Microsoft Research Cambridge was set up in July 1997 with three researchers. Today over 120 researchers, mostly from Europe, are engaged in computer research at the lab. The city of Cambridge, England, was the clear choice for the location of the facility because of its world-renowned reputation and its rich history as a center of learning.
Advancing the State of the Art
Microsoft Research Cambridge projects focus on advancing computer science and developing novel computational approaches to further scientific research in areas as diverse as machine learning, systems level performance, abstract programming techniques and models through to computer-mediated living at home and at work, and biological, ecological and environmental sciences.
Nearly every Microsoft product on the market today has been influenced by Microsoft Research. Although researchers pursue long-term goals that are distinct from and extend far beyond current product cycles, they also work closely with product development groups at Microsoft to help turn research discoveries into deliverable technology. Recent technology transfers that the Cambridge team have been involved in include: The functional programming language F#; AdPredictor (features in Bing); and the body part recognition algorithm used in Kinect for Xbox 360.
Research at the Cambridge lab focuses on systems and networking, programming principles and tools, machine learning and perception, computer mediated living and computational science. No matter how far-reaching or abstract their projects might be, Microsoft researchers consistently strive for results that will eventually provide practical benefit, solving some of the greatest challenges of computer science.
Microsoft Research Cambridge embraces a philosophy of collaboration with academic, government and commercial institutions on a broad range of research programs. These collaborations are fostered in many forms and include joint research institutes; academic grants; and support for the next generation of researchers. The lab maintains close links with universities all over Europe, including the University of Cambridge and its Computer Laboratory, Engineering Department and Statistical Laboratory.
Joint Research Institutes
Microsoft Research has co-founded three research institutes in Europe that serve as centers of excellence in emerging areas of computational science.
- Italy. The Microsoft Research-University of Trento Centre for Computational and Systems Biology was established in collaboration with the Italian government and the Provincia Autonoma di Trento, with cultural and scientific contributions from the University of Trento. Research at the institute focuses on computational technology in the converging areas of IT, biotechnology and medicine.
- France. The Microsoft Research-INRIA Joint Centre was founded by INRIA (the French National Research Institute for Computer Science and Applied Mathematics), Microsoft France and Microsoft Research Cambridge. The objective of the institute is to pursue fundamental long-term research in formal methods, software security and the application of computer science research to science.
- Spain. The Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Microsoft Research Centre, based in Barcelona, was inaugurated in January 2008. This collaborative effort between Microsoft Research Cambridge researchers and experts at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center is aimed at accelerating research on multicore processing and software architectures for the advancement of parallel computing research.
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