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Agenda Day 1

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Microsoft Research Faculty Summit 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009






  Continental Breakfast
9:00�10:45   Opening Plenary Session  
9:00�9:30 Kodiak  Faculty Summit Introduction and Welcome
Harold Javid, Faculty Summit Chair, Microsoft Research



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

Presentation: Tony Hey, Microsoft External Research



Kodiak  Rethinking Computing

Craig Mundie, Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Microsoft

Webcast: Opening, Rethinking Computing



11:00�Noon    Break-out Sessions   
  Hood  From Farm to Forest: Carbon Implications of Land Use

Dennis Baldocchi, University of California, Berkeley; David Lobell, Stanford University; Catharine Van Ingen, Microsoft Research 

Are agricultural carbon credits a sound investment, helping both sequester carbon and raise farmer income levels? Are forest-based offsets equally viable? At-risk forests can absorb 20 percent of the planet�s carbon emissions while agriculture accounts for approximately 10 percent of global emissions. Thus, land-use, whether in the form of deforestation or agriculture, directly affects nearly 30 percent of the exchange of greenhouse gases between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. This session features presentations (and interactive discussion) by University of California, Berkeley Professor Dennis Baldocchi on the relationship between vegetation and the atmosphere and Stanford University Dr. David Lobell on how technology is critical to studying climactic impact on agriculture.

Webcast: From Farm to Forest: Carbon Implications of Land Use

Earth, Energy, and Environment


Attracting and Retaining Women in Computing: Real Programs for Real Progress

Moderator: Jane Prey, Microsoft Research

Maureen Biggers, Indiana University; Tracy Camp, Colorado School of Mines; Carla Ellis, Duke University; Gillian Hayes, University of California, Irvine; Rita Powell, University of Pennsylvania

A degree or career in computer science remains a less than compelling choice for college-bound girls. The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) leverages the efforts of organizations across the United States, and connects efforts to increase women's participation in all areas of information technologies, from elementary school to higher education and through industry and academic careers. Leading-edge social science research focuses on education, innovation, climate, and workforce participation. Research is the foundation for NCWIT's mission. By researching what works and what does not work, NCWIT can develop and distribute practices that will accelerate women's participation in information technology. Additionally, NCWIT's Academic Alliance Seed Fund Award, sponsored by Microsoft Research, encourages the widespread application of new promising practices by awarding alliance members with funds to develop and implement initiatives in computing and information technology. This session examines the variety of programs initiated through the Academic Alliance and Seed Fund program and provides examples of successful approaches to reform.

Presentations: Maureen Biggers, Tracy Camp, Carla Ellis, Gillian Hayes, Rita Powell, Attracting and Retaining Women in Computing: Real Programs for Real Progress
Webcast: Attracting and Retaining Women in Computing

Global Outreach


Beyond Search with Data Driven Intelligence 
Rakesh Agrawal, Microsoft Research; Harry Shum, Microsoft; Evelyne Viegas, Microsoft Research

These presentations capture the future of search by focusing on how data-driven research can help advance the state of the art in the online world and present a vision for humane computing. This session was held from 11:00 to 12:15.

Presentation: Evelyne Viegas, Introduction

Presentation: Rakesh Agrawal, Whither Search?
Presentation: Harry Shum, Bing: User Intent and Decision Engine
Webcast: Beyond Search with Data Driven Intelligence

Core Computer Science

The Road to Personalized Learning
Michael Golden, Microsoft

The role of educators and students in education is clear and undisputed. What then is technology�s role? We believe it to be in two dimensions—augment and scale. Microsoft�s vision is to expand the power of education for everyone through personalized learning. Technology must then augment the delivery and experience of personalized learning for a given educator or student; and then it must enable personalized learning to occur for all students—or achieve scale. In this session, Michael Golden discusses Microsoft�s approach to personalized learning, and demonstrates some of the tools that help achieve it.

Education and Scholarly Communication


  Lunch and Brown Bag Sessions   
  St. Helens  Robots as a Context for Teaching Beginner Programmers: the Conclusion of Three Years' Research

Mark Guzdial, Georgia Institute of Technology

IPRE (the Institute for Personal Robots in Education, hosted at Georgia Tech with Bryn Mawr College) phase 1 concludes this summer. This talk reviews IPRE�s progress in contextualized beginner computer science education using personal robots since its foundation in 2006, and looks forward to IPRE�s phase 2.

