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Abstracts, Bios, and Presentations

External Research Symposium 2010
April 6–7, 2010

Ambient Point Clouds for View Interpolation    Webcast | Slides

View interpolation and image-based rendering algorithms often produce visual artifacts in regions where the 3D scene geometry is erroneous, uncertain, or incomplete. In this talk, I will introduce ambient point clouds constructed from colored pixels with uncertain depth that help reduce these artifacts while providing non-photorealistic background coloring and enhancing the sense of 3D motion. Our point clouds are constructed by randomly sampling colored points along the viewing rays associated with uncertain pixels. These are combined with more traditional rigid 3D point clouds and colored surface meshes obtained using multi-view stereo. Our real-time rendering system is able to handle larger-range view transitions with fewer visible artifacts than previous approaches.

Michael GoeseleMichael Goesele Michael Goesele studied computer science at the Ulm University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then moved to the Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik (MPI) and received his doctorate degree in 2004. In 2005, he received a Feodor Lynen-Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation to work as a PostDoc at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. Since 2007, he is an assistant professor of computer graphics at TU Darmstadt. Since 2009, he is additionally leading an Emmy Noether Research group funded by the German National Science Foundation (DFG). His research interests include capturing and modeling techniques for graphics and vision as well as high performance computing on modern massively parallel hardware. Michael Goesele received several awards including the Eurographics 2008 Young Researcher Award.

Anti-Counterfeit Technology for RFID Applications   Webcast | Slides

Abstract: With the ease of marketing products online, it seems that selling counterfeit objects has never been easier. Industries under attack include the software and the hardware, the pharmaceutical, the entertainment, and the fashion industry. Consequently, there exists demand for technologies that can either resolve these problems or significantly reduce the breadth of the search space for origins of counterfeits. This talk proposes an anti-counterfeiting technology that constructs a certificate of authenticity (COA) using a random hard-to-copy object whose multidimensional features are cryptographically signed to ensure reliable and convenient authentication.

Edward GebaraEdward GebaraEdward Gebara received his B.S. (with highest honors), M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, in 1996, 1999 and 2003, respectively. From 1999 to 2000 he was an invited scientist at Chalmers University, Sweden. In 2001, Dr. Gebara applied the results of his research to define the core technology for Quellan, Inc as its initial employee, which is now part of Intersil (NASDQ: ISIL). These technologies served as the basis for signal integrity solutions developed for the enterprise, video, storage and wireless markets. While working at Quellan Dr. Gebara maintained a research faculty position at Georgia Tech where he led the research efforts of the Mixed-signal team. In early 2008 Dr. Gebara joined Georgia Tech on a full time basis. Since 2003 Dr. Gebara has supervised 9 Ph.D. students whose research focuses on equalization, crosstalk cancellation, and self healing-mixed signal techniques in pure CMOS. These technologies are applied to next generation optics, wired, and wireless communication systems. Dr. Gebara has authored or co-authored over 70 papers and has 5 patents issued. He is a Reviewer for the IEEE International Symposium and Circuits and Systems (ISCAS) and for the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium. Additionally, Dr. Gebara served as Workshops and Tutorials Chair of the Technical Program for the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium 2008.

Borboleta: a Mobile Telehealth System for Public Home Healthcare   Webcast | Slides

The Borboleta project conducted by the University of São Paulo, Brazil, aims at developing a mobile open source integrated system for management of health information in the context of public healthcare centers and home healthcare service. The hypothesis we want to verify is that automating data collection and processing can improve significantly the quality of the service provided to the population by public programs. To achieve that objective, the system we are developing includes a multimedia electronic health record (EHR), which stores patient personal and health data, including treatment history. The mobile EHR improves the quality of the health service, facilitating access to patient health information and guaranteeing that less data is lost due to hand-written records that are not processed. The research addresses topics such as modeling of primary health services, smartphone application development, mobile database synchronization, agile database evolution, cryptography in devices with limited resources, voice recognition, and multimedia streaming to smartphones over wireless networks.

Fabio KonFabio KonFabio Kon is an Associate Professor of the Department of Computer Science at the University of São Paulo. In 2000, he received a PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign in the area of Automatic Configuration of Component-Based Distributed Systems. His research interests include Distributed Systems, Mobile Computing, Agile Software Development, Grid and Cloud Computing, and Computer Music. In the last 10 years, he has been the Principal Investigator of several software development projects funded by Brazilian research agencies and by research labs such as Microsoft Research and IBM Research. These projects include innovative efforts such as InteGrade (www.integrade.org.br) in the area of Grid Computing and Borboleta (ccsl.ime.usp.br/borboleta) in the area of Mobile Health Systems. He is, currently, the Director of the USP FLOSS Competence Center.

Chemistry Add-in for Word   Webcast | Slides

The Chemistry Add-in for Word is an Open Source Add-in for Word 2007 and 2010 developed in a collaborative project (Cambridge/Microsoft) for enhancing scholarly communication in chemistry. Version 1 supports a complete datument (text, formulae, chemical structures, navigation and indexing) and is adaptive, learning from the author's previous actions and updates through the Web. All components are semantic so that chemical structures or other graphics cannot be misinterpreted by machines or humans. Multi-interface tools (speech, gestures, PDAs, etc.) are supported. The system captures the complete semantic history of chemistry in the document. Version 2 is being developed to support scholarly communication to and from undergraduates will introduce peaklists, spectral data and reactions. As well as taking on board the requested improvements following the public beta launch. Chem4Word manages many of the components in a mainstream chemical publication and our Open governance model and deliberately extensible add-in architecture invites those interested to develop community components for Open re-use.

Joe TownsendJoe TownsendJoe Townsend is a College Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, he gained his PhD working on the validation of theoretical chemistry calculations against crystallographic structures. He has been working of the Chem4Word project for the last 18 months leading the development on the Cambridge side.

