Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2006
Microsoft Conference Center, Redmond, Washington

Agenda for Monday, July 17, 2006

technology theme key






Continental Breakfast



Opening Plenary Session



Faculty Summit Introduction and Welcome
Harold Javid, Faculty Summit Chair, Microsoft Research



External Research & Programs Overview
Sailesh Chutani, Director of External Research & Programs, Microsoft Research

Presentation: External Research & Programs Overview



Meeting the Technical Challenges of the Future
Dan Mote, President, University of Maryland
Craig Mundie, Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Advanced Strategies and Policy, Microsoft Corporation
Richard Newton, Dean of the College of Engineering, University of California, Berkeley (Moderator)
Richard M. Russell, Associate Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President
Lucy Sanders, CEO, National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)

Webcast: Meeting the Technical Challenges of the Future

Transcript: Meeting the Technical Challenges of the Future

Presentation: Meeting the Technical Challenges of the Future






Break-out Sessions



Breaking Through the Curriculum Silos: The Future of HCI
Bill Buxton, Microsoft Research; Michael Sagan, Trek Bicycle Corporation; John SanGiovanni, Microsoft Research (Chair); Brad Weed, Microsoft

So much of our lives require interaction with software that controls how we create, consume, and share media and information. When this interaction design is done well, it�s magic. When it�s done poorly, it can be a source of unending frustration. Software interaction design requires blended knowledge, experience, and skills in technology, human behavior, and visual design. How can academia and industry respond to the ever increasing demand for software, services, and devices that are at once useful, usable, and desirable? This panel discussion aims to break down the silos through open, provocative debate and dialog among industry and academic experts.

Presentation: Breaking Through the Curriculum Silos: The Future of HCI (Michael Sagan)

Webcast: Breaking Through the Curriculum Silos: The Future of HCI


A Technical Introduction to Microsoft Robotics Studio
Henrik Nielsen, Microsoft Research; Stewart Tansley, Microsoft Research (Chair); Tandy Trower, Microsoft Research

This session will present a background and architectural overview of the Microsoft Robotics Studio, an end-to-end development environment that makes robotics development easier. Robotics Studio, is now available for download and evaluation from the Web, as a community technical preview (CTP). Attend this session for an under-the-hood look at this powerful robotics platform, and learn how it can apply to academic research and curriculum development.

Presentation: Microsoft Robotics Studio (Tandy Trower)

Webcast: A Technical Introduction to Microsoft Robotics Studio


St. Helens

Frameworks for Research in Code Generation and Execution
Wen-mei Hwu, University of Illinois; John Lefor, Microsoft Research (Chair); Mark Lewin, Microsoft Research; Nam Tran, Microsoft

Increasingly, interesting issues in program generation and execution touch on several areas of the software stack: Programming languages, compilation, code generation and optimization, static and dynamic analysis, virtual machines and managed execution, and underlying operating systems. This talk will survey technology assets such as Phoenix and SSCLI, which Microsoft shares with academia. Successful research projects based on these technologies will be highlighted.

Presentation: Frameworks for Research in Code Generation and Execution (Mark Lewin)

Webcast: Frameworks for Research in Code Generation and Execution


Research & Innovation: The Missing LinkWhat Happens When Women Are Missing from the Lab and Classroom
Al Aho, Columbia University; Janice Cuny, University of Oregon; Jane Prey, Microsoft Research (Chair); Lucy Sanders, National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)

The lack of women in the computing field is cause for major concern. What is the impact of this void to innovation and the research community, what activities are currently underway, and what can an individual do? This panel brings together a group of computing researchers who are very concerned about the under-representation of women in computing and hope to open a dialogue with fellow researchers in the audience to help identify more ideas and activities in attracting, retaining, and developing talented women.

Webcast: Research & Innovation: The Missing Link — What Happens When Women Are Missing from the Lab and Classroom



Design Opportunities in an Emerging Market: The Search for a Process for Accessing the User�s Context
Mythreyee Ganapathy, Microsoft Research (Chair); Ravi Poovaiah, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay; Ajanta Sen, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay

In the backdrop of an emerging market scenario in India and the increasing need in the last three�five years to design devices and applications that are technology driven, it is our submission that an understanding of the user�s context has become critical as never before. The reasons are obvious. The focus of the networking technologies has started shifting away from traditional users (with large income bases) in big cities, to underserved communities, whether rural or urban. It is imperative that we understand the mindsets of these user groups � their needs for specific products thrown up by their own environments that are hugely culturally mediated and what makes them click with certain products that already exist in the market. We will attempt to outline a normative process that uses a combination of factors, such as ethnographic and socio-cultural, economic, market conditions, and technology levels, to help us construct a reasonable composite of what constitutes the user�s needs and context. And then we will map these on to design principles. We will approach our presentation with a backdrop of the design philosophy adopted by the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at IIT Bombay, India and exemplify our thoughts with projects carried out at the center by its faculty and students.

