Art and Design Applications in Computer Science
At Microsoft Research, you may expect that we have many scientists, mathematicians, developers and engineers in our lab. Many people may not expect that we also have a number of artists, designers, sociologists and psychologists. This is because we conduct research into how people interact with computers and other technology to explore new ways for computers to present and collect information. Robert Corish is a designer who is currently working within the Computer Mediated Living group at Microsoft Research Cambridge. Come along and see how Robert is applying his art and design skills in the development of new and exciting methods of computer interaction.
Become a Digital Actor
Framestore create amazing images that entertain, communicate, and shape people’s views. Our award-winning work includes imagery in many blockbuster Hollywood films and advertisements for many well-known brands.
As part of our work in the film and television industry, we capture facial performances and recreate entirely digital actors. Come along and watch how we take your photograph and recreate your image on the computer to make a digital version of you!
Caught on Camera
Cambridge Centre for Innovation in Technological Education
We all know that cameras are used to catch speeding motorists – but just how much information can we glean from a few seconds of video? A vintage E-type Jag was filmed at Goodwood using a compact camera with a frame rate of 210 frames per second. Using the free open source tracker software from the USA we can keep track of the car’s position and export the data for analysis with tools such as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or the free open source GeoGebra software. For high speed objects such as the sports car, or a tennis ball served by Andy Murray, or a cricket ball bowled by a fast bowler, we need high-speed cameras. But for many activities, such as dropping a tennis ball or bouncing on a trampoline, a video clip from a digital camera, mobile phone or pod/pad with a normal frame rate of 30 frames per second is perfectly adequate. There will be practical apparatus for you to try this yourself – but at your own risk!
Computing the Natural World
In its short history, the science of ecology has uncovered an amazing amount about different parts of the natural world: most predators are starving most of the time, most plants on land aren’t eaten but most plants in the sea are, animals forage intelligently… but how does this all fit together!? And what does it all mean in terms of what humans are doing to the planet?
Microsoft Research uses large-scale computing to understand the natural world, and predict the consequences of human actions. We are assembling global-scale models of ecosystems, creating tools to track animals in their daily lives, and using statistics to predict the effect of climate change.
Digits Hand Tracker
Digits is a wrist-worn sensor that recovers the full 3D pose of the user’s hand without requiring any external sensing infrastructure or covering the hand itself (unlike data gloves). The system targets mobile settings and is specifically designed to be low-power and easily reproducible using only off-the-shelf hardware. We demonstrate the utility of Digits for a variety of application scenarios, including 3D gaming and eyes-free interaction on the move.
Bring everyday objects to life through the movement of your body with KinEtre! This system makes creating animations an easy and playful activity. Turn yourself into a chair, a bookshelf, or even a horse - then interact with virtual objects!
Microsoft Student Tools
Cool things! Devices! Check out the brand new Windows Surface, Windows Phone8, Kinect, .NET Gadgeteer and interact with robots!
DreamSpark gives you an opportunity to try professional-level developer and designer tools for free. Great for both students and teachers, DreamSpark supports you by providing software for learning, teaching and research purposes. www.dreamspark.com
Welcome to Microsoft UK Students – the place to talk tech, share your knowledge, and find information to stay ahead of the curve. If you’re looking for technology that’s making waves across the web, you’ve come to the right place. www.facebook/microsoftukstudents
Faculty Connection is an online set of real-world resources and shared peer knowledge for technology educators so you have relevant and applicable tools and information at your fingertips. Get free access to software, curriculum materials and other learning opportunities. For teachers: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/
.NET Gadgeteer Workshop
.NET Gadgeteer is an exciting platform that allows you to build and program your own gadgets. Even someone with little or no electronics background can build devices made up of components like sensors, lights, switches, displays, communications, motor controllers, and much more. Just pick your components, plug them into a mainboard and program the way they work together. Come and learn how to build a digital camera using .NET Gadgeteer and see what else you could create!
NUIverse is an application for exploring natural user interaction with a large, multi-dimensional dataset, in this case the solar system and surrounding universe. Play with planets and touch the stars simply by making movements with your hands on this interactive table surface.
Project Greenwich is a website that allows people to create timelines of any subject they want to present chronologically. Using the site they could show the lifespan of an individual, how a historical event evolved, or how a place changed, for example. With Greenwich we are interested in researching how people think about time, how they go about the process of telling a story through time, and what it means to reflect on chronological content to think about the past.
Unlike content that is automatically created and stamped with a date, like status updates or blog posts, we are interested in how the act of sitting down and manually crafting a timeline encourages reflection and learning and provides insights into relationships between the different elements within it.
The Magic of Computer Science
Learn some clever conjuring tricks and try to work out how they are done. Then discover how the same techniques that make the ‘magic’ work are responsible for some of the most interesting computer science applications around.
Touchless Interaction in Medical Imaging
A surgical operating theatre needs to remain sterile during an operation to ensure there is no risk of infection to the patient. When surgeons need to review the patient’s medical images during an operation it often means they have to compromise their sterility by using a keyboard and mouse, or have a team member operate the computer for them.
We will demonstrate how the Kinect for Xbox 360 is being used in hospitals to assist surgeons to navigate the medical images of the patients they are operating on, without the need to touch anything.
Try F# Workshop
Algorithms, or computer programs, are the key idea behind computer science: Internet messages are routed using Dijkstra’s shortest path algorithm; your phone book is sorted using Hoare’s quicksort algorithm. Computer programming is an immensely mathematical, artistic, satisfying and creative skill.
Come to this workshop to learn how to program. We’ll write some small programs in F#, and hopefully you’ll go away knowing that you can write large programs in any language.
Where it All Began
The Centre for Computing History
We’re all used to seeing film-like graphics and hearing studio sound quality in our games, but go back just 35 years and most families didn’t even own a computer or a games console! Computers have totally revolutionised our lives and infiltrated nearly every aspect of our working life. Our display gives you the opportunity to experience the machines that started the home computing revolution way back in the seventies! Play Space Invaders and Pacman or try your hand at programming the computers of yesteryear...