Computational Biology Applications Suite for High Performance Computing (BioHPC)   Webcast | Slides

One of the challenges of High Performance Computing (HPC) for biology is resource accessibility. Most biologists are focused on experimental aspects of their research and are not familiar with HPC environment. They often know the algorithms and programs required for analysis of their data, but they have no expertise to use them efficiently in HPC environment. Very often the analysis is computationally intensive and cannot be carried out locally or using free web-based Internet tools. This forces biological research groups to acquire their own computer resources. Even then, using these resources often proves to be a challenge, since there are few user-friendly interfaces available for HPC bioinformatics, and the existing ones are expensive. These problems become even more important now with the increasing flow of next generation sequencing data requiring specialized computational infrastructure integration. Computational Biology Applications Suite for High Performance Computing (BioHPC) is addressing this challenge at the user as well as at the research group or administrator/developer level. BioHPC has been developed at the Computational Biology Service Unit (CBSU) as an application suite which provides (a) web-based, point-and-click access to a variety of bioinformatics applications with the underlying structure of computational platform transparent to the user; (b) enhancement of standard applications through parallelization, transparent to the user; (c) integration and simplified access to geographically dispersed hardware resources; (d) standardized access to and maintenance of bioinformatics databases; (e) web services access allowing integration with external clients like MS Excel or Microsoft Biology Foundation (clients are available); (f) web-based administration of users, jobs, applications, and clusters within the suite. Through BioHPC we are providing users with popular bioinformatics tools including BLAST, HMMER, InterproScan, MrBayes, etc. – 37 applications at present. The system is flexible and can be customized to include other software. Recently, we started work on an extension of BioHPC with focus on next generation sequencing data analysis. The features of this extension include: (1) a built-in data management system which allows import of large sequence data files directly from the sequencing instrument pipeline, cataloguing and storing them for subsequent use; (2) software specialized for next generation sequence alignment and post-processing; and (3) a pipeline management system that allows users to execute a series of software applications directly on imported sequence data without additional data transfers. Items (2) and (3) are currently under development. The BioHPC system consists of a web server running the interface (implemented in ASP.NET C#), Microsoft SQL Server, one or more compute clusters running Microsoft Windows, ftp server, and a file server. Users can interact with their jobs and data by a Web browser, ftp, e-mail and web services clients. Multiple local and remote clusters can be linked to the suite; remote HPC clusters can be accessed via HPC Basic Profile / JSDL. BioHPC is an open source application; access the interface documentation and source code.

Jaroslaw PillardyJaroslaw PillardyJaroslaw Pillardy is director of computational biology core facility (CBSU) at Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry from Warsaw University (1994). Prior to joining CBSU he held scientific positions at Warsaw University and Cornell University, where his research was focused on protein structure prediction and potential optimization. He published more than 40 papers on protein structure prediction and bioinformatics. At CBSU he focuses on HPC aspects of computational biology and application interfaces.

Dynamical Universe in the WWT, and Astronomy on the Carbon-Silicon Interface   Webcast | Slides 1 | Slides 2

The Universe is very dynamic, filled with objects and phenomena which change—sometimes dramatically—on time scales ranging from milliseconds to billions of years. A new generation of digital synoptic sky surveys, which cover large areas of the sky repeatedly, provides Terascale, and soon Petascale data streams, revealing a plethora of variable and transient phenomena. The emerging area of time-domain exploration touches on virtually every field of astronomy, from the Solar System to cosmology, and from stellar evolution to extreme relativistic astrophysics. We use the WorldWide Telescope as a platform to bring these cosmic transient events to the general public, but also as a tool for astrophysical research in this domain. Visualization with a panoramic imaging platform like the WWT offers the opportunity to capture the contextual, morphological, and structural information which is generally missed by the standard data reduction pipelines. Human minds and perceptive systems are very good at capturing such information and performing a visual pattern recognition that is very hard to implement algorithmically. We are developing a system which would harvest the human computation, using the Semantic Web tools to translate it into a machine-accessible form, in order to develop novel approaches to transient event classification and characterization. Today, we can do that through a crowdsourcing, or "citizen science" approach; however, this would not scale to the next generation of surveys and data streams, and we need to teach the silicon-based brains to do quickly what their carbon-based counterparts can do easily, but slowly. I will describe a nascent project, AstroCollation, which is a testbed for this research program.

S. George Djorgovski S. George Djorgovski S. George Djorgovski is a Professor of Astronomy and a Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Computing Research at Caltech, and the Director of the Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics. After receiving his PhD from UC Berkeley, he was a Harvard Junior Fellow, before joining the Caltech faculty in 1987. He was a Presidential Young Investigator, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, among other honors and distinctions, and he is an author or coauthor of several hundred professional publications. He was one of the founders of the Virtual Observatory concept, and was the Chairman of the US Nat'l Virtual Observatory Science Definition Team. He was or is the PI or a Co-PI of several major digital sky surveys. His e-Scientific interests include definition and development of the universal methodology, tools, and frameworks for data-intensive and computationally-enabled science, various aspects of data mining, virtual scientific organizations, etc. His astrophysical interests include digital sky surveys, exploration of observable parameter spaces, formation and early evolution of quasars, galaxies, and other cosmic structures, time-domain astronomy, the nature of the dark energy, etc.

e-Cidadania: Systems and Methods for the Constitution of a Culture Mediated by Information and Communication Technology   Webcast | Slides

This talk presents the e-Cidadania Project, situating it in the challenges regarding human values as central to research and design in the future of HCI. We will talk about the science of design (an inclusive design) being constructed within this project. The framework, systems and methods that have allowed people to participate bringing their values to the design and development of Vilanarede system will be presented and discussed.

M. Cecilia C. BaranauskasM. Cecilia C. BaranauskasM. Cecilia C. Baranauskas is Professor at the Institute of Computing, UNICAMP, Brazil. She received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at UNICAMP, Brazil. She spent a sabbatical year as Honorary Research Fellow at the Staffordshire University and as a Visiting Fellow at the University of Reading, UK, working in the Applied Informatics with Semiotics Lab. She also received a Cátedra Ibero-Americana Unicamp-Santander Banespa to study accessibility issues on software engineering at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain. Her research interests have focused on human-computer interaction, particularly investigating different formalisms (including Organizational Semiotics and Participatory Design) in the analysis, design and evaluation of societal systems. She is leading several projects investigating the use of these formalisms in design contexts of e-Citizenship and e-Inclusion. A former IFIP TC13 representative, currently she is member of the BR-CHI (an ACM SIGCHI local chapter) Executive Council and of the Special Committee for HCI at SBC (Brazilian Computing Society). View a list of her publications and hercomplete curriculum vitae.

