusiast communities easy access to the capabilities offered by the Microsoft Kinect device connected to computers running the Windows 7 operating system.
  • Microsoft Translator Hub
    Microsoft Translator Hub empowers businesses and communities to build, train, and deploy customized automatic language translation systems—bringing better and specialized translation quality to established languages, as well as to the many languages of the world that are not yet supported by major translation providers.
  • Surface Hub for Research
    Microsoft believes the Surface Hub will be as empowering and as transformative to teams and the shared work environment as the PC was to individuals and the desk. The Surface Hub creates new modalities for creating and brainstorming with its unique large-screen productivity apps and capabilities. We believe it will be a critical component for the modern workplace, home, or other venue where people need to come together to think, ideate, and produce. This RFP is now closed.