Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2009 in Argentina
Wednesday, May 13 – Friday, May 15, 2009

DemoFest Booths

Booth Title

Presenter and Description

Booth #1:

Realtime Collaborative Editing 





Federico Lois
PhD student, Department of Computer Science, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina 


This demonstration implements an intentional preserving Operational Transformation (OT) algorithm that supports optimistic replication in collaborative and mobile systems. The original research was done by Abdessamad Imine. We are aiming to incorporate ideas about transparent adaptation from Sun et al. in this OT Framework, in order to research usability issues and improvements on consumer type applications like Microsoft Office Outlook, collaborative reviewing, programming, photographic, and 3-D editing/sculpting. We also have ideas for several other possible domains that may benefit from this approach.

Booth #2:

UISKEI: User Interface Sketching and Evaluation Instrument 



Simone Barbosa

Assistant Professor, Department of Informatics, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Brazil


USKEI is a tool for sketching user interfaces (UIs) and running “paperless prototyping” sessions with end users. Developed in C#, it makes use of polyline simplification algorithms and a predefined gesture vocabulary to help recognize the shapes users draw and turn them into user interface widgets. The user-designer can define several UIs and hold paperless prototyping sessions with end users about the HCI solution being designed. The user can interact with the prototype in a presentation mode, where each UI snapshot is presented with the associated actions the user may take. Depending on the action chosen, a different UI snapshot are presented, simulating the user-system interaction and thus allowing an observer to gather invaluable feedback very early in the design process.

Booth #3:
Machine Translation
Alex Acero

Research Area Manager, Microsoft Research 


We present exciting new applications of our translation technology, showing how machine translation, integrated into Microsoft’s products, can help eliminate barriers to worldwide communication and bring users of diverse cultures closer together. Our demo covers interesting user scenarios and presents viable solutions for making cross-language hurdles disappear.

Booth #4:

The JamSession Project Service Oriented Intelligent Virtual Worlds




Flávio Soares Correa Da Silva

Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of São Paulo, Brazil


JamSession is an experimental architecture to build decentralized virtual worlds, populated by intelligent autonomous agents as well as human controlled avatars, and enable with specialized resources so that specific services can be provided to users through these worlds. The project itself is being developed "bottom-up," based on specific services that are desired to be offered in specialized virtual worlds and on how these specific services can be implemented in a general-purpose architecture. Among these services, we highlight TimeSaver, a self-contained project (developed in cooperation with the Catholic University of Chile) whose aim is to simulate human interactions in virtual worlds to facilitate the provision of services for e-Gov. JamSession has received financial support from FAPESP and Microsoft Research. TimeSaver has received financial support from LACCIR.

Booth #5:

Empowering Researchers with Innovative Tools and Technologies 

Alex Wade

Director, Scholarly Communication, External Research, Microsoft Research


Collecting and analyzing data and authoring, publishing, and preserving information are essential components of researchers' daily work. Our vision is to enrich educational technologies and the scholarly communication lifecycle with software and services, so that data and information flow in a coordinated and seamless fashion. 

Booth #6:

Multiple MiceCollaborative Learning 

Miguel Nussbaum

Professor, Department of Computer Science, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile 


Different Single Display Groupware applications for teaching basic skills will be shown.

Booth #7:

Introducing Computing with Personal Robots 

Keith O’Hara

PhD Candidate, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Institute for Personal Robots in Education (IPRE) 


The Institute for Personal Robots in Education (IPRE) has developed a curriculum, along with hardware and software platforms, for introducing students to computing within the context of personal robots. Students use their own personal robots to explore singing, dancing, sensing, reacting, movie making, and live performance, while learning a considerable amount of computer science along the way. Moreover, educators are supported by open instructional materials, assessment instruments, and an active community.

Booth #8:

SkyServer the Cosmic Genome Project 

Alex Szalay

Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy and Department of Computer Science, John Hopkins University


SkyServer is the world’s largest astronomy database with an interactive on-line capabilities and a multilingual interface. The target audience is high school students who are interested in science, but the site is also heavily used by the professional astronomy community. Over the last few years, the SkyServer archive became the world’s most used astronomy facility. 

Booth #9:

Spec Explorer: A Behavioral Modeling and Model-Based Testing Tool 

Nico Kicillof

Senior Program Manager Lead, Microsoft  


Spec explorer is a tool originally developed at Microsoft Research and later extended by Microsoft’s Protocol Engineering team. It enables users to (1) model software behavior; (2) analyze behavior by graphical visualization; (3) check models for expected and invalid properties; (4) generate standalone test code from models; and (5) model behavior in two ways: (a) by writing state machines in C# (with dynamic data-defined state spaces) and (b) by defining scenarios as action patterns in a regular-expression style. Spec Explorer was used as part of the quality assurance of Microsoft’s open interoperability documentation, possibly the largest documentation verification effort to date. More than 24,000 pages of technical documents that Microsoft made publicly available have been tested for conformance with actual implementations.

Booth #10:

Visualization Research at Microsoft 

George Robertson

Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research 


Microsoft Research has been involved in a variety of visualization research efforts over the last twelve years. This talk summarizes the various threads of research, which include task management, personal information management, software visualization, business visualization, community visualization, graph and tree visualization, entertainment, and visual analytics for homeland security. We demo key prototypes that have been built. One of the key challenges throughout this work has been developing effective means of evaluation of visualization techniques. This talk summarizes what we have learned about evaluation methods and some basic lessons learned about what visualization techniques are most effective across all of these research efforts.

