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Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2007




Virtual Earth Image Fusion
This demo demonstrates how different kinds of imagery, such as aerial views, millions of ground images, 360-degree panoramas, and Microsoft Research gigapixel panoramas can be explored seamlessly inside the Virtual Earth 3-D environment. The system lets the user travel inside a 3-D world and view different geo-positioned images. The 3-D geometry inside Virtual Earth 3-D is used to generate smooth transitions between these images, resulting in easier navigation and perception of camera movement, as in Photosynth. This is a preview of technology we hope to ship in future releases of Virtual Earth.


Hotmap: Visualizing Geographic Attention
Hotmap visualizes what users have been looking at, when they look at Microsoft Live Maps. Based on tile server logs, Hotmap draws a heatmap; hotter spots have gathered more user attention. Mapping teams can then use these results to coordinate their future imagery purchasing efforts, learn about usage, and detect bugs, errors, and attacks. For more information go to: /~danyelf/.


TapGlance: Glanceable Group Awareness on the Smartphone
TapGlance is a replacement for the Smartphone home-screen. TapGlance provides three ways of viewing information.

  1. A simple non-interactive overview. This �glance� view gives an overview of the most common information sources such as Inbox, People, Calendar, Media, Feeds, and Location.
  2. A �magnify� view is where the user can quickly get more information about just the most important updates within a given information source.
  3. An �inspection� view is where the user can interact with a given information source.

TapGlance uses desktop PC monitoring application to gather and send out window activity information. Each user can configure different levels of privacy and abstraction. For more information go to: /vibe/projects/TapGlance.aspx


Networked Embedded Computing
mPlatform is a new reconfigurable modular sensornet platform that enables real-time processing on multiple heterogeneous processors. We demonstrate a real time application using four energy constrained processors serving multiple simultaneous input data streams, on our second rvision of the mPlatform prototype. A flash based storage layer for such energy aware embedded platforms will also be presented. We also show a system to integrate embedded sensors into the Internet infrastructure for shared use from multiple simultaneous applications.


InkSeine: In Situ Search for Active Note Taking
InkSeine is a Tablet PC application that supports active note taking by coupling a pen-and-ink interface with an in situ search facility that flows directly from a user�s ink notes. InkSeine integrates four key concepts; 1) it leverages pre-existing ink to initiate a search, 2) it provides tight coupling of search queries with application content, 3) it promotes search queries as first-class objects that can be commingled with ink notes, and 4) it enables a quick, flexible workflow to enable a user to interleave inking, searching, and gathering content. InkSeine offers these capabilities in an interface that is tailored to the unique demands of pen input and that maintains the primacy of inking above all other tasks. For more information go to: /~cutrell/CHI2007-InkSeine-hinckley.pdf


GroupBanter: Supporting Serendipitous Group Conversations with Instant Messaging
GroupBanter is a project that explores ways to extend the traditional 1-to-1 nature of IM in order to create new opportunities for serendipitous group interactions. GroupBanter allows people to view their �friends� conversations (i.e. who is talking to whom), if the conversation has been designated as being public. This awareness of ongoing conversations provides an implicit invitation for others to join. This approach provides lightweight support for ad-hoc group conversations where users don�t need to worry about who they should or should not invite. Groups form serendipitously without requiring a lot of overhead or pre-configuration.


F# Research and Adoption
F# is the premier functional programming language for .NET and has come a long way since its debut at TechFest 2005. In this booth, youll be able to hear about what people are doing with F# within Microsoft Research, Microsoft in general, and the wider community. Youll also be able to talk to F# experts, explore examples of F# coding and applications, and see some of the ways weve been able to use F# to research and road-test programming-language constructs, including active patterns, LINQ integration, data-parallel GPU programming, and first-class events. For more information go to: /fsharp/fsharp.aspx.


Personal Audio Space
A Personal Audio Space is a semi-private, energy-efficient system for real-time communication. We recreate the headset experience without using a headset. Only the intended user can hear the system. Using multiple speakers, we focus the sound into a region around the user. To anyone outside of this personal audio space, the sound is inaudible. By focusing the sound, we can achieve any absolute sound level with less power than a conventional system. For more information go to: /displayArticle.aspx?0rc=n&id=1693.