Evermore Seamless Astronomy   Webcast | Slides

When the concept of a "Virtual Observatory" (VO) was first discussed by future-looking astronomers in the mid-1990s, all thoughts were about distributed data and a common system to access it. But, information access on today's Web primarily works in the reverse: distributed tools accessing common data centers. Capability and ease-of-use improvements to the Web typically now come in the form of nesting, aggregating or connecting tools. Think kayak.com, iGoogle, or Bing Maps. In the "Seamless Astronomy" view to be discussed, today's "VO" should be thought of as the ever-improving set of data archives, tools, interconnections, and standards that strive to make astronomical research as "seamless" as travel research. The good news is that the cutting-edge of the astronomical research environment is moving rapidly in this seamless direction. The most savvy institutions are beginning to realize that the original VO model of data distributed on thousands of individual researchers' desktop hard drives is not a sustainable model, and that they need to offer data hosting, archiving, and stewardship services the way libraries offer such services for printed matter. Software tools are becoming much more interoperable thanks to protocols for message-passing such as "SAMP." And, the improved speed of Web applications is to some extent removing platform-dependence as an obstacle to programmers and users alike. The bad news is that most astronomers are largely unaware of the tools that this new nirvana offers, and instead still conduct online research in the same way they did a decade ago. In this talk, I will focus in particular on how our recent work on connecting Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope program to other commonly-used astronomical research tools—most notably literature searching tools—has made the astronomical research environment more seamless. More generally, I will emphasize and demonstrate that an ever-increasing diversity of tools allow researchers to carry out a particular research task, so that the important research for the future lies in figuring out how to make the tools, their interconnections, and their connections to data and literature resources useful and well-known to the astronomical community.

Alyssa GoodmanAlyssa GoodmanAlyssa Goodman is Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University, and a Research Associate of the Smithsonian Institution. Goodman and her research group at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA study the dense gas between the stars. They are particularly interested in how this interstellar gas arranges itself into new stars. Their investigations use a variety of observational techniques covering the spectral range from X- ray to radio. Goodman is P.I. of The COMPLETE Survey of Star-Forming Regions, which, in 2006, finished mapping out three very large star-forming regions in our Galaxy in their entirety. These three regions were also fully observed by the Spitzer Space Telescope, under the c2d "Legacy" Program, in 20045. The COMPLETE Survey represents a data set of unparalleled diversity and is of order one thousand times larger than what was available a decade ago. The database is allowing astrophysicists to address questions like how many stars like the Sun can form from a given mass of gas in the Milky Way? Goodman also has a strong interest in scientific computing. She co-founded The Initiative in Innovative Computing (IIC) at Harvard, and she served as its Director from 2005-8. The IIC is a multi-disciplinary center that fosters new work at the boundary between computing and science. Goodman's own research in the this area focuses on new ways to visualize and analyze the tremendous data volumes created by surveys like COMPLETE. Presently, she is working closely with colleagues at Microsoft Research, helping to expand the use of the WorldWide Telescope program. Goodman also teaches several courses at Harvard, on both astrophysics and on the display of data, including one called The Art of Numbers. Goodman received her undergraduate degree in Physics from MIT in 1984 and a Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard in 1989. She held a President's Fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley from 1989-92, after which she took up a post as Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Harvard. In 1997, she received the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize from the American Astronomical Society for her work on interstellar matter and became full professor at Harvard in 1999. She currently serves as Chair of the Astronomy Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Games for Learning Institute: Research on Design Patterns for Effective Educational Games   Webcast | Slides

What makes games fun and engaging, and how can these concepts be measured? The Games for Learning Institute (G4LI), a multi-institutional collaboration of 14 game design, computer science, and education/psychology faculty from 8 universities, conducts research on design patterns for effective educational games. This talk will provide an update to the G4LI collaborators and research agenda, present educational games developed by G4LI, and describe the research methods used to evaluate these games in middle school settings. For these studies, G4LI researchers have developed an instrumented game design architecture that allows extensive user tracking, have developed research methodologies to measure fun and engagement with a combination of biometric and behavioral data, and have developed methods for integrated assessment of learning outcomes and learning strategies, which will be presented.

Jan L. PlassJan L. PlassJan L. Plass is an Associate Professor of Educational Communication and Technology in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University, where he co-directs the Games for Learning Institute. He is the founding director of the CREATE Consortium for Research and Evaluation of Advanced Technology in Education. His research is at the intersection of cognitive science, learning sciences, and design, and seeks to enhance the design of visual environments. His current focus is on cognitive and emotional aspects of information design and interaction design of simulations and educational games for math and science education. He has received funding for his research from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and, most recently, from Microsoft Research and the Motorola Foundation.

Gender Diversity in Computing   Webcast | Slides

NCWIT’s mission is to increase the meaningful participation of women in computing. To this end, we provide social science research to describe the current state of the field as well as uncover research-based practices that teachers, professors, counselors, departmental managers, CEOs, and other influencers can use to achieve gender parity in computing. This talk will focus on describing the current gender composition of computing at several levels – high school, post-secondary, and workforce. Statistics indicate that women’s participation in computing at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s levels is at historic lows. Resources for shifting these worrying trends will be shared with the audience, including evidence-based practices for improving recruitment, retention, and advancement of women.

Wendy DubowWendy DubowWendy DuBow is a social scientist at the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT). The Social Science team at NCWIT has produced more than 35 “Promising Practices” resources, 13 “Programs-in-a-Box”, a “Talking Points” series, and numerous research reports. DuBow has substantial experience planning and implementing both short-term and multi-year research projects and conducting mixed-method studies. Her research has covered a variety of subject areas, but all share a common concern with issues of gender, diversity, and equity. She has contributed to several reports and publications for NCWIT focused specifically on the status of women in IT, including By the Numbers and The NCWIT Scorecard. She also serves as the evaluator for many of the outreach and educational resources produced by NCWIT. NCWIT’s members include 200 organizations throughout the “pipeline”: K-12, Higher Education, and the Technical Workforce.

Genome-wide Association Studies of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis   No Webcast | Slides

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare uniformly fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive paralysis and death from respiratory failure. To date, three genes have been identified as causes of this condition, namely SOD1, TDP-43 and FUS, but these genes account for less than half of familial ALS cases. Finland is an ideal population for genetic studies of ALS because of its homogeneous genetic background, and because it has one of the highest incidences of the condition in the world. To identify the etiology of the higher occurrence of ALS in this region, we undertook a GWAS of 442 Finnish patients diagnosed with ALS and 521 Finnish neurologically normal control subjects. Strong association signals were detected on chromosome 9p21.2 in a locus previously linked to autosomal dominant ALS-FTD, and on chromosome 21 corresponding to the D90A allele of the SOD1 gene, which is known to be a common cause of ALS in Scandinavia. Between them, these two loci explain the high incidence of ALS in Finland.

