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Posted by Rob Knies
Welcome to Inside Microsoft Research, a new blog that provides news and insights into research conducted at our 12 facilities around the world. We are privileged to inaugurate the blog by detailing the events being held around the globe on Sept. 27 to mark the 20th anniversary of Microsoft Research. We begin by taking a look at what is happening in Beijing, home of Microsoft Research Asia.
By now, it’s the middle of the night at the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash. But while U.S. researchers are dreaming about Microsoft Research’s forthcoming anniversary events, it’s afternoon in Bangalore, the home of Microsoft Research India.
P. Anandan, Microsoft distinguished scientist and Microsoft Research India managing director, greeted media with a keynote address that discussed Microsoft Research and its role within the company, his facility, and its objectives and achievements.He had a lot to cover. Scientific and academic research continues to grow in India, and computer-science research is being conducted at key universities across the breadth of the nation.
KinectFusion was one of many technology demos and talks that enlivened the marking of Microsoft Research’s 20th anniversary at Microsoft Research Cambridge.
The panel included Shahram Izadi, Andrew Fitzgibbon, and Jamie Shotton of Microsoft Research Cambridge, along with Tom Rodden of Nottingham University, and a key part of the discussion was a demo of KinectFusion, a system for real-time 3-D reconstruction that is quickly gaining acclaim as a dazzling extension of the capabilities of Kinect for Xbox 360.The demo came toward the end of an afternoon that featured introductory remarks by Andrew Blake, Microsoft distinguished scientist and managing director of Microsoft Research Cambridge.
Microsoft Research New England has a unique role within the constellation of Microsoft Research facilities around the world. While most of those support computer-science research across a broad range of fields—collectively, more than 55 distinct areas of computing—the New England facility has from its outset placed its focus on interdisciplinary work.That means a mash-up of mathematical and algorithmic sciences with social and biomedical sciences, including applied projects in areas such as economics, social media, and health care, in addition to theoretical projects in mathematics and cryptography. Such a broad palette is extended and enhanced by Microsoft Research New England’s location in Cambridge, Mass., one of the world’s most vibrant academic hotbeds, putting collaboration with other world-renowned experts within arm’s reach.“Our primary goal is to advance the state of the art in interdisciplinary research,” says Jennifer Chayes, Microsoft distinguished scientist and managing director of the facility, “and our research also enhances Microsoft products and services, both through direct transfer of technology and through impact on Microsoft strategy.”
Soon after the founding of Microsoft Research Silicon Valley in 2001, its managing director, Roy Levin, began to bring in a series of researchers with extensive backgrounds in security in computing systems.Among those security-focused researchers was Martín Abadi, now a principal researcher at the facility, located in Mountain View, Calif. On Sept. 27, during Microsoft Research Silicon Valley’s event marking the 20th anniversary of Microsoft Research, he delivered one of five technical discussions during the day. Abadi’s was titled, simply, Security, in which he discussed Microsoft Research efforts to provide it.Security goes hand in hand with privacy, and both are critical to Microsoft Research Silicon Valley’s focus on distributed computing. But, as Abadi’s talk made clear, research in this area is far from simple.