Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2009
The following list includes all presentations given at the Faculty Summit that relate to the theme of global outreach. Topics range from women's involvement in the field of IT to a system for analyzing global environments.
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Attracting and Retaining Women in Computing: Real Programs for Real Progress
Moderator: Jane Prey, Microsoft Research
A degree or career in computer science remains a less than compelling choice for college-bound girls. The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) leverages the efforts of organizations across the United States, and connects efforts to increase women's participation in all areas of information technologies, from elementary school to higher education and through industry and academic careers. Leading-edge social science research focuses on education, innovation, climate, and workforce participation. Research is the foundation for NCWIT's mission. By researching what works and what does not work, NCWIT can develop and distribute practices that will accelerate women's participation in information technology. Additionally, NCWIT's Academic Alliance Seed Fund Award, sponsored by Microsoft Research, encourages the widespread application of new promising practices by awarding alliance members with funds to develop and implement initiatives in computing and information technology. This session examines the variety of programs initiated through the Academic Alliance and Seed Fund program and provides examples of successful approaches to reform.
Webcast: Attracting and Retaining Women in Computing
Presentations: Maureen Biggers, Tracy Camp, Carla Ellis, Gillian Hayes, Rita Powell, Attracting and Retaining Women in Computing: Real Programs for Real Progress
Five Years of Faculty Fellowships: A Retrospective
Moderator: Tom McMail, Microsoft Research
In 2005, Microsoft Research created a fellowship program for research faculty that was designed as an investment in the development of talent critical to the future progress of the computing disciplines. Now, after five years of activity and with 25 fellows named, this session examines some of the successful researchers and activities enabled by the awards as well as future enhancements envisioned for the program
Presentation: Tom McMail, Microsoft Research Faculty Fellows
Needles in a Haystack: Reading Human Evolution in the Human Genome
Gill Bejerano, Stanford University (2009 Fellow)
The genomes of humans and our closest living species allow us to seek the genomic events that drove the unique evolution of our species. One such quest will be described, highlighting the intimate interplay between computation and experiments that allowed it to bear fruit.
Some Vignettes from Learning Theory
Robert Kleinberg, Cornell University (2008 Fellow)
A great deal of recent research on computational learning theory and its applications focuses on a paradigm called "regret minimization." Regret-minimizing algorithms solve repeated decision problems (for example, which medical treatment to administer to a patient) and learn from their past mistakes, improving their performance as they gain experience. It is possible to design these algorithms to meet surprisingly strong provable worst-case guarantees, but decision problems "in the wild" often force us to reconsider the assumptions underlying these algorithms and to expand the theory in unexpected ways. in this discussion, we survey a few recent examples that illustrate how the theory is growing and maturing under the influence of applications from domains such as Web search and advertising.
Presentation: Robert Kleinberg, Some Vignettes from Learning Theory
Interactive and Collaborative Data Management in the Cloud
Magdalena Balazinska, University of Washington (2007 Fellow)
The scientific data management landscape is changing. Improvements in instrumentation and simulation software are giving scientists access to data at an unprecedented scale. This data is increasingly being stored in data centers running thousands of commodity servers. This new environment creates significant data management challenges. In addition to efficient query processing, the magnitude of data and queries call for new query management techniques such as runtime query control, intra-query fault tolerance, query composition support, and seamless query sharing. In this talk, we present our ongoing research efforts to provide scientists the tools they need to analyze data at these new scales and in these new environments. We also briefly discuss some of the other research projects in our group.
Presentation: Magdalena Balazinska, Interactive and Collaborative Data Management in the Cloud
Highlights from Asia on eScience
Moderator: Lolan Song, Microsoft Research
This session presents some of the highlights from eScience Research in Asia. Three speakers from universities in the Asia-Pacific region talk about their research work in the environment, bioinformatics, and other areas.
Presentation: Lolan Song, Microsoft Research Asia
The Health-e-Waterways Project – An Exemplar Model for Environmental Monitoring and Resource Management
Jane Hunter, University of Queensland
Numerous state, national, and international agencies are advocating the need for standardized frameworks and procedures for environmental accounting. The Health-e-Waterways project provides an ideal model for delivering a standardized approach to the aggregation of ecosystem health monitoring data and the generation of dynamic, interactive reports (that link back to the raw data sets). The system combines Microsoft Virtual Earth and Microsoft Silverlight to present environmental reports that not only save agencies significant time and money, but can also be used to guide regional, state, and national environmental policy development. Current work includes linking management action strategies to specific spatio-temporal indicators to identify the extent of impact of management actions and investments—enabling adaptive management strategies based on environmental outcomes.