Bryan TraynorBryan Traynor Dr. Bryan Traynor is Chief of the Neuromuscular Diseases Research Group in the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at the National Institutes of Health (NIA), and adjunct faculty member of the Neurology Department, Johns Hopkins. Prior to moving to the NIH in 2005, he was a staff neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an instructor in the Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from University College Dublin medical school in 1993 (MB, BCh, BAO), and a Medical Doctorate (M.D.) in epidemiology and genetics from the same institution in 2000. He completed an internal medicine residency in Dublin, followed by a Neurology Residency and a Neuromuscular Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. He also obtained a Masters in Medical Science (MMSc) from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004. Dr. Traynor is a neurologist specializing in both clinical and laboratory-based research of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related neurodegenerative and neuromuscular disease. He has over fifty publications in various professional journals including Nature, Nature Genetics, Annals of Neurology, Neurology, Lancet Neurology, and Human Molecular Genetics. He sits on the steering committee member of the European ALS Epidemiology Consortium (EURALS), and is a member of the Scientific Review Committee of the ALS Association.

Global Jet Watch: a Globally-Distributed Project to Monitor the Expulsion of Matter from a Black Hole   No Webcast | No Slides

I will describe a project involving a network of telescopes distributed in longitude around the planet to observe an important black hole in our Galaxy. This project aims not just to achieve advances in our understanding of how matter behaves in the vicinity of a black hole but to inspire and engage a new generation of globally-astute young scientists both by participating in the observing and via the Internet.

Katherine Blundell is a Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford University, a Fellow of St John's College, Oxford and until recently a Royal Society University Research Fellow. Her research interests include extreme energy phenomena in the Universe, for example around black holes, astrophysical jets, relativistic plasmas, accretion discs, microquasars and extragalactic radio galaxies and quasars. She has published extensively on these matters, with over one hundred papers in academic publications and is frequently invited to speak at conferences and different institutes around the world. She has lectured Oxford physics undergraduates for a number of years on Cosmology, and now lectures on Special Relativity. She was awarded a Leverhulme Prize in 2005 for her research in Astronomy and Astrophysics. She is a popular speaker and frequently invited to present lectures at local high schools and University Alumni. She has co-edited a book entitled "Energy... beyond Oil'' and co-authored a text book for physics undergraduates called "Concepts in Thermal Physics'' the second edition of which appeared in autumn 2009.

Identification of a Novel Disease Pathway in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) through Computational Biology  
No Webcast | Slides

ALS and its related disease fronto-temporal dementia are fatal neurological diseases characterized by cryptogenic loss of specific neuronal populations. There is very little understanding of disease mechanism and recently evidence has emerged implicating a problem of RNA processing. Last year at this symposium, we presented a new paradigm for ALS research based on exploring RNA (the transcriptome) using new whole genome technologies and computational biology to profile gene signals at the cellular level. This year we present our findings from our first wave of analysis, identifying disrupted cell-matrix adhesion biology in the neurons but no identifications above noise in the immediately surrounding microenvironment, thus underscoring the importance of this paradigm. We are working with Drs. David Heckerman and Eric Horvitz at MSR for computational biology to further mine the data, seek correlations with parallel data sets, and identify disease mechanisms.

John RavitsJohn Ravits Dr. John Ravits received his BA degree from Yale University and his MD from Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. He did an internship and residency in Neurology at the University of California, San Diego and fellowships in Neurophysiology and Neuromuscular Disorders at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, National Institutes of Health. He joined the Neurology Section at the Virginia Mason Medical Center in 1986 and specializes in Neurophysiology and Neuromuscular Disorders. He is an Associate Research Scientist at the Benaroya Research Institute and a Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. His research is devoted to translational research of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to better understand disease mechanisms using genome science and computational biology.

Improving Large-Scale Genetic Association Studies by Accounting For Hidden Confounders   Webcast | Slides

Understanding the genetic underpinnings of disease is important for screening, treatment, drug development, and basic biological insight. One way of getting at such an understanding is to find out which parts of our genetic blueprint, the DNA, affect particular intermediary processes, such as proteins, and their precursors, mRNAs (gene expression). Naively, such associations can be identified using a simple statistical test on all paired combinations of DNA locations and genes. However, a wide variety of confounding signal lies hidden in the data, leading to many spurious associations and many missed associations if not properly addressed. We present a new statistical model that corrects for hidden structure, and show that previous methods for correction do not correct as well.

Jennifer ListgartenJennifer ListgartenJennifer Listgarten is a Researcher in the eScience group at Microsoft Research. Her work focuses on the development and application of novel statistical and machine learning methods for the analysis of high-throughput, biologically-based data, with particular focuses, past and present, including microarray expression, mass spectrometry-based proteomics, HIV vaccine research, transplantation, and genetics. Prior to joining Microsoft, Jennifer completed a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Toronto.

Joining WWT with India's Astronomy from the Past to the Future   Webcast | Slides

Within its population of nearly 1.2 billion people, India has a large astronomy community, from the amateur astronomers to the educators and professionals. Besides the observational astronomers, there is a large number of armchair astronomers who use datasets captured by others, partly because owing to lack of good astronomical observing conditions, India does not have large telescopes of its own. On the other hand, there is a considerable IT awareness and software expertise available there. We have recently undertaken a project in partnership with India's Virtual Observatory to use WWT synergistically with astronomers at all levels. This includes tours that explore astronomical connections of Indian mythology, translations of the WWT interface to the major Indic languages, incorporating Chandrayaan spacecraft data, and building VO research tools involving WWT. The project is just starting, but we will describe its status and present a flavor of what is to come.

Ashish MahabaAshish MahabaAshish Mahabal got his doctorate in Astronomy from IUCAA/Pune University in India on "Optical and Near Infra-red Observations of Low-redshift Radio Galaxies" in 1998. For the last ten-plus years he has been at Caltech and has been the project scientist of the DPOSS survey and the deputy-PI at Caltech for the Palomar-QUEST survey. His main interest currently is the real-time classification of astronomical transients from surveys like the Catalina Realtime Transient Survey. Besides sky surveys and transients, his current interests include Blazars, Semantics, Virtual Observatory, Outreach, etc. He is currently a Senior Research Scientist at Caltech.

