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Latin American Faculty Summit 2012
Riviera Maya, Mexico | May 23–25, 2012

Booth #1: Cliplets: Juxtaposing Still and Dynamic Imagery

Presenter: Sing Bing Kang, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research, United States

A still photograph is a limited format for capturing events that span an interval of time. Video is the traditional method for recording durations of time, but the subjective “moment” that one desires to capture is often lost in the chaos of the shaky camerawork, the irrelevant background clutter, and the intrusive noise that dominates most casually recorded video clips. To address these shortcomings, we have created an interactive app that uses semi-automated methods to let users perform spatiotemporal compositing and editing on video-clip input. Our work thus provides a creative tool that allows users to focus on the important aspects of the moment by creating “cliplets”—a type of imagery that sits between stills and video.

Booth #2: FetchClimate! Building a Geographical Web Service

Presenter: Harold Javid, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

A huge amount of climate and other geographic data is available, covering Earth’s entire surface. But even experts find it difficult to extract desired information from these data, as they labor to locate data sets, negotiate permissions, download huge files, comprehend file formats, understand yet another library, filter, interpolate, and regrid. Enter FetchClimate, an intelligent, scalable, Windows Azure-based climate-data-retrieval service. FetchClimate regrids to any resolution, from global to a few kilometers, for any range of years from 1900 to 2010, for days within a year, and for hours within a day. It also selects the best data source for your question and returns the answer, with the level of uncertainty and the origin of the data. And FetchClimate is easy: Use it in a browser through a Silverlight/Bing Maps UI; or programmatically, using a .NET library or an F# dynamic type provider; or via a command prompt. FetchClimate illustrates how Microsoft tools can democratize and transform interaction with geographic information.

Booth #3: The Universe at Your Fingertips

Presenter: Dean Guo, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a well-known virtual telescope that you can use to explore the Earth, our solar system, and the vastness of space. In this demonstration, we will show a prototype integration of how to use the gestural and voice interface of Kinect for Windows to control WorldWide Telescope. We will travel through three dimensions as well as time, visualizing multiple layers of location and time-based data.

Booth #4: Layerscape

Presenter: Derick Campbell, Director of Engineering, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

A free, online service for creating and sharing powerful visualizations of rich, three-dimensional scientific datasets. Layerscape transforms your data into information by combining freedom of perspective with spatial/temporal rendering and playback. Users can create and share 3-D virtual tours based on their discoveries and collaborate with the science community in ways that previously seemed impossible.

Booth #5: Layerscape Applications in Earth Sciences


Earthquakes have devastated cities around the world, demonstrating the need for tools to warn at-risk populations. Enter Layerscape, which can help to visually identify temblors and seismically active zones. Using Layerscape visualizations, seismologists have analyzed where to locate seismic sensing stations in order to increase the time between the launch of the alert and the arrival time of the disaster, proposing two evolutionary computation techniques to maximize the warning time. In a second study, Layerscape visualizations assisted in creating a seismic alert system based upon artificial neural networks and trained by using well-known back-propagation and genetic algorithms—a system that can warn the population of a specific city about an eminent earthquake greater than 4.5 on the Richter scale.

Booth #6: ChronoZoom: an Infinite Canvas for Exploring All of Time

Presenter: Michael Zyskowski, Lead Program Manager, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

Embark on a voyage through time, infinitely scalable from the Big Bang to today, exploring a master timeline of the cosmos, Earth, life, and human experience. By unifying a wide variety of data and historical perspectives, ChronoZoom provides a framework for examining historical events, trends, and themes, and helps bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences. ChronoZoom enables researchers, educators, and students to synthesize knowledge from different studies of history, specialized timelines, and media resources—all courtesy of the cloud. This platform for research and learning allows users to develop a broad understanding of how the past has unfolded and helps them discover unexpected relationships and historical convergences that explain the sweep of Big History. In honor of the Latin American Faculty Summit, this demo will unveil the latest addition to the ChronoZoom timeline: the history of the Mayan culture.