Presentation: IDC at IIT Bombay (Ravi Poovaiah)

Webcast: Design Opportunities in an Emerging Market: The Search for a Process for Accessing the User�s Context


Tablet PC as an Enabling Technology
Guy Barker, Microsoft; Patrick Bristow, Microsoft Research (Chair); Mike Buckley, University of Buffalo; Todd Landstad, Microsoft

The Tablet PC has found a home in many different areas, such as transcribing and searching notes, sharing handwritten notes without the need to transcribe, sending e-mail messages and running applications when a keyboard is unavailable, using the voice recorder, and annotating documents using ink. This panel will discuss the socially relevant potential of the Tablet PC as a powerful tool in assistive technologies and communications. By using speech synthesis and the voice recorder functionality, we will demonstrate creative developer- and student-built applications for the Tablet PC to aid those who require voice assistance. We will also discuss and demonstrate other aspects of the Tablet PC that could potentially benefit users of assistive technology.

Tablet PC as an Enabling Technology (Todd Landstad, Guy Barker)
Tablet PCs in Socially Relevant Projects (Michael Buckley)

Webcast: Tablet PC as an Enabling Technology


Box Lunch Pickup



Lunch and Brown Bag Sessions



MIT iCampus: Innovating Education, Sharing Technology
Phil Long, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Paul Oka, Microsoft Research (Chair)

For the past six years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Microsoft Research have collaborated on a series of educational technology research and development projects anchored around the pedagogy of active learning and technologies that leverage Web services. The success of pilot implementations of these projects in the MIT curriculum led to a concerted effort to share selected projects with other institutions around the world. Prominent among these are iLabs, a software architecture for sharing access to physical experiments through the Web; xMAS, cross media annotation system for authoring multimedia documents based on DVD source material; iMOAT, an assessment tool providing a scalable work flow for administering large-scale tests, geared toward essay exams; and xTutor, an online tutorial system for teaching computer science and recently extended to ease adding new content. During this brown bag, we�ll demonstrate some of the tools and feature their adoption and use by other institutions around the world. Significant collaborations with universities in Australia (University of Queensland, RMIT, University of Melbourne, La Trobe University), China (Zhejiang University, Dalian University, Xi�an Jiaotong University), and elsewhere reflect some of the opportunities for collaboration as well as hint at the conditions required for adoption of new technologies.

Presentation: iCampus: Innovating Education, Sharing Technology (Paul Oka)

Webcast: MIT iCampus: Innovating Education, Sharing Technology


The Institute for Personal Robots in Education
Tucker Balch, Georgia Institute of Technology; Stewart Tansley, Microsoft Research (Chair)

Where are the computer science students of tomorrow? There is a shocking decline in attraction and retention of CS students in the US. Our thesis is that exciting applications such as robotics can enhance the computer science curriculum, raising attraction and retention figures, and bringing other benefits. However, contemporary robotics in the CS classroom has remained relatively costly, fragile, and complicated, not fully realizing its full potential for widespread usage, and suggested benefits are largely anecdotal. The Institute for Instructional Robotics is designed to address these challenges, launching in summer 2006 with a three-year program, supported by $1M funds from Microsoft and $1M matching funds from Georgia Tech and Bryn Mawr College. We will develop a new platform for teaching CS, initially specifically targeted at CS1/CS2. This will be combined with leading-edge CS curriculum materials from Georgia Tech�s new �Threads� model. The effectiveness of the platform and associated teaching materials will be rigorously assessed through live trials at selected schools. The results will be widely published, and the design refined over the life of the institute. With a strong team and a rigorous scientific approach, we believe we have a real chance of providing a proven solution that can be widely deployed in the US and beyond.