Presentation: Mark Guzdial, Robots as a Context for Teaching Beginner Programmers: the Conclusion of Three Years' Research
Webcast: Robots as a Context for Teaching Beginner Programmers

Core Computer Science


  Break-out Sessions    

Water for a Thirsty World: How Can Information Technology Help?
Jeff Dozier, University of California, Santa Barbara; Ilya Zaslavsky, University of California, San Diego

Water defines our environment. We are a water-dependent species in a world where water is the central actor, changing Earth�s surface and shaping where and how we live. At the same time that populations are growing and water demand is increasing, changes in climate and land use impose broad challenges for the future. In the study of the water environment�from the perspectives of natural, engineering, and social sciences�the overarching question is: How can we protect ecosystems and better manage and predict water availability and quality for future generations, given changes to the water cycle caused by human activities and climate trends? In this session, Professor Dozier and Dr. Zaslavsky lead an interactive discussion of the role of information technology in transforming water science and improving decisions about water management.

Presentation: Jeff Dozier, Water for a Thirsty World: How Can Information Technology Help?
Presentation: Ilya Zaslavsky, Water for a Thirsty World: How Can Information Technology Help? � Part Two
Webcast: Water for a Thirsty World: How Can Information Technology Help?

Earth, Energy, and Environment
  St. Helens 

Mobile Solutions for Underserved Communities
Moderator: Kristin Tolle, Microsoft Research 

This session focuses on sustainable solutions that will help solve the healthcare crisis in emerging and developing economies.
Webcast: Mobile Solutions for Underserved Communities

Transformational Improvement in Healthcare
David Zar, Washington University in St. Louis

Approximately 75 percent of the world population has no access to medical imaging. Most of those people are poor and many live in remote areas, far from modern medical facilities. By taking advantage of the computing capabilities of modern smart phones, real-time, ultrasonic imaging may be introduced to these people and at very low cost. Using commercially available USB-based ultrasound probes and developing drivers and applications that run on Windows Mobile smart phones, many underserved areas of the world may now have access to modern medical imaging.

Presentation: David Zar, Transformational Improvement in Healthcare

Basic Mobile Technology for Basic Support
Michael Platt, Microsoft

There is still much that can be done to support underserved communities with mobile technologies to which they already have access. This presentation examines how the huge numbers of mobile phones has been utilized as a delivery mechanism for cloud computing to provide dynamic and personalized support to the bottom of the pyramid.

Presentation: Michael Platt, Basic Mobile Technology for Basic Support

Use Smart Phones to Promote Diabetes Self-management for Robust Elderly in China
Jiao (Maggie) Ma and Cynthia LeRouge

This presentation provides an overview of how User-Centered Design (UCD) is being applied in design and prototyping of an age and culturally appropriate, interactive diabetes self-management support system on smart phones�Chinese Aged Diabetic Assistant (CADA). CADA uses a gaming approach to engage and inspire robust (independent in activities of daily living) elder populations with diabetes in China.

Presentations: Maggie Ma, Cynthia LeRouge, Use Smart Phones to Promote Diabetes Self-management for Robust Elderly in China

Health and Wellbeing

Energy-Efficient Computing: the State of the Art

Moderator: Feng Zhao, Microsoft Research

David Patterson, University of California, Berkeley; John D. Davis, Microsoft Research

Power is increasingly becoming a critical performance metric for designing computing systems, from devices, services, to large-scale data centers. Two leading researchers, David Patterson from the University of California, Berkeley, and John D. Davis, Microsoft Research, present the latest research on energy-efficient computing for data centers and cloud computing.
(Updated: Due to a family emergency, John D. Davis replaces Jeffrey Chase.)

Presentation: David Patterson, Energy Efficiency and Cloud Computing
Presentation: John D. Davis, Ingredients for Building Energy-Efficient Computing Systems: Hardware, Software, and Tools
Webcast: Energy-Efficient Computing: the State of the Art

Core Computer Science

Technical Direction and Strategy at Microsoft – How ThinkWeek and Quests Work 

Tara Prakriya, Microsoft

The Technical Strategy Group (TSG) works to capture and influence business, experience and technology direction, and opportunities for the company. The goal of this session is to share insight into how Microsoft technical strategy is developed across divisions, the future technology direction of the company, the intersection of business-experience-technology strategy alignment, how programs like ThinkWeek and Quests are instrumental in this process, and insight on how Microsoft Research engages in these programs.