Windows Academic Program: Providing Kernel Source and Curriculum Materials for Academic Teaching and Research
The Windows Academic Program (WAP) from Microsoft provides the materials you need to integrate Windows kernel technology into the teaching and research of operating systems. The program includes:
Windows Research Kernel (WRK): sources to build and experiment with a fully-functional version of the Windows kernel for x86 and x64 platforms, as well as the original design documents for Windows NT
Curriculum Resource Kit (CRK): PowerPoint slides presenting the details of the design and implementation of the Windows kernel, following the ACM/IEEE-CS OS Body of Knowledge, and including exercises and quiz questions and links to the relevant sources
ProjectOZ: an OS project environment based on the SPACE kernel-less OS project at UC Santa Barbara, allowing students to develop OS kernel projects in user-mode

For more information and a WAP CD visit our booth; see also


Windows Compute Cluster Server
Come learn what Microsoft is doing to enable high performance computing with Windows. Demos will include MathWorks MatLab, Wolfram�s Grid Mathematica and Ansys/Fluent�s CFD and simulation software. For more information go to:


Robots in the Classroom: This Time It�s Personal!
Even as computing has invaded every aspect of our lives, computer science as a field of study is often seen as disconnected from us. We believe that this is a contributing factor to the loss of students in Computer Science. Ironically, we also believe that robots can help ameliorate this loss. To help address this issue, we have established the Institute for Personal Robots in Education (IPRE) hosted at Georgia Institute of Technology with Bryn Mawr College. We are developing a personal robot, software, and curricula to help teach introductory Computer Science courses. Imbued with the proper pedagogical philosophy and materials, these courses can help make Computer Science more personal, and therefore, more attractive to a variety of students. This demo complements the Brown Bag talk, IPRE - One Year On (Institute for Personal Robots in Education). For additional information see:


Microsoft Robotics Studio


WiMo, The Windows Mobile Robot
WiMo is a robot that uses a Windows Mobile Smartphone as the main brain. The Smartphone can talk to a microcontroller via Bluetooth and then optionally to another Windows Mobile device or desktop pc. WiMo takes full advantage of the Smartphone by utilizing it�s connectivity features, nice screen, Text Messaging, processor, and compact design to create a fun way to learn how to develop applications for Windows Mobile. For more information, how-to instructions, and source code, see


Windows Embedded Academic Program
The Windows Embedded Academic Program (WEMAP) helps provide a better understanding of the Windows CE and Windows XP Embedded operating systems to academia. As a participant in this program, you can learn how to educate the next generation of embedded developers on Windows Embedded technologies.�You can participate in a variety of programs, including student competitions like the ImageCup ( and discounted hardware programs like the Hardware Empowerment Program. For more information go to:


Boku: Lightweight Programming for Kids
Boku uses a novel, high-level programming paradigm within a 3-D gaming world on the Xbox 360 to introduce children to creative use of the computer. Boku's programming model is extremely simple as it does not use a textual language or wiring diagrams. Kids use simple behavior cards to enable a small virtual robot to navigate its world and achieve specific tasks. The goal is to provide a gentle introduction to some of the foundational elements of creative programming to children who may not yet be ready for the complexity of classical computer languages. The user is exposed to behavior arbitration, generality, representation of an abstract state, real-time experimentation and feedback, simulation, sensors, physics, and message passing. The programming environment is integrated in an attractive gaming world and controlled entirely via an Xbox 360 game controller.For more information goto: /aboutmsr/techfair/default.aspx#Boku


HDView: IE Plug-in for Viewing Very Large Images
New imaging modalities range from photo collections arranged in 3-D to super-high-resolution (gigapixel) images to 360-degree panoramic video. This is revolutionizing the way that people view and interact with their photos. We will demonstrate a new viewer that can be embedded in any application or Web page. It merges traditional slide shows, super-high-resolution panoramas, high-dynamic-range imagery, and 360-degree animations to create an incredibly rich photo-viewing and -browsing experience. During TechFest, we will demonstrate these features. A version with a subset of these features will be made available both internally and externally. We also will demonstrate a prototype authoring tool that generates HDView content. For more information go to: /ivm/HDView.htm.


Enhanced Video Experiences
Do you like capturing movies with your digital camera but hate the noisy result? Do you wish your videos could be of the same high quality as your digital photos? In this demo, we will show you how we can reduce video noise automatically. Also, by capturing a few photos with video, we can transfer the desirable qualities of those photos, such as higher resolution and dynamic range, to the video. Furthermore, we will simplify the video-editing process by performing the edits on the photos or a select number of video frames and propagating the edits throughout the video. Finally, we demonstrate new video-viewing software that makes it easy for a user to add hyperlinks and annotations between videos for a more dynamic viewing experience. For more information go to: /~sbkang/


Fone+, Connecting Millions of New Users to the Net
Please come and see a project that aims to provide an Affordable, Simple and Reliable computing experience to millions of cell phone users in the world who do not yet have PC�s at home. We look forward to getting your feedback to the user experience and discussing areas of research collaboration to help bridge the digital divide in emerging markets.