LEAD II / Trident Workflows for Timely Weather Products: the Challenge of Vortex2   Webcast | Slides

Vortex 2 is a six-week field effort funded by NSF to understand the behavior of tornados. LEAD II has partnered with Microsoft Research through the Trident Scientific Workflow workbench to explore cyberinfrastructure and tooling that can support the dynamic response to weather that Vortex 2 demands. In this talk we discuss the requirements of Vortex 2 and our research efforts to meet the strict timeliness and location demands of Vortex 2 using Trident and the LEAD cyberinfrastructure.

Beth PlaleBeth PlaleBeth Plale is Director of the Data To Insight Center of Pervasive Technologies Institute, and Associate Professor of Computer Science in the School of Informatics and Computing Indiana University Bloomington. Professor Plale has a strong research interest in metadata and provenance of digital scientific data particularly for purposes of long term preservation and focuses on "the first mile" where collection is automatic and close to the generation source. Plale is deeply engaged in environmental and atmospheric science research and has substantive experience in developing stable and useable scientific cyberinfrastructure.

MetaSurfacing with the Surface in NanoScience   Webcast | Slides

State-of-the-art science and technology requires effective information management to enable rapid progress on interlinked projects involving interdisciplinary teams. We have developed a full electronic lab environment in the Cambridge NanoPhotonics Centre, using tablet PCs and Microsoft OneNote. In this presentation, we will describe how surface computing provides opportunities in this environment, and demonstrate implementation of a new Surface tool, DeskPiles.

Jeremy J. BaumbergJeremy J. BaumbergProf. Jeremy J. Baumberg directs a UK NanoPhotonics Centre at the University of Cambridge. He is an established innovator in NanoPhotonics, with experience at Hitachi, IBM, and spinoffs, and was awarded the 2004 Royal Society Mullard Prize, 2004 IoP Mott Lectureship and 2000 Charles Vernon Boys medal. He frequently talks on NanoScience to the media, and is a strategic advisor on NanoTechnology to the UK Research Councils.

Multi-Touch Human-Robot Interaction for Disaster Response
Webcast | Slides

In 2005, the response to Hurricane Katrina exposed several technological gaps. In a day where satellite photography is becoming ubiquitous in our digital lives, it was surprising to find that many response groups were still using hand-drawn paper maps and had no way to transmit video from cameras, sensors, or robots in the field. These gaps are largely due to the fact that there was no common computing platform to bring all of this information to the command staff. Our goal is to improve disaster response by coalescing available information from robots, humans, satellite photography, and GIS information into a consistent command and control system. Such an interface would be able to facilitate informed group discussion, risk assessment, plan development, and resource allocation. To improve the ease of learning and usability of these interfaces, we conducted an experiment to determine the gestures that people would naturally use, rather than the gestures they would be instructed to use in a pre-designed system. In this presentation, we present the details of these findings, a taxonomy of the gesture set, and guidelines for designing gesture sets for robot control. We will also discuss our current work where we are developing an interface between the Microsoft Surface and Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio that will allow us to create a multi-robot interface for command staff to monitor and interact with all of the robots deployed at a disaster response. This work will be expanded in the future to allow for the tracking and tasking of search teams as well as a means for receiving data from the field.

Holly YancoHolly YancoDr. Holly Yanco is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where she heads the Robotics Lab. Her research interests include human-robot interaction, multi-touch computing, robot autonomy, fostering trust of autonomous systems, and evaluation methods. Application domains include assistive technology and urban search and rescue (USAR). Her research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation (including a Career Award in 2006), the Army Research Office, Microsoft, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. She has a PhD and MS in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a BA in Computer Science and Philosophy from Wellesley College. Dr. Yanco served on the Executive Council of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) from 20062009, was the Symposium Chair for AAAI from 20022005, and was the Exhibition Co-Chair of the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction from 20072009. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Robotics Cluster, a group of corporations and academic labs working in the area of robotics development. She was the PI of the NSF-funded development of Pyro, a Python-based robotics curriculum, which was selected as the Premier Courseware of 2005 by NEEDS. She has received teaching awards from UMass Lowell and MIT.

Mark MicireMark Micire Mr. Mark Micire is a doctoral candidate at UML and former President and CEO of American Standard Robotics. He is certified in multiple aspects of USAR, including hazardous material response and confined space rescue. He is active in the USAR community as technical search specialist for Massachusetts Task Force I (a FEMA USAR team), a special operations volunteer for Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and technical search specialist for Florida Regional Task Force Three. Micire was a technical search operator for the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue during the World Trade Center Disaster [Micire, 2002], and most recently was a technical search leader for Florida Task Force Three during the Hurricane Katrina response in Biloxi, Mississippi [Micire, 2008]. Micire holds a BS and a MS in Computer Science from the University of South Florida and is a nationally certified fire fighter. During his time as the President and CEO of American Standard robotics, Micire was one of the chief designers of the highly capable VGTV-Xtreme platform later marketed and sold to state and international rescue groups.

oreChem: Chemistry Scholarship 2.0   Webcast | Slides

The oreChem project, funded by Microsoft, is an international collaboration between chemistry scholars and information scientists to develop and deploy the infrastructure, services, and applications to enable new models for research and dissemination of scholarly materials in the chemistry community. Although the focus of the project is chemistry, the work is being undertaken with an attention to general cyber infrastructure for eScience, thereby enabling the linkages among disciplines that are required to solve today’s key scientific challenges such as global warming. A key aspect of this work, and a core aim of this project, is the design and implementation of a semantic interoperability infrastructure that will allow chemistry scholars to share, reuse, manipulate, and enhance data that are located in repositories, databases, and Web services distributed across the network. The foundations of this planned infrastructure are the specifications developed as part of the Open Archives Initiative-Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) effort. These specifications provide a data model and set of serialization syntaxes for describing and identifying aggregations of Web resources and describing the relationships among the resources that are constituents of aggregations.

Carl LagozeCarl Lagoze Carl Lagoze is at the Information Science Program at Cornell University where he investigates standards, protocols, applications and social issues related to new models in scholarly communication. He is currently interested in the socio-technical aspects of new information models—the manner in which open access, Web 2.0, and semantic technologies are adopted by different communities.

