• Interview with 2014 Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award Winner Gordon Bell

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Gordon Bell

    The IEEE Computer Society Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award is one of the industry's most prestigious honors. Friday, September 19th, the IEEE Computer Society announced the presentation of the 2014 award to Microsoft Researcher Emeritus Gordon Bell, for "his exceptional contributions in designing and bringing several computer systems to market that changed the world of high-performance computing and of computing in general, the two most important of these being the PDP-6 and the VAX-11/780."

    Among the many achievements in his distinguished career, he has been vice president of research and development at Digital Equipment Corporation, founder of Encore Computer, a co-founder of Ardent Computer, and professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Carnegie-Mellon University. Bell has been an advisor and investor to more than 100 high tech start-up companies and a founding trustee of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

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  • Microsoft Researcher Receives Prestigious Funai Achievement Award

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Jun'ichi Tsujii

    On September 4, Junichi Tsujii, Principal Researcher of Microsoft Research's Beijing lab, received the Funai Achievement Award at the Forum on Information Technology (FIT), for his pioneering work on Natural Language Processing, Machine Translation and Text Mining for Biology. Held this year at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, FIT is an annual event organized by the Information Processing Society of Japan and the Institute of Electronics Information and Communication Engineers.

    Since 2002, the Funai award has been presented to a distinguished individual in the field of Information Technology who: has achieved excellence in the field, remains active in providing information technology leadership, and has inspired students and young researchers.

    Tsujii first learned of this honor late last year, via email.

    "I was completely taken by surprise," he says. "I wasn't expecting it at all. And I had to keep the news to myself until the public announcement in June 2014."

  • Indexing Audio-Video Content, with a Bit of Research Assistance

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Microsoft Azure Media Services Indexer logo

    Search, categorization, accessibility—these are what customers gain from the Microsoft Azure Media Services Indexer, launched Sept. 10.

    The Indexer, formerly known as the Microsoft Audio Video Indexing Service (MAVIS), is being announced right before IBC2014, being held in Amsterdam from Sept. 11-16. The IBC conference, which examines the future of electronic media and of entertainment technology and content, also will be the site for the public preview of the Indexer.

    For Behrooz Chitsaz, Microsoft Research director of IP Strategy, it represents a watershed moment.

  • Horvitz at KDD: From Data to Decisions

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Eric Horvitz

    This year’s Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2014) is themed “data science for social good.” The theme the 20th KDD meeting moved Eric Horvitz (@erichorvitz) to accept the invitation given his long interest in using machine intelligence to enhance the lives of people.

    Horvitz, a Microsoft distinguished scientist and managing director of Microsoft Research Redmond, delivered an inspiring keynote address on Aug. 26 at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel—see his presentation here—before an audience consisting of researchers and practitioners from the fields of data science, data mining, knowledge discovery, large-scale data analytics, and big data. His talk, on Data, Predictions, and Decisions in Support of People and Society resonated deeply with the core theme of the meeting.

  • Developers Get Even More Productive

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Bing logo

    Back in February, a post on this blog introduced Bing Code Search, a project to deliver new tools to save developers time and to make software development easier.

    Youssef Hamadi of Microsoft Research served as spokesman for his end of a collaboration that included, among others, the Bing and Visual Studio product teams. At the end of that post. Hamadi delivered a cryptic response to a question about what would be next for this work.

    “We are working on very surprising things in this area,” he said. “I cannot comment about them.”

    That was then. Now, after a couple of recent developments, we know at least some of those “very surprising things,” and as it turns out, Hamadi’s guarded comment has proved accurate.