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Windows on Theory
This week at Techfest, the Technologies for Emerging Markets team at Microsoft Reearch India is showing a lightweight, inexpensive system to instantly gather responses from students in classrooms.
Posted by Rob Knies
As “news” increasingly has morphed into “conversation” over the past decade, the blog has become one of the pre-eminent platforms fostering that discussion. It’s undeniably true, whether you’re examining political dynamics in Syria, college basketball tournaments in the United States, or the latest chartbuster from Adele. Whatever your interest, there’s a blog—or a dozen—to cater to it.That’s true in the world of computer-science research, too. Just ask Omer Reingold, principal researcher at Microsoft Research Silicon Valley.Reingold’s interests focus on computer-science theory, and a couple of months ago, he and his lab colleagues were exploring the launching of a blog to test the theory waters. A handful of weeks later, they’re quite happy they did so, given the initial response to Windows on Theory.—a name chosen for its Microsoft connection, not because the blog is focused solely on the Windows operating system.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I wince whenever my American phone or GPS tries to pronounce a French restaurant name or a Spanish street name, or the name of one of my non-American friends. While we’ve made much progress in creating text-to-speech (TTS) systems with human-sounding voices in a comforting accent, they haven’t fared well in our multilingual world.
With March 2012 upon us, you could say that, from a calendar perspective, the drama of this leap year already has passed. February has enjoyed its quadrennial enhancement. The ides of March are nearly upon us. A change of season is a couple of weeks away.But those are simply timekeeping trivia. If you’re looking for real, substantive advancements, consider Microsoft Research’s TechFest 2012, the annual celebration of computer-science technology.At Microsoft Research, with its proud tradition of groundbreaking technological explorations extending over 20 years, every year is leap year.
There is much discussion these days of the use of touch and multi-touch in interface design. But this week at Techfest, Helena Mentis and her teammates in the Socio-Digital Systems group in Microsoft Research Cambridge were showing two projects exploring interfaces where the intent is to avoid touch.