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Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2008
Agenda for Monday, July 28, 2008

technology theme key






Continental Breakfast



Opening Plenary Session



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

External Research Overview
Tony Hey, Corporate Vice President, External Research, Microsoft Research

Presentation: External Research Overview

Webcast: Introduction and External Research Overview



The Cyberspace Connection � Impact on Individuals, Society, and Research

Rick Rashid, Senior Vice President, Microsoft Research (Moderator)
Daniel A. Reed, Director of Scalable and Multicore Computing, Microsoft Research
Edward W. Felten, Professor of Computer Science, Princeton University
Howard A. Schmidt, President and CEO of R & H Security Consulting LLC
Elizabeth Lawley, Director of the Laboratory for Social Computing at the Rochester Institute of Technology

Information gathering, personal and business communication, social interaction, entertainment and learning increasingly flow into a cyberspace interconnected universe. Along with the broad benefits and improvements in our knowledge of the world we live in come new challenges for individuals and society, ranging from security and privacy to effective uses of new modes of interaction. Information overload has achieved new levels. As a result, this session will examine the current state of this interconnected universe, its implications, future needs, and corresponding research opportunities.

Presentation: The Cyberspace Connection � Impact on Individuals, Society, and Research

Webcast: The Cyberspace Connection � Impact on Individuals, Society, and Research






Break-out Sessions



New Developments in Scholarly Communication
Lee Dirks, Microsoft Research (Moderator); Paul Ginsparg, Cornell University / arXiv.org; Natasa Milic-Frayling, Microsoft Research � Cambridge; Peter Murray-Rust, University of Cambridge (Churchill College); Vijay Rajagopalan, Microsoft Research 

Video podcasts, live-blogging, data visualization, and the wisdom of crowds: who needs publishers and peer review anymore? Well, we all do, and we probably will for years to come. So, while the sociology of academia shifts and as new business models evolve, it is worthwhile to pay close attention to the variety of trends and breakthroughs across various disciplines and the impact they will have on scientific dissemination overall. The role of the researcher, the publisher, and the repository/library are shifting dramatically to accommodate data and other digital content, as well as the concept of interoperability. These talks will highlight some innovative projects and the thought-leaders who are helping to re-architect the scholarly world as we have come to know it.

Presentation: Lee Dirks, Introduction

Presentation: Paul Ginsparg, Scholarly Communications

Presentation: Natasa Milic-Frayling, Vijay Rajagopalan, PLANETS & Document Interoperability

Webcast: New Developments in Scholarly Communication

Artificial Intelligence


Reflections on Directions in Artificial Intelligence
Eric Horvitz, Microsoft Research; Stewart Tansley, Microsoft Research (Moderator)  

Technical and infrastructural developments have come together to create a fertile environment for developing and fielding AI applications that promise to provide value to people in the course of their daily lives. These developments include (1) technical advancements in machine learning and reasoning, (2) the growth in CPU and memory capabilities within commonly available devices and platforms, (3) the connectivity, content, and services provided by the evolving Web, and (4) the increasing availability of data resources, including corpora of behavioral data collected via inexpensive sensors, and through ongoing interaction with software and services. I will discuss several trends in AI research and reflect about problems and opportunities ahead. I will highlight ideas in the context of active research projects at Microsoft Research and other centers. 

Webcast: Reflections on Directions in Artificial Intelligence

Manycore and Concurrency


Microsoft's Parallel Computing Platform: Applied Research in a Product Setting
Joe Duffy, Microsoft; Mark Lewin, Microsoft Research (Moderator) 

The goal of Microsoft�s Parallel Computing Platform (PCP) team is to enable the shift to modern, multi- and manycore hardware, by providing a runtime, programming models, libraries, and tools that make it easy for developers to construct correct, efficient, maintainable, and scalable programs through the use of parallelism. In doing so, tens of years of industry research has been combined and applied in a myriad of ways. This talk examines PCP�s current progress, explicitly relating it to specific research of the past and present, in addition to surveying future efforts and possible research opportunities. 