Presentation: The Institute for Personal Robots in Education (IPRE) (Stewart Tansley)

Webcast: The Institute for Personal Robots in Education


St. Helens

Windows Academic Program: Supporting OS Teaching and Research
Mark Lewin, Microsoft Research (Chair); Dave Probert, Microsoft; Arkady Retik, Microsoft

This brown bag presents a new academic program that provides instructional material and resources to support teaching and research in operating system concepts by using Microsoft Windows XP. The talk will briefly review the program components: Windows OS Internals Curriculum Resource Kit (CRK), Windows Research Kernel (WRK), and programming lab environment (ProjectOZ). In particular, the talk will focus on the Windows Research Kernel, which contains the bulk of the source code for the Windows NT kernel (compatible with Windows Server 2003 for x86/x64 and Windows XP x64) and a novel environment for low-level OS projects (code named ProjectOZ), which takes advantage of the native Windows NT layer of Windows to simplify OS experimentation for teaching and research.

Presentation: Windows Academic Program: Supporting OS Teaching and Research (Dave Probert)

White paper: Windows Academic Program

Webcast: Windows Academic Program: Supporting OS Teaching and Research



Birds of a Feather: Deans, Chairs, Organization Representatives
Tom Healy, Microsoft Research (Moderator)

Tom Healy will moderate this birds-of-a-feather session for deans, chairs, and organization representatives, which will continue the discussion started in the opening plenary session. In particular, this session will ask what are the shared responsibilities of government, industry, and the academy in creating an �innovation infrastructure�? What specific actions and policies can the academy, government, and industry collectively support to drive national competitiveness, technology innovation, and scientific discoveries?

Presentation: Birds of a Feather: Deans, Chairs, Organization Representatives (Tom Healy)

Webcast: Birds of a Feather: Deans, Chairs, Organization Representatives



Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellows: Research Projects
Harold Javid, Microsoft Research (Moderator); Wei Wang, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Automatic computer visual recognition. Seamless human computer interactions tools. Rethinking computer system design, Physics based character animation, Natural language processing. Today�s investigation of such subjects could fuel the innovations of tomorrow. Microsoft Research is helping to support such creativity with the announcement of the second contingent of five winners of the Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship Program. Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellows receive two annual installments of $100,000 with which to pursue innovative research. This Brown Bag session will introduce the five recipients of the 2006 Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowships to the faculty summit audience. Each of the five fellows will give a short overview of their research work.

2006 Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellows (Harold Javid)
The Asbestos Operating System (Eddie Kohler)
Machine Learning for Graphics and Vision (Aaron Hertzmann)
Getting a Grasp on Ubiquitous Computing Through Prototyping (Scott Klemmer)
MotifSpace � One Year Review (Wei Wang)

Webcasts: Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellows: Research Projects



Break-out Sessions



Technical and Design Trends in Mobile Devices
Scott Klemmer, Stanford University; Horace Luke, Microsoft; John SanGiovanni, Microsoft Research (Chair)

Every week, a tidal wave of new mobile devices enter the marketplace. What current technical and design trends will influence the features and form factors of tomorrow�s mobile devices?

Future of Mobile (Horace Luke)
Getting a Grasp on Ubiquitous Computing Through Prototyping (Scott Klemmer)

Webcast: Technical and Design Trends in Mobile Devices



Computing in the Life Sciences
Stephen Emmott, Microsoft Research; Dan Fay, Microsoft; Simon Mercer, Microsoft Research (Chair)

Just as computers are transforming the life sciences, the life sciences are a source of ideas that will transform computing in the next century. Microsoft has been engaged with academia for several years, providing support for a range of projects which have the potential to advance the state of the art of scientific research, and we are now coordinating our initiatives to make a global impact.

Computing in the Life Sciences (Stephen Emmott)
Using Existing Products and Technologies for Scientific Research (Dan Fay)
Computing in the Life Sciences (Simon Mercer)

Webcast: Computing in the Life Sciences


St. Helens

What�s New in Windows Vista and Office 2007 for Academia
Mor Hezi, Microsoft; Bert Keely, Microsoft; Todd Needham, Microsoft Research (Chair); Murray Sargent, Microsoft

Bert Keely will begin this session by discussing and demonstrating improvements to Windows Vista for Tablet PCs, including the new Windows Touch Technology support for touch screens, the Handwriting Recognition Personalization Tool for tailoring recognition results to your own personal handwriting style, �flicks� gesture controls, and the new Touch Pointer, a special tool for accessing right-click menus and targeting small pieces of the interface with your finger. Next, Mor Hezi will cover Excel 2007 improvements of particular interest to academia, including visualization and analysis, support for massive data sets, Web publishing, sharing and the new XML file format, and enhancements to pivot tables. Finally, Murray Sargent will demonstrate how Unicode�s rich mathematical character set combined with OpenType font technology, TeX�s mathematical typography principles, and enhanced auto-correction can be used to produce high-quality, streamlined technical text processing.