Presentation: Jane Hunter, The Health-e-Waterways Project
A Semantic and "Kansei" Computing System for Analyzing Global Environments
Yasushi Kiyoki, Keio University
In the design of multimedia database systems, one of the most important issues is how to search and analyze media data (images, music, video, and documents), according to user's impressions and contexts. We introduce a "Kansei" and semantic associative search method based on our Mathematical Model of Meaning (MMM). The concept of "Kansei" includes several meanings on sensitive recognition, such as impression", "human senses", "feelings", "sensitivity", "psychological reaction", and "physiological reaction". This model realizes "Kansei" processing and semantic associative search for media data, according to various contexts. This model is applied to compute semantic correlations between images, music, video, and documents dynamically with a context interpretation mechanism. The main feature of this model is to realize semantic associative search and analysis in the 2000-dimensional orthogonal semantic space with semantic projection functions. This space is created for dynamically computing semantic equivalence or similarity between media data. One of the important applications of MMM is “Global Environment-Analysis,” which aims to evaluate various influences caused by natural disasters in global environments. We have several experiments for a global environment-analysis system based on MMM for natural disasters, especially for mud-flow disasters. Those results show the feasibility and effectiveness of our “Semantic Computing System” with MMM for realizing deep analysis of global environments.
Presentation: Yasushi Kiyoki, A Semantic and "Kansei" Computing System for Analyzing Global Environments
Computational Challenge in Analyzing Complex Traits
Jun Zhu, Zhejiang University
Most human important diseases and economically important animal and plant traits are complex traits controlled by multiple genes with gene-to-gene interaction (epistasis) and gene-to-environment interaction (GE). Detection of polygene with fixed effects of genes and random effects of GE interaction are often revealed by mixed-linear-model approach, which is a statistical method involving enormous computation of many inverses of an (n×n) matrix. Genes are located on chromosomes. There must be two-dimension presentation for multiple genes with gene-to-gene interaction. Since genes express differently during developmental stages and across various environments, the graphic presentation of dynamic gene expression is another type of challenge for bio-computation.
Presentation: Jun Zhu, Computational Challenges in Analyzing Complex Traits
Computer Science Research in Latin America
Improving Meta-Analysis Based GWAS Through Data Quality Management
Raul Ruggia, University of La Republica
Defining mappings or indirect relations from genotype to phenotype has long been a challenge for those in the field of biology. The present pace of data generation from genomic sciences offers unparalleled opportunities in this regard. Prominent examples are Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS), which jointly analyze thousands of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) from chosen populations, looking for associations between a specific disease and a given genomic configuration. However, huge costs and project complexity restrict the application of GWAS approach. An option to overcome this limitation is to combine different studies, applying the so-called Meta-Analysis approach. Efforts such as Database of Genotype and Phenotype (dbGaP) are intended to provide a uniform repository of such studies. However, retrieving, integrating, and interpreting heterogeneous data sources are daunting tasks. Indeed, most successful meta-analyses rely on sophisticated statistics aided with expert inspection and filtering. This approach is slow, costly and error-prone (for example, multiple subjective decisions), introducing reproducibility problems. The main goal of our work is to provide a data quality assessment environment for GWAS, which enables a powerful and reliable application of Meta-Analysis. The environment trends to promote this approach by identifying core concepts and elements that would allow model-based, automated, comprehensive, and reproducible data quality management. Furthermore, while Meta-Analysis was extensively used for combining aggregated data, our approach intends to combine raw data, even from heterogeneous sources.
Presentation: Raul Ruggia, Improving Meta-Analysis–based GWAS Through Data Quality Management
Research at LaFHIS: The Tools and Foundations for Software Engineering Lab at University of Buenos Aires
Sebastian Uchitel, University of Buenos Aires
The Laboratory on Foundations and Tools for Software Engineering (LaFHIS) within the Department of Computing at the Faculty of Science, University of Buenos Aires, aims to conduct leading-edge research in, and technology transfer of, effective engineering methods, tools, and environments for the development of composite, heterogeneous, and complex software-intensive systems. The group has strong interests in the specification, construction, and verification of software-intensive systems. This talk provides an overview of the research conducted at LaFHIS, which focuses on models and automated analysis. It provides particular insight into the researchers' work on model checking, scenario-based specifications, partial behavior modeling, and contract validation. This talk also includes descriptions of ongoing collaborative projects with Microsoft Research on model-based testing and program analysis.
Presentation: Sebastian Uchitel, The Foundations and Tools for Software Engineering Lab
Advancements of the LACCIR Virtual Institute: 2007–2009
Ignacio Casas, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
With support and sponsorship from Microsoft Research, the Inter American Development Bank (IADB), and the Organization of American States (OAS), the Latin American and Caribbean Collaborative ICT Research (LACCIR) Virtual Institute was created in May 2007 as a federation of Latin American and Caribbean universities, for the advancement of collaborative information and communication technologies (ICT) research applied to social and economical development of the region. This presentation provides an account of activities and achievements in terms of regional research projects, graduate student fellowships, collaboration networks, and research indicators to date.
Presentation: Ignacio Casas, Latin American and Caribbean Collaborative ICT Research Federation