Presentation: Tara Prakriya, Technical Direction and Strategy at Microsoft – How ThinkWeek and Quests Work
Webcast: Technical Direction and Strategy at Microsoft – How ThinkWeek and Quests Work


Next Generation Scholarly Measurement—Deciding What Counts

Academic researchers have used various methods for ranking the importance and influence of scholarly journals and their authors, including citation analysis, usage data, and more recently by using social networking analysis. This session explores how recent advances in data mining, network analysis, and information theory have led to new methods for evaluating the influence of scholarly periodicals and for understanding the structure of academic research.
Webcast: Next Generation Scholarly Measurement

MESUR: Studying Science from Large-Scale Usage Data
Johan Bollen, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Science is of significant importance to our society, but we understand very little of the processes that lead to scientific innovation. This presentation provides an overview of our work on large-scale usage data as an early indicator of scientific activity. The MESUR project has in the past two years aggregated a large-scale collection of the usage data recorded by some of the world's most significant publishers, aggregators and institutional consortia. The resulting data set has been analyzed to reveal the structural properties of scientific activity in real-time. The presentation highlights some of our recent work on producing detailed maps of science that reveal how scientists navigate between online scholarly resources. The results indicate that it may be possible to detect or predict the emergence of innovation from temporal changes in the structure of scientific activity. This work underpins efforts to arrive at a more accurate, pro-active evaluation of scientific impact.

The Eigenfactor Project
Carl Bergstrom, University of Washington

Science is a massively parallel human endeavor to explain and predict the nature of the physical world. In science, knowledge is acquired cumulatively and collaboratively�and the principal mode for sharing this knowledge is the institution of scholarly publishing. In science, ideas are built upon ideas, models upon models, and verifications upon prior verifications. This cumulative process of construction leaves behind it a latticework of citations, from which we can reconstruct the geography of scientific thought and retrace the paths along which intellectual activity has proceeded. The Eigenfactor Project� aims to use recent advances in network analysis and information theory to develop novel methods for evaluating the influence of scholarly periodicals and for mapping the structure of academic research.

Presentation: Carl Bergstrom, The Eigenfactor Project

Education and Scholarly Communication




  Break-out Sessions   
  Hood  Protecting Ocean Resources

Mark Abbott, Oregon State University; Ellen Prager, Earth2Ocean

Oceans play a crucial role in supporting life on earth. Oceans provide the primary source of protein for more than 1 billion people, are a leading source for pharmaceuticals, and supply multiple billions in economic wealth�not to mention the inherent visceral enjoyment of a day at the beach. Unfortunately, pollution, overfishing, and climate change threaten all of this. This session, led by marine scientist Dr. Ellen Prager and Mark Abbott, Dean and Professor of College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, focuses on climate change, in particular. Session attendees will participate in a rich discussion around how better technology�including modeling, visualization, translation skills, and decision tools�can help address the critical problems of sea level rise, ocean temperature increase, and ocean acidification.

Presentation: Mark Abbott, Expect the Unexpected: Salmon, Water, and Wind
Presentation: Ellen Prager, Climate Change and the Oceans: Why You Should Care
Webcast: Protecting Ocean Resources

Earth, Energy, and Environment
  St. Helens 

Computational Challenges of Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS)

Moderator: Simon Mercer, Microsoft Research 

This session describes several approaches used in association with GWAS that facilitate time to discovery.

Using Genomics to Understand Neurological Disease
Bryan Traynor, National Institutes of Health

The presentation outlines the tremendous advances that have been made in genomics in the last five years, and demonstrates how we have used these technologies to begin to unravel neurological diseases. The audience should come away with a sense of the potential of genomics, both now and in the very near future.

Improving Detection in Large-Scale Genetic Association Studies by Discovering and Accounting for Race, Relatedness, and Other Hidden Relationships
Jennifer Listgarten, Microsoft Research

The goal of genome-wide association studies is to uncover associations between disease and genetics by looking at genetic markers in large populations of individuals with and without the disease. In the statistical analysis of such studies, the ability to capture and effectively deal with various types of population structure (for example, race structure, family structure, and unknown relatedness) is critical to the discovery of genetic markers of disease. Such structure is known to be a significant confounding factor, leading to loss of power and spurious results when not properly accounted for. However, finding models that automatically account for multiple types of structure, when the presence or nature of this structure is unknown, remains an open area of research. We are investigating the use of statistical models that automatically learn and correct for these hidden factors, even when their presence is not originally known, and also without the need to remove subsets of individuals as is often done.

Presentation: Jennifer Listgarten, Improving Detection in GWAS by Discovering and Accounting for Race, Relatedness, and Other Hidden Relationships

GeneScription: An Information Management System for Enabling Pharmacogenomics and Drug Safety Assurance
Michael Kane, Purdue University

The presentation describes the rationale, development, and utility of a software system (GeneScription) developed specifically to provide training to healthcare professionals in the field of pharmacogenomics by using an operational model. The audience derives an introduction to pharmacogenomics (which is distinct from the use of genomics for disease prediction), as well as an emerging clinical arena dependent upon the successful integration of computing and information management, clinical genomics, pharmacotherapeutics, and the issues surrounding patient privacy.

