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CMIC Newsletter

VOLUME I, ISSUE 4, Date November 29th, 2010

CMIC's New Director

CMIC founder and first director, Tarek Elabbady, was recently appointed Director of Microsoft EMEA Innovation Labs. Now based in Brussels, Tarek manages the European Microsoft Innovation Center (EMIC), the Cairo Microsoft Innovation Center (CMIC), as well as other responsibilities related to Microsoft’s research and innovation strategies and policies in Europe, The Middle East, and Africa. With Tarek’s new appointment and his relocation to Brussels, Hussein Salama was appointed as the Director of CMIC. Hussein will focus on balancing CMIC’s research and development efforts to maximize lab’s impact on the people of the MEA region both directly and indirectly, via contributions to different Microsoft products and services.

CMIC Moving forward

“Foster an environment of innovation in the Arab region that leverages local talent and collaborative research.”Our mission at CMIC is to foster an environment of innovation in the Arab region that leverages local talent and collaborative research to incubate and develop strategic technologies that enable novel local experiences and pave the way for Microsoft opportunities. We measure our success by tracking the impact of our research and incubations both on Microsoft's products and on the people in the Arab region. We strive to provide the people in our region with technologies that enable them to fully utilize the computers and the Internet to fulfill their personal and business needs. To accomplish these objectives, we have zoomed in on three key R&D areas that have the highest potential of impacting the region: Natural Language Processing (NLP), Digital Content Services (DCS), and Mobile Multimedia. These areas have also been picked due to the high potential of transferring our R&D in these areas into real Microsoft products.


CMIC Research


Online discussion forums are considered a challenging repository for data mining tasks. Forums usually contain hundreds of threads which in turn maybe composed of hundreds, or even thousands, of posts. Clustering these posts potentially will provide better visualization and exploration of online threads. Moreover, clustering can be used for discovering outlier and off-topic posts.


The presented work is, to the best of our knowledge, the first attempt to construct in real-time a panoramic video stream from input video streams captured by freely moving cameras. The main contribution is in proposing an efficient panoramic video construction algorithm that exploits temporal information to avoid solving the stitching problem fully on a frame by frame basis. 



Rick Rashid: A data driven world

Rick Rashid“On the 17th and 18th of May CMIC held its first TAB meeting, headed by Rick Rashid, Senior Vice President at Microsoft Research.” On Tuesday 18 May 2010, Mr. Richard F. Rashid -Senior Vice President at Microsoft- has visited the library and gave a lecture titled “A data driven world”. The lecture tackled the idea of how in the early days of the field of computer science there was a common conceit that many of the important problems computers could solve would be solved by careful analysis and software that would largely be deterministic in its behavior. Also there was a belief that if we had enough rules we could understand and translate language, understand speech, recognize images, predict the weather and perhaps even understand human behavior. Additionally Rashid discussed how the ability to collect large amounts of data, store it and process it on an unprecedented scale has given rise to a new paradigm for solving problems – not just in the area of natural human interfaces but also scale problems in areas such as search, weather, traffic, health, environment, etc. In the talk Rick Rashid also discussed the significant shift in the way problems are solved in computer science and in the sciences more broadly and its implications for Microsoft.