Presentation: Joe Duffy, Microsoft's Parallel Computing Platform: Applied Research in a Product Setting

Webcast: Microsoft's Parallel Computing Platform: Applied Research in a Product Setting

Computing Contributions for Education


Phoenix and the Windows Research Kernel: Enhancing the Teaching/Learning Experience
Arkady Retik, TwC, Core Operating Systems Division (Moderator); Andreas Polze, University of Potsdam, Germany; Alexander Schmidt, University of Potsdam, Germany

The talk will report on various research and teaching projects carried out by the Operating Systems and Middleware group at HPI that are based on Phoenix and the Windows Research Kernel (WRK). Phoenix is an extensible compiler (construction kit) developed by Microsoft. We have used Phoenix to implement Gripper-Loom.NET, our implementation of Aspect-Oriented Programming for the .NET framework. AOP and Phoenix also form the foundation of our Dynamic Software Update Platform (DSUP). Applicability of DSUP has been demonstrated with various freely available .NET programs (Paint.NET, LumiSoft imap/ftp) as well with the Distributed Control Lab, our tele-laboratory environment. The Windows Research Kernel contains (most of) the kernel sources of Windows Server 2003 R2. We have extended the WRK build environment for classroom use (Visual Studio, Phoenix). Besides just using Phoenix to build the kernel (Apr 2008 CTP and Jul 2007 RDK), we have extended Phoenix to allow for generation of hyperlinked sources and documentation of the WRK. The talk will report about experiences with WRK-based labs (like implementing system calls, changing scheduler) in context of the Operating Systems curriculum at HPI. With the Kernel-level Scheduling Server, the Windows Monitoring Kernel, and the kstruct-approach towards system monitoring, the talk will also give an overview over current research projects on operating system support for service computing.

Presentation: Andreas Polze, Phoenix and the Windows Research Kernel: Enhancing the Teaching/Learning Experience

Webcast: Phoenix and the Windows Research Kernel: Enhancing the Teaching/Learning Experience

Computing Contributions for Education

St. Helens

Applying Chinese Water Color Painting Style to Game Design
Sun Li, Beijing Film Academy

This presentation will focus on how the subtle style of Chinese water color painting can enhance game design, demonstrating how beauty and serene play enhanced by peaceful music can provide a unique and delightful game experience. The Animation Institute of the Beijing Film Academy is exploring a new application pattern of Classic Chinese Culture in modern entertainment and life. This project shows the beauty of Classic Chinese Painting in a digital way, by exploring how to make the planed Chinese Ink Painting into a three-dimensional dynamic display. It also seeks to make ancient culture more entertaining and easily accepted by the younger generations.

Presentation: Sun Li, Applying Chinese Water Color Painting Style to Game Design

Webcast: Applying Chinese Water Color Painting Style to Game Design



Box Lunch Pickup



Ice Breaker Lunch



Break-out Sessions



What Will Be the Impact of Cloud Services on Science?
Roger Barga, Microsoft Research (Moderator); Ian Foster, Argonne National Laboratory & The University of Chicago; Dennis Gannon, Indiana University; Paul Watson, Newcastle University 

We are in the midst of a generational shift in research, driven by new "disruptive" technologies.�The rapid emergence of a new world of eScience driven by very large scale data, next generation sensors, and advanced robotic instruments, in a host of disciplines from environmental, physical and other sciences and engineering through public health and medicine, requires a new approach to provide computational and data management tools and services for research. This session will focus on a software + service model with scientific services delivered from the Cloud that we believe will become an increasingly accepted model for research.

Presentation: Roger Barga, Introduction

Presentation: Ian Foster, Towards a Data Cauldron

Presentation: Dennis Gannon, The Scientific Data Center

Presentation: Paul Watson, The CARMEN Science Cloud & Beyond

Webcast: What Will Be the Impact of Cloud Services on Science?


Artificial Intelligence


Spotlights on Interdisciplinary Artificial Intelligence Research

A. AI Meets Markets: Trading Agents and Strategic Reasoning
Michael P. Wellman, University of Michigan

Trading agents are autonomous computer programs that bid in electronic markets without direct human intervention. The design and analysis of trading agents is a challenging problem for artificial intelligence, but one with great potential for electronic commerce. Through a series of international trading agent competitions, AI researchers have exposed lessons and principles for effective trading agent design. Consideration of market environments has pushed the limits of computational game-theoretic technique, leading to advances in strategic reasoning based on simulation, machine learning, and other empirical methods. 

Presentation: Michael P. Wellman, AI Meets Markets: Trading Agents and Strategic Reasoning

B. AI, Sensing, and Optimized Information Gathering: Trends and Directions
Carlos Guestrin, Carnegie Mellon University

Over the last few years, we have tackled a fundamental problem that arises when using sensors to monitor the ecological condition of rivers and lakes, the network of pipes that bring water to our taps, or the activities of an elderly individual when sitting on a chair: Where should we place sensors in order to make effective and robust predictions? In this talk, I will outline some of the algorithmic and theoretical developments that enabled these applications; drawing an interesting connection between sensor placement for water monitoring, and the problem of selecting blogs to read in order to learn about the biggest stories discussed on the web. I will then outline a more general, longer-term agenda for using information gathering to drive new, broader research in AI. This talk is primarily based on joint work with Andreas Krause.