Booth #11:

The WorldWide Telescope (WWT)

Jonathan Fay

Principal Research Software Developer, External Research, Microsoft Research


WWT enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope. It is built on the imagery and data from major ground-based and space-based telescopes. It also provides you with a knowledge base of the images. This demo shows you how to use WWT to enhance your astronomical research, science education, and entertainment at home. Experience narrated guided tours from astronomers and educators featuring interesting places in the sky.

Booth #12:

Microsoft Research Game Kit and Imagine Cup 09 Winner 

John Nordlinger

Senior Research Program Manager, External Research, Microsoft Research


John Nordlinger demos the Microsoft Research gaming kit and also some projects from the Imagine Cup competition. Topics include everything in the context of how to enhance computer science with gaming themes.

Booth #13:

Eye Robot 

Alvaro Soto

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Catholic University of Chile 


At PUC, we are developing a social robot based on a body that has an eye on its upper part. This eye has an eyeball with a pan-tilt system and stereo cameras. The stereo cameras can detect and track people. Furthermore, by moving the eyelid the robot can express emotions such as happiness, tiredness, and so on.

Booth #14:

SearchTogether: Collaborative Web Search 

Merrie Morris

Researcher, Microsoft Research 


SearchTogether is a browser plug-in that provides awareness and division of labor support for groups of people working together on Web search tasks.

Booth #15:

Presenting MediNet: A Mobile Telemedicine System for Patients in the Caribbean with Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease 

Permanand Mohan

Professor, University of West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago 


In this demo, the key components of the MediNet system are described and demonstrated. Live readings are taken from health monitoring devices and sent to an HTC Touch smart phone running Windows Mobile 6. The readings are sent to a Web server (if GPRS connectivity is available) and feedback returned to the phone. Some of the challenging issues of the project are also highlighted.

Booth #16:

DryadLINQ for Data Intensive Research 

Roger Barga

Principal Architect, External Research, Microsoft Research 


In this demo, we display efforts in Microsoft Research to collaborate with external researchers to explore the application of new technologies, specifically Dryad and DryadLINQ, to big data research problems in science. We also highlight our efforts to provide software and services to academics across the world, through the binary release of Dryad with associated programming user documentation prepared by Microsoft Research, as well as our efforts to provide researchers with access to both computational resources and dryad as a service on Azure.

Booth #17:

Effective Use of ConferenceXP in Engineering and CS Education 

Sergio F. Ochoa

Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Chile 


Engineering and Computer Science education currently require more interesting support tools to deliver lectures in an efficient way. ConferenceXP (CXP) is one of these tools. CXP helps instructors to deliver lectures in synchronous and asynchronous manner and it encourages the students' participation during classes. The tool also allow distributed presentations and videoconferences; therefore, it provides support to collocated and distributed audiences. In addition, CXP takes advantage of the electronic ink and tablet PC technologies, which are particularly attractive to computer science and computer engineering students. These technologies are used to support collaboration during lectures among the instructor and the students, and to improve the quality of the instructional process.

Booth #18:

NET-based Clients and Services in the Cancer Bioinformatics Grid (caBIG) 

Marty Humprey

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Virginia 


The cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) is revolutionizing the way medical researchers share information and collaborate. As the underlying service-oriented infrastructure of caBIG, caGrid is the foundation upon which to connect such researchers with the information they need. We believe that interoperability will be a key to caGrid’s continued success. However, to date, while a comprehensive set of tools and run-time services have been designed and implemented (e.g., for caGrid 1.2), there has been little investigation into the use of the Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft Visual Studio for caGrid. There is a substantial opportunity to more precisely investigate the issues and challenges of using Microsoft’s comprehensive set of developer tools and frameworks to support the Web services technologies used by caGrid. We have recently begun an exploratory project supported by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center for Bioinformatics (which itself is supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health) to provide alternative platforms, tools, and development environments. The overall goal of this project is not merely to provide a “second source” of existing technology/functionality, with identical functionality, but rather to potentially revisit a broad set of design decisions made to date in caBIG to determine if there are unique capabilities that can be facilitated in caBIG via the wide range of technologies based on .NET. In this demo, we show how easy it is to create relatively simple .NET-based clients to existing caBIG services. We also show how to create more caBIG services by focusing on a particular type called caBIG Data Services, in which particular sets of data are exposed via a canonical service interface, with a particular query language called the caBIG Query Language (CQL), using a single underlying meta-model with common data elements. We show how we take advantage of Microsoft ADO.NET Data Services as the foundation for caBIG Data Services, in particular for the caBIO data set.

Booth #19:

EasyGrid: a .NET approach for easy access to Grid Platforms 

Robison Rivas-Suarez

Professor, Central University of Venezuela


Grid infrastructures are becoming very important tools for scientific research—in the so-called E-Science. However, access to Grid infrastructures is quite difficult for most users, since they must dominate as well their own field (chemistry, physics, and so on) and the complexity of several commands to register, send jobs, administer resources, retrieve results, monitor, and other complex operations.