Presentation: Math Editing and Display in Office 2007 (Murray Sargent)

Webcast: What's New in Windows Vista and Office 2007 for Academia


HIP Human Interactions in Programming
Rob DeLine, Microsoft Research; John Spencer, Microsoft Research (Chair)

Since the earliest days of computing, software development tools have been based on a dangerous stereotype: development is done by a nerd alone in a box. Contrary to this prejudice, software development is in fact a very social activity. Members of a development team collaborate, cooperate, and learn from one another, and even the nerdiest programmer spends as much time communicating with teammates, colleagues, and the community as he or she does programming. The HIP group is creating new tools based on the obvious observation that software development is done by people working together.

Presentation: Human Interactions in Programming (Rob DeLine)

Webcast: HIP Human Interactions in Programming


Internet Singularity and Cultures
Gary Flake, Microsoft Live Labs; Evelyne Viegas, Microsoft Research (Chair)

Flake�s talk on �How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Imminent Internet Singularity� is about a different singularity. In 1993, Verner Vinge introduced the notion of the Singularity � a step function to nearly unlimited technological capability � which would be realized if the acceleration of scientific progress continues to produce such things as AI, nanotechnology, and super-human intelligence. Since its introduction, the idea of the Singularity has met with both evangelism (by Ray Kurzweil) and apocalyptic warnings (by Bill Joy). In this talk, Flake will introduce a kinder and gentler version of the idea, which he calls the Internet Singularity. Like the original, the Internet Singularity suggests continued acceleration of progress, but makes greater emphasis on our ability to improve science, analytic methods, and engineering on data as opposed to on the physical world. Nonetheless, the implications for the Internet Singularity are still profound as they suggest nothing less than the evolution of the scientific method. Moreover, these trends also imply that now may be the best possible moment in the history of the universe to be a computer scientist.

Presentation: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Imminent Internet Singularity (Gary Flake)

Webcast: Internet Singularity and Cultures


Future Thoughts on Tablet Technology
Richard Anderson, University of Washington; Otto Berkes, Microsoft; Jane Prey, Microsoft Research (Chair)

In this session, Richard Anderson will discuss using Tablet PCs to support active learning in the classroom. Classroom Presenter is a Tablet PC�based Classroom Interaction system. He will describe how the system has been employed in computer science courses, such as Data Structures, Algorithms, and Software engineering. The emphasis of the talk will be on the pedagogy that is being developed around using student devices in the classroom and on how different instructional goals can be achieved with the help of technology.

Supporting Classroom Interaction with the Tablet PC: Lessons Learned from Classroom Deployment (Richard Anderson)
Ultra-Mobile PC Project �Origami� (Otto Berkes)

Webcast: Future Thoughts on Tablet Technology






Break-out Sessions



Got Multiple Devices and Displays?
Mary Czerwinski, Microsoft Research (Moderator); Fran�ois Guimbreti�re, University of Maryland; Beth Mynatt, Georgia Institute of Technology; George Robertson, Microsoft Research; Andy Wilson, Microsoft Research

How do you get a bunch of devices in a room, add people and large displays, and really make it work? Much research recently has been carried out around large displays, but mainly as a single user device. What happens when you also consider desktops, laptops, tablets, tabletops, PDAs, and cell phones, and examine how people collaborate to use these and their existing tools to create a device ecology? What do we really know about how multiple knowledge workers or consumers will work effectively integrating all of these technologies? (Hint: It may be less than you think!) And, what new tasks and activities do multiple device ecologies support well? These and many related topics will be discussed by the panelists for what will surely be a lively debate. Mary Czerwinski, Principal Researcher and Manager of the Visualization and Interaction Research Group in Microsoft Research, will moderate.

Got Multiple Devices and Displays? (Mary Czerwinski)
Multiple Displays + Multiple Devices (Fran�ois Guimbreti�re)
Is There a Box in Your Future? (George Robertson)
Surface Computing (Andy Wilson)

Webcast: Got Multiple Devices and Displays?



Bioinformatics: Helping Scientists Do Better Science
Phil Bourne, University of California at San Diego; Bongshin Lee, Microsoft Research; Simon Mercer, Microsoft Research (Chair); Mark Wilkinson, University of British Columbia

Bioinformatics is a broad domain for which the Windows platform has a lot to offer. In this session, we�ll show several areas of bioinformatics that have the potential to use the power of Windows to make a significant impact on the state of the art.