Booth #7: Kinect for Windows

Presenter: Stewart Tansley, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

Kinect has changed the way people play games and experience entertainment. Now, Kinect for Windows offers the potential to transform how people interact with computers and Windows-embedded devices in multiple industries, including education, healthcare, retail, and transportation. The release of the Kinect for Windows sensor and software development kit (SDK) for commercial applications opens up the limitless possibilities offered by Kinect technology. Together, the hardware and software offer a superior development platform for Windows and a higher quality, better performing experience for end users. Kinect for Windows supports applications built with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. The newly released Kinect for Windows SDK version 1 offers “near mode,” improved skeletal tracking, enhanced speech recognition, modified API, and the ability to support up to four Kinect for Windows sensors plugged into one computer.

Booth #8: KIWI (Kinect & Windows Interactive Education)


KIWI is a platform that helps to both diagnose and treat ADD. It consists of educational software and exercises that we call challenges, along with software that helps developers, doctors, and teachers create and personalize applications and challenges using an SDK and a VDE that simplify the process. KIWI will also let parents, teachers, and doctors share vital information through our website. As a result, Kiwi is a complete ADD treatment platform that lets care providers track a child’s progress and personalize challenges while enabling developers to create new challenges that will enhance the treatment.

Booth #9: IT Design and Innovation for Social Needs – BRAIN

Presenter: Jorge Meza, Head of the Design Department, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico

Problems are becoming ever more complex, with solutions that require true collaborative efforts. The Design Department at Universidad Iberoamericana has been encouraging out-of-the-box thinking, providing new learning models for innovation processes, with the help of Microsoft. During a one-semester interdisciplinary course, design students work on new business, product, or service ideas, employing user-centered research, design thinking, and conceptual prototyping to develop systematic, holistic, technological and strategic design solutions for local problems. These projects have been very successful in addressing the complex needs of Mexican users who come from diverse economic, social, and cultural backgrounds. We will present one such recent project: “Brain,” the winner of the 2011 Imagine Cup Mexico. Brain is a system that supports the cognitive and intellectual development of children living in shelters, whose education has been disrupted due to natural disasters.

Booth #10: TryF#: Functional Programming and Much More in a Browser

Presenter: Judith Bishop, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

F# is a modern functional language that integrates object-oriented and parallel programming in .NET. With it, you can solve complex problems simply. TryF# is a browser-based tool for running F# programs on any platform—Windows, Mac, and Linux—before you start with Visual Studio. TryF# includes F# tutorials and all you need to get going with this exciting language.

Booth #11: Dafny: a Programming Language and Program Verifier

Presenter: Rustin Leino, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research, United States

This demo shows the Dafny program verifier, which runs in the background in Visual Studio while you edit your program, flagging semantic errors like precondition violations and index out-of-bounds errors. With Dafny, you can even specify and verify the full functional correctness of a program. Come and see this tool in action, along with its sister tools for C or concurrency.

Booth #12: TouchDevelop—End-User Programming on Mobile Devices

Presenter: Nikolai Tillmann, Principal, RSDE, Microsoft Research, United States

TouchDevelop embraces the ongoing technology shift toward using smartphones for everyday computing tasks. Never before have such incredibly powerful and versatile mobile computing devices been so readily available and broadly adopted. TouchDevelop is a new mobile development environment that enables anyone with a Windows Phone to create new apps directly on their smartphone. At the core is a new mobile programming language and editor that was designed to use the touchscreen as the input device. Programs written in TouchDevelop can take advantage of the smartphone’s computing power and all of the phone’s sensors, including GPS, cameras, accelerometer, gyroscope, and stored personal data, such as contacts, songs, and pictures. Thousands of users are already writing TouchDevelop programs for fun, and for students in particular, programming on mobile devices promises to be an engaging experience.

