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Andrew HerbertBiography

Andrew Herbert is a Microsoft distinguished engineer and is the managing director of Microsoft Research in Cambridge, England. Initially joining Microsoft Research in 2001 as an assistant director, in March 2003 he succeeded the founding director, Roger Needham.

Herbert’s research interests include networks, operating systems, programming languages and distributed information sharing.


Before joining Microsoft Research in 2001, he was director of Advanced Technology at Citrix Systems Inc., where he was instrumental in steering the company toward Internet thin-client technologies and initiating development of products for Web-based application deployment and for the emerging application service provider market.


Herbert joined Citrix in 1998 from Digitivity Inc., which he founded in 1996 to develop a product to enable secure deployment of Java clients for business-to-business applications. Digitivity was a spinoff from APM Ltd., a research and consulting company Herbert founded in 1985. APM managed ANSA, an industry-sponsored program of research and advanced development into the use of distributed systems technology to support applications integration in enterprisewide systems. ANSA’s work included research on support for interactive multimedia services, object technology for World Wide Web applications, distributed systems management, mobile object systems and security for electronic commerce. Herbert led ANSA’s technical program, built up its team, created its architecture, and made ANSA known and respected in the industry. ANSA-based technology was used by many organizations ahead of the widespread availability of commercial CORBA-based products. Notable successes included the NASA Astrophysics Data System, a European radio pager system and the online customer service system for a major U.K. utility. As part of his ANSA work, Herbert played an active role in many standards and consortia for distributed computing including the Telecommunications Information Networking Architecture Consortium (TINA-C), ISO/ITU ODP, the Open Software Foundation Distributed Computing Environment (OSF DCE) and Object Management Group (OMG) CORBA.


Before starting ANSA in 1985, Herbert was a faculty member in the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge in England, where he worked with Roger Needham and Maurice Wilkes on seminal developments in local area networks (LANs) and distributed computing. In 1979 Herbert helped Needham and Wilkes edit “The Cambridge CAP Computer and Its Operating System,” and in 1982 he co-authored “The Cambridge Distributed Computing System” with Needham. In 2003, Herbert co-edited a monograph of papers written in tribute to Needham, “Computer Systems: Theory, Technology and Applications,” with Karen Spärck Jones.


In the 2010 honours list Herbert was awarded an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for services to computer science. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the British Computer Society, a fellow of Wolfson College Cambridge, a visiting professor at University College London, a member of St. John’s College Cambridge, and a liveryman of the City of London Worshipful Company of Information Technologists. In 1975 he graduated from the University of Leeds with a B.Sc. in computational science and in 1978 with a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in computer science.


Andrew BlakeBiography

Andrew Blake is Deputy Managing Director at the Microsoft Research laboratory in Cambridge, where he also leads the Machine Learning and Perception Group (MLP) with Prof. Christopher Bishop.


Prior to joining Microsoft he trained in mathematics and electrical engineering in Cambridge England, and studied for a doctorate in Artificial Intelligence in Edinburgh. He was an academic for 18 years, latterly on the faculty at Oxford University, where he was a pioneer in the development of the theory and algorithms that can make it possible for computers to behave as seeing machines.  In 1999 he moved to Microsoft Research Cambridge to lead research in Computer Vision. He had held honorary Professorships in the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh, and is currently an honorary Professor in the University of Cambridge.


He has published several books including "Visual Reconstruction" with A.Zisserman (MIT press), "Active Vision" with A. Yuille (MIT Press) and "Active Contours" with M. Isard (Springer-Verlag). He has twice won the prize of the European Conference on Computer Vision, with R. Cipolla in 1992 and with M. Isard in 1996, and was awarded the IEEE David Marr Prize (jointly with K. Toyama) in 2001. In 2006 the Royal Academy of Engineering awarded him its Silver Medal and in 2007 the Institution of Engineering and Technology presented him with the Mountbatten Medal (previously awarded to computer pioneers Maurice Wilks and Tim Berners-Lee, amongst others.)  He was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1998, Fellow of the IEEE in 2008, and Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005.