PLANETS Project – Long Term Preservation of Digital Content  
Webcast | Slides

Ensuring that digital content stays accessible 50, 80, 100 years after its conception is a challenging problem that touches upon the very fundamental aspects of computer science and technology. With the evolution of hardware and software, the formats used to represent digital content becomes obsolete. Thus, it is absolutely critical to understand what needs to be preserved and how, and then devise adequate methods and tools. PLANETS project is a four-year EU supported project that involves 16 libraries, archives, industry partners, and universities collaborating on technologies and practices for digital preservation. Microsoft Research contributed tools for converting MS Office documents from proprietary MS formats to XML based formats that enable standardized access to the content. It investigated ways to characterize documents and compare their different representations. This is a step towards an important aspect of format migration – the quality assurance.

Natasa Milic-Frayling Natasa Milic-Frayling As Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge (MSRC), Natasa Milic-Frayling is setting research directions for Integrated Systems group, a cross-disciplinary team focused on design, prototyping and evaluation of information and communication systems and services. She also serves as Director of Research Partnership with industry with industry, the MSRC programme that facilitates collaboration between Microsoft Research and industry leading partners and clients. Natasa is actively involved with a wider industry and academic community, promoting research and innovation through public speaking and research engagements.

PorSimples: Simplification of Portuguese Texts Fostering Digital Inclusion and Accessibility   Webcast | Slides

The PorSimples research project aims to help low-literacy readers to process documents available on the Web. This project proposed text adaptation systems for Brazilian Portuguese. The systems developed cater for both people at poor literacy levels and authors that want to produce texts for this audience. Here we describe the main systems, methods proposed, resources and supporting tools built over two years and a half of this project. Our main contributions lie in new methods for: readability assessment, syntactic simplification at different levels, and text elaboration. We also point out directions for future work, mainly those regarding lexical simplification via textual entailment methods, increasing the textual features to assess text readability and the continuation of the large-scale assessment of the simplification task with the target users, via a statistical model of the Item Response Theory. 

Sandra AluísioSandra AluísioSandra Aluísio is an Assistant Professor at the Instituto de Ciências Matemáticas e de Computação, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil. She received a BSc in Computer Science from the Federal University of São Carlos in Brazil, a MSc degree in Computer Science from the University of São Paulo in Brazil and, in 1995, a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science also from the latter university. Her main interests are natural language processing, technical writing, computer assisted assessment (CAA), computer aided writing (CAW), and knowledge acquisition from large corpora. She has been involved in research projects supported by Brazilian agencies such as the National Research Council (CNPq) and the Research Council of the São Paulo state (FAPESP) at the Interinstitutional Center for Research and Development in Computational Linguistics (NILC).

Caroline Gasperin Caroline Gasperin Caroline Gasperin has BSc and MSc degrees in Computer Science from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and a PhD degree from the University of Cambridge, UK. She is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of São Paulo at São Carlos, Brazil, working in the PorSimples project on text simplification for Brazilian Portuguese. Her main research interests include corpus-based techniques for NLP, text simplification, and anaphora resolution.

Project JUNIOR: Drug Discovery using Azure   Webcast | Slides

The JUNIOR project is a one year project funded by Microsoft External Research to investigate the use of the Azure Cloud to develop predictive models of chemical compounds. The project, which is in its final stages, has integrated Azure with a legacy modelling environment with the aim of dramatically shortening the time taken to build and validate models.

Hugo HidenHugo HidenHugo Hiden is the Technical Director of the North Eastern Regional e-Science Centre at Newcastle University. He is also Director of R&D for Inkspot Science, a commercial spin out company supplying scientific services and software to researchers. Originally a Chemical Engineer, he has developed chemical process monitoring software for use in the Pharmaceutical industries and was involved in the design and development of the Chemical Informatics platform at Avantium Technologies, a contract research and development company based in the Netherlands. Since returning to Academia in 2004, he has been involved with the e-Science Centre helping to deliver software to groups of researchers throughout the University.

R2D2 Project – Research Desktop for DRIVER Repositories  
No Webcast | Slides

A typical research workflow encompasses the stages of survey, analysis, evaluation and creation. Each such activity can be multifaceted, involving communication with groups of people and using both local resources on the researcher’s desktop and remote resources on the Internet, including emails, Web pages, different media, and software. A suitable research environment needs to support researchers in all the stages of the research life-cycle and enable versatile styles and workflows. In particular, it should assist users in collating, managing and sharing diverse resources from different locations.

The R2D2 project is developing a desktop tool called ScholarLynk that supports researchers in building and maintaining “reading lists” of resources in collaboration with other researchers. Reading lists are defined as a groupings of heterogeneous resources, together with associated metadata, annotations, and associations. ScholarLynk provides a unified interface for managing desktop and Web data sources and it supports a collaborative environment. Researchers can construct reading lists by tagging desired resources, engage in in-context communication, share reading lists, and collaborate with other users of the ScholarLynk. The prototype implementation leverages the DRIVER Infrastructure for European Open Access publications that currently comprises 2,500,000 publication records from over 250 repositories in Europe and more broadly. The system is operated by the D-NET Software Toolkit, a service-oriented solution that has been developed as part of the DRIVER and DRIVER-II EC projects.

Gabriella KazaiGabriella KazaiGabriella Kazai is a consultant, working for the Integrated Systems group at Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK. Her research interests include social information retrieval, information seeking behaviour and browsing, IR evaluation measures and test collection building, personal information management, book search and personal digital libraries. She is founder and organiser of the INEX Book Track since 2007, in the context of which she developed a crowdsourcing system for collecting relevance judgements for digitized books as part of a social game. Gabriella holds a PhD in Computer Science from Queen Mary University of London. She published more than 40 papers and organised several IR conferences and workshops.

Regional climateprediction.net   Webcast | Slides

A decade after climateprediction.net's "do-it-yourself climate modeling" recruited tens of thousands of volunteers to run climate models on idle personal computers, a three-continent team of researchers developed a new paradigm for high-resolution regional modeling. Oxford University, the UK Hadley Centre, University of Cape Town (South Africa), Oregon State University and University of Washington have modified the Hadley Centre's regional climate model to run in the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) framework. For the western US, the model will be run at 25km horizontal resolution, and has been extensively tested and compared with observations. Once launched this spring, the experiment will provide an unprecedented combination of spatial and statistical detail of how climate may change.