Booth #13: Microsoft Translator Hub: Machine Translation by Everyone and for Everyone

Presenter: Kristin Tolle, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

Microsoft Translator Hub implements a self-service model for building a highly customized, automatic translation service between any two languages. Microsoft Translator Hub empowers language communities, service providers, and corporations to create automatic translation systems, allowing speakers of one language to share and access knowledge with speakers of any other language. By enabling translation into languages that aren’t supported by today’s mainstream translation engines, Microsoft Translator Hub also helps keep less widely spoken languages vibrant and in use for future generations. This Windows Azure-based service allows users to upload language data for custom training and then build and deploy custom translation models. These machine translation services are accessible using the Microsoft Translator APIs or a webpage widget.

Booth #14: Microsoft Academic Search: Next-Generation Scholarly Discovery

Presenter: Lee Dirks, Director of Portfolio, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

Microsoft Research is actively developing a novel academic search service called Microsoft Academic Search (MAS). Built for researchers by researchers, MAS includes data collected from millions of papers across multiple academic domains, and has, over the past 18 months, undergone a massive expansion and upgrade. In addition to expanding its breadth to include all academic domains—more than100 million papers have been secured via publishers and open access repositories from around the world–MSA now provides rich, customizable author profile pages, a number of innovative visualization tools, and even an open API available to the community. This booth will include an introduction to MSA with specific, in-depth demonstrations of the site’s features and functionality.

Booth #15: .NET Bio 1.01—an Open-Source Library for Bioinformatics

Presenter: Simon Mercer, Director, Microsoft Research Connections, United States

.NET Bio is a language-neutral, cross-platform bioinformatics toolkit that was built as an extension to the Microsoft .NET framework. Developed to facilitate genomics research, it implements a range of parsers for common bioinformatics file formats; a range of algorithms for manipulating DNA, RNA, and protein sequences; and a set of connectors to biological web services such as NCBI BLAST. It is available under the Apache 2.0 open-source license: binaries, source code, demo applications, and documentation are free to download.

Booth #16: Live ANDES: Citizen-Science Tool for Recording Biodiversity in the Americas


Live ANDES (Advanced Network for the Distribution of Endangered Species) is an application that seeks to advance wildlife conservation in the Americas by promoting citizen science. It provides a platform for mapping the distribution of endangered species by ecosystems, biomes, countries, regions, protected zones, and customized study areas. Live ANDES makes it easy for users to upload sightings and share information, employing web-map visualizations to allow open access to biodiversity data.

Booth #17: Web Tools for Visualization of Academic Digital Ecosystems, a Zentity Approach

Presenter: Camilo Acosta, All Robotics, Colombia

A local academic search platform can provide universities and other institutions with the means to understand and analyze the vital signs of the research and quality assurance processes. This demo will depict a clear example of how this could be tailored to different requirements and hints at the need for a common virtual framework for a science and technology platform in Latin America.

Map of DemoFest Booths

DemoFest Map

Map Legend




Cliplets: Juxtaposing Still and Dynamic Imagery


FetchClimate! Building a Geographical Web Service


The Universe at Your Fingertips




Layerscape Applications in Earth Sciences


ChronoZoom: an Infinite Canvas for Exploring All of Time


Kinect for Windows


KIWI (Kinect & Windows Interactive Education)


IT Design and Innovation for Social Needs – BRAIN


TryF#: Functional Programming and Much More in a Browser


Dafny: a Programming Lanaguage and Program Verifier


TouchDevelop—End-User Programming on Mobile Devices


Microsoft Translator Hub: Machine Translation by Everyone and for Everyone


Microsoft Academic Search: Next-Generation Scholarly Discovery


NET Bio 1.01 – An Open-Source Library for Bioinformatics


Live ANDES: Citizen-Science Tool for Recording Biodiversity in the Americas


Web Tools for Visualization of Academic Digital Ecosystems, a Zentity Approach


Related Links
Microsoft Academic Search

Find scholarly information for researchers, conferences, journals, and organizations.