Presentation: Carlos Guestrin, AI, Sensing, and Optimized Information Gathering: Trends and Directions

Webcast: Spotlights on Interdisciplinary Artificial Intelligence Research

Manycore and Concurrency


Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC) 
Dan Reed, Microsoft Research (Moderator); David Patterson, University of California, Berkeley; Marc Snir, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

In March 2008, Microsoft and Intel Corporation announced their partnering with academia to create two Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC), aimed at accelerating developments in mainstream parallel computing in desktop and mobile computing. The research centers are located at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Research will focus on advancing parallel programming applications, architecture and operating systems software. This is the first joint industry and university research alliance of this magnitude in the United States focused on mainstream parallel computing. This session will present an overview of the UPCRC partnership. Dan Reed will discuss challenges and opportunities presented by the shift to multicore/manycore computing, and David Patterson and Marc Snir, the directors of the two Centers, will present their UPCRC research agendas.  

Presentation: Dan Reed, Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC)

Presentation: David Patterson, The Parallel Computing Landscape: A View from Berkeley

Presentation: Marc Snir, Making Parallel Programming Synonymous with Programming

Webcast: Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC)

Intelligent Web


Ontological Myths: Reducing the Confusion 
James Hendler, Tetherless World Research Constellation, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Evelyne Viegas, Microsoft Research

There are currently several different approaches to semantics, semantic technologies, and the Semantic Web floating around. While the uptake of these technologies is going well, there is still confusion about what sort of technology fits where and how it works. �The confusion is made worse because the term "ontology" is used in a number of different ways. In this talk, James Hendler will describe how different sorts of models can be used to link data in different ways. He will particularly explore different kinds of Web applications, from Enterprise Data Integration to Web 3.0 startups, and the different kinds of techniques needed for these different approaches. 

Introduction: Evelyne Viegas, Intelligent Web

Presentation: James Hendler, Ontologies on the Web

Webcast: Ontological Myths: Reducing the Confusion






Break-out Sessions



Social Networking and Semantics
Savas Parastatidis, Microsoft Research (Moderator); Noshir Contractor, Northwestern University; David De Roure, University of Southampton; Jennifer Golbeck, University of Maryland, College Park; Marc Smith, Microsoft Research 

The younger generation is showing us the way in how we stay in touch, interact, and exchange information. Social networking sites are all about creating machine processable structures, networks of connections from which information can be inferred. The �wisdom of the crowds� is being applied to identify trends, and it is because of advances in technology that this is now possible. It�s no surprise that the research community is paying attention. Could we leverage the same ideas in order to advance the way we collaborate, exchange research information, review the works of our peers? And, if we can represent social connections using machine representations, could we do the same for all possible data-to-data connections? What is the role of semantic computing? What is the role of the Semantic Web? How do we bring everything together? 

Presentation: Noshir Contractor, Enabling Social Networks Using Semantics

Presentation: David De Roure, myExperiment

Presentation: Jennifer Golbeck, Social Networks on the Semantic Web

Presentation: Marc Smith, Social Networking and Semantics

Webcast: Social Networking and Semantics

Artificial Intelligence


Sampling of Artificial Intelligence Research at Microsoft Research

A. Toward Situated Interaction
Dan Bohus, Microsoft Research

The Situated Interaction project at Microsoft Research aims to enable a new generation of interactive systems that can reason about their surroundings and embed interaction deeply into the natural flow of everyday tasks, activities and collaborations. As an initial sample challenge in this space, we are currently developing a situated conversational agent that can act as a Microsoft front-desk receptionist (e.g., making shuttle reservations, registering visitors, providing campus information). The system integrates a large number of AI technologies such as speech recognition and language understanding, face detection and tracking, intention recognition, engagement and behavioral modeling in a conversational framework that allows it to engage in mixed-initiative natural language interaction with one or multiple participants. In this talk, I will briefly outline the Situated Interaction project, describe and demonstrate the current Receptionist system and discuss some of the research challenges under investigation: multi-participant engagement and dialog models, conversational scene analysis, spatio-temporal trajectory reasoning, and behavioral modeling.