Eric SalathéEric SalathéDr. Eric Salathé is a Senior Research Scientist at the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, a Principal with the Climate Impacts Group (CIG), and an Affiliate Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr Salathé leads the regional climate modeling and downscaling team for the CIG, supporting climate impacts applications in many fields including air quality, hydrology, agriculture, and human health. His current research focuses on how local weather and land-surface processes can affect the regional response to climate change. Dr. Salathé received a PhD in Geology and Geophysics from Yale University and a BA in Physics from Swarthmore College.

Socially Situated Robot Learning   Webcast | Slides

Our aim is to explore how large-scale observation of human social interaction in an on-line game can be used to develop natural and robust behaviors for an autonomous assistive robot. We have developed a two-player game designed to gather data about human social behavior in collaborative settings. Based on a dataset of hundreds of human interactions obtained from the game, including both dialog and physical actions, we are generating statistical models of human behavior, which we will use to control our mobile robot Nexi in a real-world reproduction of the game at the Boston Museum of Science this coming summer.

Cynthia BreazealCynthia BreazealDr. Cynthia Breazeal is an Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she founded and directs the Personal Robots Group at the Media Lab and is co-Director of the Center for Future Storytelling. She is a pioneer of Social Robotics and Human Robot Interaction (HRI). Her research program focuses on developing personal robots and interactive characters that engage humans in human-centric terms, work with humans as partners, and learn from people via tutelage. More recent work investigates the impact of long term HRI applied to entertainment, communication, quality of life, health, and educational goals. She has authored the book "Designing Sociable Robots" and has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in journals and conferences in autonomous robotics, artificial intelligence, human robot interaction, and robot learning. She has been awarded an ONR Young Investigator Award, honored as finalist in the National Design Awards in Communication, and recognized as a prominent young innovator by the National Academy of Engineering's Gilbreth Lecture Award. She received her ScD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2000.

Sonia ChernovaSonia ChernovaSonia Chernova is a postdoctoral associate at the MIT Media Lab, working with Cynthia Breazeal and the Personal Robots group. Her research interests focus on interactive learning techniques that enable robots to learn from human teachers. Her current projects focus on the development of social robots that leverage observations of human behavior to learn how to assist and collaborate with people in a natural, engaging and effective way. Sonia also currently holds an adjunct assistant professor position in the Computer Science Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and will be joining WPI as a full time assistant professor in the fall of 2010. She received her B.S. (2003) and Ph.D. (2009) degrees in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Statistical Methods for Large Datasets   Webcast | Slides

We establish the theoretical framework of b-bit minwise hashing. The original minwise hashing method has become a standard technique for estimating set similarity (e.g., resemblance) with applications in information retrieval, data management, computational advertising, etc. By only storing b bits of each hashed value (e.g., b=1 or 2), we gain substantial advantages in terms of storage space. We prove the basic theoretical results and provide an unbiased estimator of the resemblance for any b. We demonstrate that, even in the least favorable scenario, using b=1 may reduce the storage space at least by a factor of 21.3 compared to b=64, if one is interested in resemblance >0.5. We will also talk about several other ongoing research activities related to this Microsoft funded project.

Ping LiPing LiPing Li is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Statistical Science at Cornell University. In 2007, Ping Li graduated from Stanford University with his Ph.D. in Statistics and masters' degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Ping Li interned at Microsoft Research for three summers (2004, 2005, and 2006) and interned at the product group (Visual Studio) as an SDE in the summer of 2003. His research areas include randomized algorithms for processing massive datasets and statistical machine learning. Ping Li received the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award in 2009.

The eFarms Project: a Two-Way Road from Small Farms into the Networked World   Webcast | Slides

e-Farms is a multidisciplinary project that started at the end of 2007, combining research in Computer Science and Agricultural Science. Its goal is to attack theoretical and practical problems involving agricultural (sensor-based) data management, and wireless data communication in rural areas in Brazil. It is being conducted along two main axes: investigation of low cost solutions for data communication in rural areas; and development of models, methods and algorithms to support management, integration and analysis of sensor data, for decision support in crop management and agricultural planning. The "two-way road'' in the project's title characterizes a bi-directional scenario: the farms will be brought into this networked world not only as (passive) consumers of information, to improve crop management; they will also actively provide feedback on planning decisions. Feedback and data can in turn be used to adjust models, validate plans, and influence regional and even national decisions. The talk will give an overview of the project's development,emphasizing scientific results and technological developments along two main axes: sensor network deployment; and algorithms for mining, summarizing, annotating and interpreting the data collected.

Claudia Bauzer MedeirosClaudia Bauzer Medeiros Claudia Bauzer Medeiros is a full professor of Computer Science at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. She has received several awards for research, teaching, and work concerning women and IT. Her research is centered on the design and construction of scientific databases, to help scientists work with large volumes of heterogeneous data, with emphasis in the development of tools, techniques and methodologies to support agro-environmental planning and biodiversity studies. She was the president of the Brazilian Computer Society for four years (20032007) and in 2008 was awarded the Brazilian Order of Scientific Merit (grade Commander). See details on papers, projects, and students supervised.

The Research Information Centre – from Community to Cloud  
No Webcast | Slides

The purpose of this presentation is to provide an update on The British Library-MER Research Information Centre (RIC) virtual research environment project. In addition to putting the project in context, it will focus on the developments to date that have led to the release of the first version of the source code. Future developments will be discussed, including collaborations with the research community and possible links with the cloud.

Stephen AndrewsStephen AndrewsStephen Andrews has held a number of positions within the British Library including the Medical Information Service (now Health Care Information Service), Service Development and Programme Manager of the Document Supply Service modernisation programme. He was also Project Director for the Zetoc Enhancements project undertaken as part of the JISC Join-Up infrastructure programme. The work has ranged from database searching and creation (indexing for the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE database; development of AMED, the Library’s specialist database in complementary medicine and allied health) to the development of Web services such as Inside and ZETOC and the implementation of scan-on-demand systems for document delivery. More recently, his work has refocused on developing products and services within the science domain, with the implementation of UK PubMed Central and collaborations with a number of organisations, including a joint project with Microsoft on prototyping a Virtual Research Environment within the researcher’s desktop and a pilot naming authority service with the University of Manchester.

