• Fighting Nuclear Proliferation with Cryptography

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Generic image

    Boaz Barak specializes in theoretical computer science. He has a Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science, has been a member in the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study, based in Princeton, N.J., and then moved across town to serve as an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University.

    Now, as a senior researcher at Microsoft Research New England, he is helping to verify the presence of nuclear warheads.

    That might seem an unlikely turn of events, but it just goes to show the unusual opportunities Microsoft Research scientists get to improve our world for the better.

  • New Ways to Visualize Your Data

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Histogram data visualization in Excel

    If you are feeling hungry, you go to the kitchen. If you’d like to take a swim, you head to a swimming pool. If you want to catch a movie, you’re bound for a theater.

    And, Danyel Fisher says, if you’re interested in data, you open Excel.

    “Excel is where data lives,” says Fisher, a researcher with the Visualization and Interaction for Business and Entertainment (VIBE) team at Microsoft Research Redmond. “When people have data to organize, in any form, it usually passes through Excel at some point—sometimes, just as a quick way to look at it, and sometimes, with tools like Flash Fill and charting and sorting—that’s where it stays.

    “Data visualizations are incredibly powerful and fun ways for users to understand their data.”

  • Sharing a Glimpse of the Future of Technology

    Posted by Rob Knies

    D.C. TechFair 2013

    It’s not often that people get a chance to peek into the future, but that will be the case May 21 in Washington, D.C., when Microsoft Research hosts its biennial D.C. TechFair.

    During an afternoon open house held at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in downtown Washington, D.C., customers, academia, and governmental officials will get an opportunity to explore the trends and technologies Microsoft Research expects to change the face of computing.

    World-class scientists from Microsoft Research will demonstrate how new discoveries in computer science and information technology are not only enhancing Microsoft products but also helping to overcome some of society’s biggest challenges.

  • Watts Named A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Duncan Watts

    John Cleese, the acclaimed Monty Python actor, spent time as an A.D. White Professor-at-Large. So did renowned primatologist Jane Goodall. And Oliver Sacks, noted author and neurologist. And epic novelist Toni Morrison. And short-story writer Eudora Welty.

    Add to that esteemed list the name of Duncan Watts, principal researcher at Microsoft Research New York City. On May 6, Watts’ name joined the roster of honorees for that Cornell University program, established in 1965 in conjunction with the university’s centenary and named for the school’s co-founder and first president, Andrew Dickson White.

    “The A.D. White program brings some of the world’s most distinguished scholars, thinkers, and artists to Cornell as ‘professors-at-large,’” said Steven H Strogatz, Jac

  • A Trekkie’s Dream Come True

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Star Trek into Darkness logo

    Do you speak Klingon? If not, that could all be about to change—thanks to Bing Translator’s just-released Klingon machine-translation system, developed in part by Microsoft Research.

    For more details, see the post over at the Bing Translator Team Blog.

    The language, familiar worldwide to numerous fans of the iconic science-fiction TV series Star Trek, has been added to the robust offerings already available on Bing Translator, just in time for the May 16 premiere of the new film Star Trek into Darkness.