Presentation: Dan Bohus, Toward Situated Interaction

B. Statistical Machine Translation Research at Microsoft Research
Robert Moore, Microsoft Research

Over the last 20 years, statistical methods have revolutionized the 60-year quest for automatic translation between natural languages. This talk will review some of Microsoft Research's recent accomplishments in this burgeoning field, placing them in the context of the overall state of the art.

Presentation: Robert Moore, Statistical Machine Translation Research at Microsoft Research

C. Interactive Machine Learning: Challenges, Methods, and Applications
Ashish Kapoor, Microsoft Research

I will present research on interactive machine learning, principles and applications of methods that involve human in the loop and adapt continuously, so as to learn effectively over prolonged periods of time. I will define a set of challenges within this realm, including the problem of triaging computational abilities and human effort by identifying the most important action to perform under scarce informational resources, handling the potential non-stationarity of environments, and designing learning systems to work effectively with people�as many applications can benefit by considering �humans in the loop.� I will discuss principles in the context of several applications, including voicemail management, image categorization and search, and experience sampling for building predictive user models.

Presentation: Ashish Kapoor, Interactive Machine Learning: Challenges, Methods, and Applications

Webcast: Sampling of Artificial Intelligence Research at Microsoft Research

Manycore and Concurrency


Making Concurrent Programs Safer
Jim Larus, Microsoft Research (Moderator); Madan Musuvathi, Microsoft Research; Shaz Qadeer, Microsoft Research; Koushik Sen, University of California, Berkeley; Yuanyuan Zhou, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

The main intellectual difficulty of concurrent programming lies in reasoning about the interaction between concurrently executing threads. Nondeterministic thread scheduling makes it extremely difficult to reproduce behavior from one run of a program to another. As a result, the process of testing and debugging concurrent software becomes tedious, resulting in a drastic decrease in the productivity of programmers and testers. These talks will present new research in the area of analysis and testing tools for concurrent programs.  

Presentation: Madan Musuvathi, Shaz Qadeer, CHESS: Systematic Concurrency Testing

Presentation: Koushik Sen, Active Random Testing of Parallel Programs

Presentation: Yuanyuan Zhou, Learning from Mistakes � Real World Concurrency Bug Characteristics

Webcast: Making Concurrent Programs Safer

Intelligent Web


Information Extraction from Documents and Queries
Evelyne Viegas, Microsoft Research; Paul Viola, Microsoft Live Search

Web search presents incredible opportunities and challenges for text analysis.�Billions of documents, queries, and clicks, are collected each day.�Tens of thousands of computers are available, to extract the signal from the noise.�At the same time, documents and queries must be processed in milliseconds with high precision.�Paul Viola will present some of the Microsoft Live Search work on the analysis of queries and documents, which attempts to navigate these waters to extract value from the deluge.

Introduction: Evelyne Viegas, Intelligent Web

Presentation: Paul Viola, Information Extraction from Documents and Queries

Webcast: Information Extraction from Documents and Queries

Computing Contributions for Education

St. Helens

Contexts in Computer Science Education
Mark Guzdial, Georgia Institute of Technology

One of the most powerful tools for improving success rates in introductory computing courses is the incorporation of contexta theme that pervades the computing lectures, assignments, and examples, which relates the content to a concrete application domain. Contextualized computing education has even allowed us to be successful with challenging audiences, such as the non-technical major. In this talk, we review why the Georgia Institute of Technology has chosen to teach serious computer science to every student on campus, and then discuss research findings from multiple schools on the benefits and costs of contextualized computing education.

Presentation: Mark Guzdial, Contexts in Computer Science Education

Webcast: Contexts in Computer Science Education






The Future of Research Clouds
Dan Reed, Director of Scalable and Multicore Computing, Microsoft Research

Scientific discovery business practice and social interactions are moving rapidly from a world of homogeneous and local systems to a world of distributed software, virtual organizations, and cloud computing infrastructure. In computing, a tsunami of new experimental and computational data and a suite of increasingly ubiquitous sensors pose new opportunities for data analysis, transport, visualization, and collaboration. In society and business, software as a service and cloud computing are empowering distributed groups in new ways. This talk will describe a vision of Microsoft�s clouds that can be a platform for academic computing research and possible partnerships.

Presentation: Dan Reed, The Future of Research Clouds

Webcast: The Future of Research Clouds



Travel to Kirkland



Dinner Cruise from Lake Washington to Puget Sound

Agenda for Tuesday, July 29, 2008

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