Two Driving Applications for The Surface: HandsOnMath and The Garibaldi Panorama   Webcast | HandsOnMath Slides | Garibaldi Slides

We have implemented two different applications to test novel interaction techniques for the Microsoft Surface. Both take advantage of the addition of pen support to the standard Surface SDK. HandsOnMath extends our earlier work on mathematics recognition and manipulation from Tablet PCs to the Surface and shows the use of direct manipulation via multi-touch of mathematical expressions. For example, the user can manipulate expressions to rearrange, simplify, or factor them with appropriate gestures. Bi-mannual operation of pen and touch is also supported. The Garibaldi Panorama is a 260 ft by 4.5 ft scroll painted on both sides with scenes from the life and times of the great Italian hero. It was digitized and can at last be viewed on the Surface through a set of gestures, including panning, magnification using phicons to create a magnifying glass, and the use of hover for other kinds of gestures.

Andries van DamAndries van DamAndries van Dam is the Thomas J. Watson, Jr. University Professor of Technology and Education and Professor of Computer Science at Brown University. He has been a member of Brown's faculty since 1965, was a co-founder of Brown's Computer Science Department and its first Chairman from 1979 to 1985, and was also Brown's first Vice President for Research from 2002 to 2006. His research includes work on computer graphics, hypermedia systems, post-WIMP user interfaces, including pen- and touch-based computing, and educational software. He has been working for four decades on systems for creating and reading electronic books with interactive illustrations for use in teaching and research. He is the co-author of nearly a dozen books, including "Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice" with James D. Foley, Steven K. Feiner, and John F. Hughes (Addison-Wesley 1990) and "Object-Oriented Programming in Java" with Katherine Sanders (Addison-Wesley 2006). He received a B.S. with honors (1960) in Engineering Sciences from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. (1966) from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1967 he co-founded ACM SICGRAPH (the precursor of SIGGRAPH) and from 1985 through 1987 was Chairman of the Computing Research Association. He is a Fellow of ACM, IEEE, and AAAS, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and has received honorary doctorates from Darmstadt Technical University in Germany, Swarthmore College, and the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Web GIS Platform for Forest Fire Management   Webcast | Slides

Α Web GIS platform for forest fire management based on Microsoft Bing Maps is under development to share information and tools produced by the Geography of Natural Disasters (GoND) Laboratory/ Department of Geography/ University of the Aegean/ Greece easily, validly, promptly and to authorized end-users. The project is funded by Microsoft Research. End-users will have the ability, without the requirement of knowing the handling of commercial and complicated GIS applications, to utilize the capabilities of GIS; to query on the databases of GoND Lab and to immediately receive answers; to locate points of interest in satellite images; to connect their Palmtop or their GPS with the platform; and to download information provided by the administrator of the system. Virtual Fire is based on ESRI ArcGIS commercial software: maps and functions are created within this software in close integration with Microsoft SQL Server 2008; outcomes are published to the Web via the ArcGIS Server; Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 combines them all with Microsoft Silverlight 3 by using components of ArcGIS API for MS Silverlight / WPF.Remote automatic weather stations and a weather forecasting system based on the SKIRON weather model (Univ. of Athens, Dept. of Physics, Greece) provides all the necessary data for fire prevention and early warning, channeled through the platform to the end-users. Geographical representation of the fire risk potential and identification of high-risk areas at different local regions will be provided daily, based on an MS high performance computing (HPC) pilot application developed by the project in cooperation with MS Hellas/ MIC. By using the FARSITE and BehavePlus software, maps will be produced (on demand by authorized users) that will graphically represent the spread and intensity of a forest fire at different times and spaces. GeoRSS feeds is a key feature to maintain a proper intercommunication among the end-users, while the ability to use and create kml and kmz files will simplify and enhance the geographical data usage and exchange. By using these methods and a variety of provided fire management information and tools, the end-users (fire fighting personnel, emergency crews, authorities, etc.) will be given the ability to design an operational plan to encompass the forest fire, choosing the best ways to put the fire out within the proper recourses and time. The whole system will be scheduled to provide in the future the ability to its end-users to locate on-line and in real-time vehicles of the Fire Service and other resources by using GPS systems and communications that will transmit the coordinates of each item to the system, depicting them on an electronic map. In addition, detection cameras and satellite sensors will be able to send images of specific high risk areas into the Virtual Fire platform.

Savas ParastatidisSavas ParastatidisSavas Parastatidis is a Developer in Microsoft's Technical Computing Group, working on a platform for large scale data- and compute-intensive technologies. Previously he was part of Microsoft's Bing group where he focused on semantic and knowledge representation technologies. He also spent time in Microsoft Research where he led the design and implementation of a number of tools for scientists and a platform for semantic computing applications called Zentity. He originally joined Microsoft as part of the architecture team in the Connected System Division doing the initial work for the Oslo (M language) modeling platform. Prior to joining Microsoft, Savas was a Principal Research Associate at the University of Newcastle where he undertook research in the areas of distributed, service-oriented computing and e-Science. He was also the Chief Software Architect at the North-East Regional e-Science Centre where he oversaw the architecture and the application of Web Services technologies for a number of large research projects. Savas also worked as a Senior Software Engineer for Hewlett Packard where he co-lead the R&D effort for the industry's Web Service transactions service and protocol.

X-Gov: a Framework for Crossmedia Government Services   Webcast | Slides

Crossmedia is the orchestration of different media and is an interesting approach to entertainment and marketing. We have worked on providing a framework for creating and deploying government services using this alternative, thus enhancing accessibility and reachability.

Lucia FilgueirasLucia Filgueiras Lucia Filgueiras is assistant professor in the Department of Computer Engineering in Escola Politecnica, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil. She is a researcher in Human-Computer Interaction and her main interests include digital inclusion, e-government, accessibility, as well as usability evaluation. She is presently UPA – Usability Professionals Association Regional Coordinator for Latin America. 

 
Special Presentations

  • Day 1 Welcome and Overview – Tony Hey, Fighting HIV with Machine Learning and HPC – David Heckerman  
    Webcast | Hey SlidesHeckerman Slides
  • Collaborating with Microsoft Research – Daron Green   
    Webcast | Slides
  • Zentity  A Research Output Repository Platform  Oscar Naim  
    Webcast | Slides
  • Client + Cloud Applications for Research and the Azure Engagement Project  Dennis Gannon  
    Webcast | Slides
  • Day 2 Overview/Recap  Tony Hey, An Open Source Library for Scientists  Microsoft Biology Foundation  Simon Mercer  
    Webcast
  • Wrap Up and Call to Action   Tony Hey  
    Webcast