The vision team at Microsoft has developed principles and built innovative product software for image editing  and video processing. They have developed stereoscopic cameras that incorporate a sense of depth for use in video communication (the i2i project), and for remote collaboration (the C-Slate project).  More recently work has started on processing other forms of imaging, collaborating with the MRRC in the University of Cambridge to improve MRI imaging using probabilistic inference. Also a new effort has been started in Cambridge working on medical imaging, feeding image processing innovation into the Microsoft Amalga family of Enterprise Health Systems .

Chris BishopBiography

Chris Bishop has a B.A. in Physics with First Class Honours from Oxford, and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Edinburgh with a thesis on quantum field theory. After graduating he joined Culham Laboratory where he worked on the theory of magnetically confined plasmas as part of the European controlled fusion programme.


He subsequently developed an interest in pattern recognition, and became Head of the Applied Neurocomputing Centre at AEA Technology. In 1993 he was elected to a Chair in the Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at Aston University, where he was head of the Neural Computing Research Group. He then took a sabbatical during which time he was principal organiser of the six month international research programme on Neural Networks and Machine Learning at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, which ran from July to December 1997.


After completion of the Newton Institute programme he joined the Microsoft Research Laboratory in Cambridge where he is the Chief Research Scientist, and head of the Machine Learning and Perception group.


At the same time as he joined Microsoft Research,  he was elected to a Chair of Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh where he is a member of the Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation in the School of Informatics. He is also a Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge, a Fellow of the British Computer Society, and has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science by Oxford Brookes University.


In 2004 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and in 2007 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2009 he was elected Fellow of the Spanish Royal Academy of Engineering.


In 2008 he presented the 180th Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, with the title Hi-tech Trek: The Quest for the Ultimate Computer, which were broadcast on UK national television. The Lectures were repeated in Tokyo in August 2009, for broadcast on television in Japan. Also in 2009, Chris was awarded the Tam Dalyell Prize "for excellence in engaging the public with science".


Chris is the author of the leading textbook Neural Networks for Pattern Recognition (Oxford University Press, 1995) which has over 13,000 citations, and which helped to bring statistical concepts into the mainstream of the machine learning field. His latest textbook Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Springer, 2006) has over 2,000 citations, and has been widely adopted.


His research interests include probabilistic approaches to machine learning, as well as their application to fields such as biomedical sciences and healthcare.


Chris holds a Commercial Pilot's Licence, and for relaxation he enjoys flying light aircraft, including aerobatics in an Extra 200 unlimited-category aerobatic aircraft. He is married and has two children.

Ken WoodBiography

Ken Wood is Deputy Managing Director at Microsoft's Cambridge Research Lab with responsibility for the lab's business-facing activities, including technology transfer, incubation, licensing, spin-outs, and other models for utilizing the intellectual property generated by the lab's research groups. As Deputy Director, Ken also oversees the lab's marketing and communications activities.


Ken also heads the Computer-Mediated Living research group (CML) which he founded in 2003. CML's vision is fundamentally interdisciplinary, bringing together hardware engineering, computer science, psychology, and sociology to address the problem of designing innovative technology to support everyday life in its widest sense. Ken's personal research interests include human-computer interaction, information retrieval, digital media management, and ubiquitous computing. He has numerous publications in these areas and holds several patents.


Ken joined Microsoft in September 2002 from RealVNC, a start-up he co-founded with colleagues from AT&T Labs Cambridge. Previously, in his seven years at AT&T Labs, Ken led research in the areas of multimedia information retrieval and communications, and was involved in the incubation and business planning of a number of projects that were spun out from the lab as successful independent companies. Earlier posts include several years as an academic at Oxford University, three years at Nortel Networks, and a year's sabbatical at the London School of Economics.


Ken is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and sits on the Board of the Cambridge Network. He holds a doctorate in Computation from Oxford University and an AB in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard University.