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Education and Scholarly Communication Presentations

Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2009

Education and Scholarly CommunicationThe following list includes all presentations given at the Faculty Summit that relate to the theme of education and scholarly communication. Topics range from personalized learning and scholarly measurement to using games to teach. 

The Road to Personalized Learning

Michael Golden, Microsoft

The role of educators and students in education is clear and undisputed. What then is technology’s role? We believe it to be in two dimensions—augment and scale. Microsoft’s vision is to expand the power of education for everyone through personalized learning. Technology must then augment the delivery and experience of personalized learning for a given educator or student; and then it must enable personalized learning to occur for all students—or achieve scale. In this session, Michael Golden discusses Microsoft’s approach to personalized learning, and demonstrates some of the tools that help achieve it.

Next Generation Scholarly Measurement—Deciding What Counts

Academic researchers have used various methods for ranking the importance and influence of scholarly journals and their authors, including citation analysis, usage data, and more recently by using social networking analysis. This session explores how recent advances in data mining, network analysis, and information theory have led to new methods for evaluating the influence of scholarly periodicals and for understanding the structure of academic research.
Webcast: Next Generation Scholarly Measurement

MESUR: Studying Science from Large-Scale Usage Data

Johan Bollen, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Science is of significant importance to our society, but we understand very little of the processes that lead to scientific innovation. This presentation provides an overview of our work on large-scale usage data as an early indicator of scientific activity. The MESUR project has in the past two years aggregated a large-scale collection of the usage data recorded by some of the world's most significant publishers, aggregators and institutional consortia. The resulting data set has been analyzed to reveal the structural properties of scientific activity in real-time. The presentation highlights some of our recent work on producing detailed maps of science that reveal how scientists navigate between online scholarly resources. The results indicate that it may be possible to detect or predict the emergence of innovation from temporal changes in the structure of scientific activity. This work underpins efforts to arrive at a more accurate, pro-active evaluation of scientific impact.

The Eigenfactor Project

Carl Bergstrom, University of Washington

Science is a massively parallel human endeavor to explain and predict the nature of the physical world. In science, knowledge is acquired cumulatively and collaboratively—and the principal mode for sharing this knowledge is the institution of scholarly publishing. In science, ideas are built upon ideas, models upon models, and verifications upon prior verifications. This cumulative process of construction leaves behind it a latticework of citations, from which we can reconstruct the geography of scientific thought and retrace the paths along which intellectual activity has proceeded. The Eigenfactor Project™ aims to use recent advances in network analysis and information theory to develop novel methods for evaluating the influence of scholarly periodicals and for mapping the structure of academic research.
Presentation: Carl Bergstrom, The Eigenfactor Project

Advances in Tablet Computing: From Research to Application

Chris Moffatt, Microsoft; Andries Van Dam, Brown University

For years, Microsoft has invested in breakthrough research in the arena of Tablet/Pen Computing. This session focuses on two areas: (1) A summary of the results (including demos) of the three-year program of research conducted by the Pen Computing Center at Brown under the direction of Professor Andries van Dam, and (2) Some exciting demos from Microsoft’s Education Product Group—showing how many of the advanced technologies that stemmed from these investments have now been incorporated into the forthcoming release of Microsoft Office—highlighting the educational potential of this software plus form factor.
Webcast: Advances in Tablet Computing: From Research to Application

Digital Humanities Research—Computationally Intensive Efforts in eHumanities

Digital Humanities is currently a vibrant area for innovative and multi-disciplinary research, involving all of the humanistic disciplines and computer and library sciences. Over the course of the past decade, scholars have shifted focus from generating individual repositories of digital data in various formats (plain text, TEI, XML, and so on) to thinking about how this digital data underpins the creation of new knowledge. Research continues to be shaped by the primary materials, but the fact that it is now available in digital form allows Humanities researchers—thanks to the various research tools that have and continue to be developed—to ask different questions. These new questions will shape disciplines and have the potential to revolutionize and change the nature of understanding.
Webcast: Digital Humanities Research—Computationally Intensive Efforts in eHumanities

Digital Humanities Research at Trinity College Dublin

Jane Ohlmeyer, Trinity College Dublin

Digital Humanities has a long tradition dating back to the 1940s when IBM funded a project led by a Roberto A. Busa, which resulted in machines for the automation of the linguistic analysis of written texts. The invention of the Web in 1992 gave fresh impetus to the field and from the mid-1990s there were a number of major Digital Humanities projects, especially the Rossetti archive, completed in 2008, ( and the Valley of the Shadow project ( This presentation explores current issues in digital humanities research and how they have been addressed by the research communities in Europe, and more particularity, in Ireland and especially at Trinity College Dublin.
Presentation: Jane Ohlmeyer, Digital Humanities: an Historical Perspective

Text-mining and Humanities Research

John Unsworth, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

What kinds of research questions can humanities scholars address with text-mining tools? What challenges face those who want to build text-mining software for this audience? What kind of work needs to be done to prepare text collections for this kind of work? Who is actually doing this kind of research, and what have their results been? This presentation addresses these and other questions, based on four years of experience in collaborative, multi-institutional projects aimed at building text-mining tools for the digital humanist.
Presentation: John Unsworth, Text-Mining and Humanities Research

Computer Games and Learning: Best Practices Using Games to Teach—in Academia and at Microsoft

Chris Franz, Microsoft; Jennifer Michelstein, Microsoft; Ken Perlin, New York University; Ross Smith, Microsoft

The Games for Learning Institute is a joint venture with Microsoft Research, New York University, and affiliated New York regional schools. Nine months into its efforts, it has prematurely published its annual report discussing the latest research about how to make great games and how to make great game vehicles for teaching. This talk is complemented by three efforts at Microsoft where product groups are using games to teach the esoteric features of Microsoft software, facilitate learning, and improve software development. See some very cool stuff and learn how to get your kids to love math (as does Ken Perlin) or find out how to use a feature in Microsoft Office Word you have not yet discovered.
Webcast: Computer Games and Learning

Surface and Multitouch Moving Forward

Hrvoje Benko, Microsoft Research; Daniel Wigdor, Microsoft; Andy Wilson, Microsoft Research

The Microsoft Surface is being used in some very creative and innovative ways. Discover the potential of this fantastic new platform and see how touch computing can be applied in the future. Microsoft Research and the Microsoft Surface Product Group provide presentations and demos.

Faculty Summit Themes