Interactive Visualizations for Biodiversity Information (Bongshin Lee)
Construction and Evaluation of OWL-DL Ontologies (Mark Wilkinson)

Webcast: Bioinformatics: Helping Scientists Do Better Science


St. Helens

Galen Hunt, Microsoft Research; Jim Larus, Microsoft Research; Mark Lewin, Microsoft Research (Chair)

The Microsoft Research Singularity project started with the question: �What would software look like if it was designed from scratch for dependability?� Singularity builds on advances in programming languages and tools to develop a new system architecture and operating system, named Singularity. Singularity varies significantly from present systems. It is written almost entirely in safe languages, it uses software instead of hardware protection to isolate processes, and it replaces the open process architecture, used since 1960s Multics, with a new sealed process architecture. Singularity demonstrates the practicality of new technologies and architectural decisions, which should lead to the construction of more robust and dependable systems.

Presentation: Singularity Overview (Galen Hunt)

Webcast: Singularity


Rustan Leino, Microsoft Research; John Spencer, Microsoft Research (Chair)

Spec# is a programming system that aims to provide programmers with a higher degree of rigor than in common languages today. The Spec# language extends the object-oriented .NET language C#, adding features like non-null types, pre- and postconditions, and object invariants. In addition to static type checking and compiler-emitted runtime checks for specifications, Spec# has a static program verifier. The program verifier translates Spec# programs into verification conditions, which are then analyzed by an automatic theorem prover. In this talk, I will give a demo and overview of Spec#. I will then discuss some aspects of its design in more detail.

Presentation: Spec# (Rustan Leino)

Webcast: Spec#


Mesh Networking: New Applications and Technologies
Suman Banerjee, University of Wisconsin; Dina Katabi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; S. Keshav, University of Waterloo, Canada; Jitu Padhye, Microsoft Research; Stewart Tansley, Microsoft Research (Moderator)

A mesh network is a peer-to-peer multi-hop wireless network in which participant nodes cooperate with one another to route packets. Wireless mesh networking is an important component of the �broadband everywhere vision� � providing blanket high-speed internet access in places without pre-existing infrastructure. It enables quick-and-easy extension of a local area network to a wide area. Over the last three years there has been a substantial amount of research in mesh networking with significant new technical developments. However, many believe that the work is far from being done. The state-of-art is insufficient for deploying large wireless mesh networks. Important issues such as radio range, network capacity, scalability, manageability, and security remain open problems. Panelist will discuss how far along we are in realizing our vision. They will share some of their latest research results and answer audience questions on mesh networking.

Mesh Networking: New Applications & Technologies (Stewart Tansley)
Mesh Networking: Building, Managing, and the Works (Suman Banerjee)
Challenges in Mesh Networking (S. Keshav)
Overview of Mesh Networking Research at Microsoft Research (Jitu Padhye)

Webcast: Mesh Networking: New Applications and Technologies


Pen Research
Jay Pittman, Microsoft; Jane Prey, Microsoft Research (Chair); Andy van Dam, Brown University

In this session, Andy van Dam and Patrick Haluptzok give their talk, �The Pen Can Be Mightier Than the Keyboard. Brown Researchers� Perspectives on the Possibilities of Pen Input.� This talk will cover the research directions of the Brown Computer Graphics Group into pen-based computing and the exciting possibilities opened by the creation of the new Microsoft Center for Research on Pen-Centric Computing at Brown.

Next, Jay Pittman discusses how the Microsoft Handwriting Research team develops handwriting recognizers that work for everyday people by using their own natural writing style. Available recognizers include English (two varieties), Japanese, Chinese (two varieties), Korean, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and Portuguese. All current products handle either the Latin or the East Asian orthographies. At this time, we are researching the recognition of scripts outside those orthographies, specifically Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrew, and Brahmic scripts. This presentation will provide an overview of our recognizer architecture, and then review some of the difficulties associated with the new script families.

Presentation: Pen Research (Jay Pittman)

Webcast: Pen Research






Flashing, Peeping, and Charging: Computing for Many Futures
Genevieve Bell, Director of User Experience, Digital Home Group, Intel Corporation

There is no single technology trajectory that determines the path of technology development. Instead there are many points of innovation, invention, and creation. Taking a global perspective, informed by a strong understanding of the importance of local cultures, it is possible to see a series of different pathways to the future of computing. In this talk, I will explore some of the different landmarks and roadmaps on those different pathways and challenge conventional wisdoms and comforts around technology.

Webcast: Flashing, Peeping, and Charging: Computing for Many Futures



Travel to Kirkland



Dinner Cruise from Lake Washington to Puget Sound

See the agenda for Tuesday, July 18, 2006

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