TabletPC Hardware


Beyond the Keyboard: Pen-Centric Computing Center
You will see the latest work at the Microsoft Center for Research on Pen-Centric Computing at Brown University. The demonstrations span a wide range of areas where pen computing is both intuitive and significantly more effective than keyboard and mouse applications. TabletPC-based projects include:

  • ChemPad, which recognizes hand-drawn organic molecules and provides accurate 3D molecule visualizations;
  • Diagrammer, which simplifies drawing clarified diagrams by interpreting coarsely sketched input;
  • MathPaper, which interprets handwritten 2D mathematics and demonstrates several techniques which make it easier for the user to find and correct errors in the recognition results;
  • MathPad, which combines recognized handwritten mathematics and freeform drawings to let users create dynamic illustrations of mathematics and physics concepts.

For additional information on these projects see:


Center for Advanced Collaboration Technologies
The Center for Advanced Collaborative Technologies focuses on enhancing and supporting the ConferenceXP platform, applying the technologies to a wide range of educational and collaborative scenarios and strengthening the educational and research communities that use these tools.


Gazing into Web Search
We use eye-tracking technology to help us understand how people use Web-search interfaces. How do people scan search results? What information is important? Does it depend on what they're doing? Can we improve our interfaces based on this information?


Gaming in the Physical World
Steve Feiner of Columbia University will be showing a XNA racing game enhanced with augmented reality. He will also be discussing his augmented reality game engine, Goblin V2.
Bruce Gooch of the University of Victoria will be showing a bicycling interface with Microsoft Flight Simulator X, which has been featured on Canadian television.


Teaching Embedded Systems
This booth showcases recent results from the collaboration between the Texas A&M University�s Real Time Distributed Systems Lab and the Embedded Systems Research Group in Microsoft Research, Redmond. Software and hardware tools developed in Microsoft Research have been in use for research and teaching at TAMU (Texas A&M University). Come see the Microsoft Research self-extensible eMIPS (extensible MIPS) processor in action, Embedded Web Services controlling the holographic Aggie Orb display, and a robot that can solve the Rubik�s Cube puzzle faster than you can! For more information go to: /research/EmbeddedSystems/.


Struggles of New College Graduates in Their First Software Development Job
Numerous studies have explored the differences between novice and expert computer science students, but there is a considerable lack of information showing how Computer Science college graduates fair in their first year working in the software industry. Andrew Begel, a researcher in the Human Interactions in Programming Group at Microsoft Research and Beth Simon, a faculty member in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego conducted a two month study of eight newly hired developers at Microsoft. After observing these developers for five 2-3 hour sessions over eight weeks, we learned how new developers differ from true experts. We will describe their information needs, their general activities and report on reflections of their own experiences. From this data, we learned how students� experiences in college lead them to develop unrealistic expectations about industrial software development. In addition, we provide recommendations for new experiences in college education that might address unmet needs of the software industry. For more information go to: /~abegel/.


Design Expo
Design Expo 2007 is featuring seven institutions with established programs in interdisciplinary design. Microsoft is providing a forum around the theme: Health and Wellness to showcase exceptional design thinking about the future of computing and interactions. As part of a semester long course, students were asked to design a scenario, user experience and interaction prototype, from which selected projects will be featured at Demofest during the 2007 Microsoft Faculty Summit


Surface-Computing Innovations
Surface computing uses sensing and display technology to imbue everyday surfaces with interaction. PlayAnywhere is a compact surface-computing system shown at TechFest last year. This year, we will show PlayTogether: two networked PlayAnywhere units exchanging video of each other�s desktop surface, including hands, game pieces, and drawing surfaces. PlayTogether offers interesting combinations of the real world with the virtual world. For example, in playing chess across the network, you can see your opponent�s hands and pieces superimposed on your own real pieces and desktop. We will show other technologies, including an application of depth-sensing video cameras, which works like a normal video camera but can also calculate how far away the imaged surface is at each pixel, resulting in RGB, Z-valued images. We will also show a game that combines the surface-computing idea with this exciting new technology. For more information go to: /~awilson/.


Microsoft Phoenix-RDK/SDK Demo
Phoenix is the codename of Microsoft�s next generation application development framework. Since its early stage of design and development, Phoenix has been shared with academia using the Phoenix Research Development Kit. Over the last four years, the RDK(Research Development Kit) has be the core of the Phoenix Academic Program. It enabled five Early Adopters, two rounds of Phoenix RFPs, four Directed Funding projects, and a very successful Phoenix forum. It has created a significant user community around Phoenix. Today, many researchers and students are using Phoenix as a research platform, an infrastructure in their research labs, and a tool for teaching and learning in their classrooms. With help from academia, the RDK is now turning into commercial quality Software Development Kit. The SDK will open a new page of collaboration between Microsoft and academia to use Phoenix for research and education. This demo will show you all that we have achieved with the Phoenix RDK and what we are expecting with Phoenix SDK. For more information go to: /phoenix/.


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