• Latest Microsoft Research Luminary: Lucas Joppa, Conservation Scientist

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Lucas Joppa

    Over the past several years, Microsoft Research Cambridge has established its bona fides as a serious player in the area of computational ecology, so it’s no great surprise that work from that lab caught the attention of Prince William during a recent trip to the London Zoo.

    During a visit with conservation leaders to explore technology to help curtail wildlife poaching, the Duke of Cambridge, accompanied on his visit by his father, Prince Charles, encountered a tracking device attached to a toy albatross.

    The device, part of the Mataki Project, conceived in part at Microsoft Research Cambridge, is an unprecedentedly light, cheap, and robust GPS device for tracking animal movements, including sudden ones that might be caused by poachers.

    Prince William’s engagement with the device might have taken some aback. But Lucas Joppa, the Microsoft Research scientist who brought the device to the zoo gathering, has grown accustomed to the sort of eye-widening experiences his work engenders.

  • Data-Powered Predictions for 2014, from the Super Bowl to Hillary Clinton

    Posted by Steve Wiens

    David Rothschild

    Microsoft researcher David Rothschild is legendary for his ability to predict the future using a unique, rigorous approach to data analysis. He correctly called the results of the 2012 U.S. presidential election in every state but one. He nailed 19 of the 24 Oscar categories this year. And he’s constantly pushing the boundaries of predictive science through experimental live polling, online prediction games, and more.

    Now, Rothschild tells you what to expect in 2014, breaks down his forecasting philosophy, and explains why you should trust professional gamblers more than cable-news pundits.

  • Socl Creativity Goes Mobile

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Socl logo

    Socl lets you create, collect and share stuff you love. From rich visual collages to short animated media and memes, express yourself through posts that take seconds to create, collect, and share on Socl, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

    Now, Socl is available for mobile-phone users. Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs group is releasing Socl apps that can work on any major mobile platform. Windows Phone, Android, or iPhone—it doesn’t matter: Socl is now the go-to app for creative people on the go.

  • Microsoft Research PM Gives ‘Hour of Code’ to Local Seattle Community Every Day

    Posted by Athima Chansanchai

    Frank Martinez

    Four days a week, Frank Martinez teaches students at south Seattle’s Rainier Beach High School how to turn coding into real-world projects. On Thursdays, he educates people vulnerable to homelessness on the fundamentals of computer science. But none of this is his day job.

    Martinez is a senior program manager in Microsoft Research who has worked on all kinds of projects, apps, and services (including Microsoft.com) since joining the company in 2000. His commitment to volunteering and giving back to the community has been with him his entire life, devoting his free time, skills, and energy to organizations such as UNICEF, Special Olympics, and the Lifelong AIDS Alliance.

    Now, with the celebration of Computer Science Education Week, which began Dec. 9, his work and volunteer lives have converged. What he teaches is a direct extension of what he’s learned on the job and what he feels like will help empower minority students and alleviate the suffering of the disadvantaged.

  • Two from Microsoft Research Named 2014 IEEE Fellows

    Posted by Rob Knies

    IEEE logo

    Even in this awesome, hyperbolic age, the words “extraordinary achievement” don’t get tossed around all that much. And when they come from the IEEE, the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology, they retain the distinction of superiority the King’s English surely intended.

    Consider, then, the thrill with which Dilek Hakkani-Tür and Yongguang Zhang of Microsoft Research must have experienced in late November upon learning that they had been named to the list of 2014 IEEE Fellows.