Presentation: Michael Kane, GeneScription: An Information Management System for Enabling Pharmacogenomics and Drug Safety Assurance

Health and Wellbeing
  Baker  The Microsoft-Intel Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers

Wen-mei Hwu, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; David Patterson, University of California, Berkeley

Microsoft and Intel jointly funded two Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC): one at the University of California, Berkeley, and one at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The goal of these centers was to produce the innovative research that would help further the adoption and use of multicore parallel computers by developing new techniques for parallel programs and new end-user applications that could exploit these computers. Professors Patterson and Hwu describe the research that is ongoing at each of their institutions.

Presentation: Wen-mei Hwu, Universal Parallel Computing Research Center at Illinois
Presentation: David Patterson, UC Berkeley Par Lab Overview
Webcast: The Microsoft-Intel Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers

Core Computer Science

Advances in Tablet Computing: From Research to Application
Chris Moffatt, Microsoft; Andries Van Dam, Brown University

For years, Microsoft has invested in breakthrough research in the arena of Tablet/Pen Computing. This session focuses on two areas: (1) A summary of the results (including demos) of the three-year program of research conducted by the Pen Computing Center at Brown under the direction of Professor Andries van Dam, and (2) Some exciting demos from Microsoft�s Education Product Group�showing how many of the advanced technologies that stemmed from these investments have now been incorporated into the forthcoming release of Microsoft Office�highlighting the educational potential of this software plus form factor.

Presentation: Chris Moffatt, Interactive Classroom for Microsoft Office
Presentation: Andy Van Dam, The Promise of Pen- and Touch-Computing
Webcast: Advances in Tablet Computing: From Research to Application

Education and Scholarly Communications

Digital Humanities Research—Computationally Intensive Efforts in eHumanities

Digital Humanities is currently a vibrant area for innovative and multi-disciplinary research, involving all of the humanistic disciplines and computer and library sciences. Over the course of the past decade, scholars have shifted focus from generating individual repositories of digital data in various formats (plain text, TEI, XML, and so on) to thinking about how this digital data underpins the creation of new knowledge. Research continues to be shaped by the primary materials, but the fact that it is now available in digital form allows Humanities researchers�thanks to the various research tools that have and continue to be developed�to ask different questions. These new questions will shape disciplines and have the potential to revolutionize and change the nature of understanding.
Webcast: Digital Humanities Research—Computationally Intensive Efforts in eHumanities

Digital Humanities Research at Trinity College Dublin
Jane Ohlmeyer, Trinity College Dublin

Digital Humanities has a long tradition dating back to the 1940s when IBM funded a project led by a Roberto A. Busa, which resulted in machines for the automation of the linguistic analysis of written texts. The invention of the Web in 1992 gave fresh impetus to the field and from the mid-1990s there were a number of major Digital Humanities projects, especially the Rossetti archive, completed in 2008, ( and the Valley of the Shadow project ( This presentation explores current issues in digital humanities research and how they have been addressed by the research communities in Europe, and more particularity, in Ireland and especially at Trinity College Dublin.

Presentation: Jane Ohlmeyer, Digital Humanities: an Historical Perspective

Text-mining and Humanities Research
John Unsworth, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

What kinds of research questions can humanities scholars address with text-mining tools? What challenges face those who want to build text-mining software for this audience? What kind of work needs to be done to prepare text collections for this kind of work? Who is actually doing this kind of research, and what have their results been? This presentation addresses these and other questions, based on four years of experience in collaborative, multi-institutional projects aimed at building text-mining tools for the digital humanist.

Presentation: John Unsworth, Text-Mining and Humanities Research






A Call to Action: How Can Technology Help Protect Environmental Ecosystem Services?
Sandy Andelman, Vice President, Executive Director of the Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring Network at Conservation International; Peter Seligmann, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Conservation International 

The environmental plenary session features a conversation with Peter Seligmann, the chief executive officer of Conservation International, and Sandy Andelman, Vice President and Executive Director of the Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network, on the most urgent issues facing the environment and the role that technology can play in the protection of ecosystem services. Drawing from decades of experience, they discuss how climate change will impact the basic services that people depend on, including food, water, culture, and national security and how the research community can accelerate breakthroughs in the way we understand and address environmental degradation.

Presentations: Sandy Andelman, Peter Seligmann, A Call to Action: How Can Technology Help Protect Environmental Ecosystem Services?
Webcast: A Call to Action: How Can Technology Help Protect the Environmental Services?



  Travel to Kirkland   


  Dinner Cruise Around Lake Washington   

See the agenda for July 14, 2009

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