• Bringing Big-Data Dreams Down to Earth

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Holograph visualization

    You’ve probably heard a bit about big data in recent months. Chatter abounds about the enticing possibilities such prodigious data collections offer. But what, really, is in store for owners and users of big data sets?

    Curtis Wong knows.

    He should. Wong was the Microsoft Research scientist who gave the world the WorldWide Telescope, used by legions of astronomy fans fascinated by the informative, fun experience offered by a virtual telescope that delivers seamless, guided explorations of the universe.

    On April 17, during Microsoft Research’s Silicon Valley TechFair, he is demonstrating a project called Holograph, an interactive, 3-D data-visualization research platform that can render static and dynamic data above or below the plane of a display, using a variety of 3-D stereographic techniques.

  • Dumais Receives Athena Lecturer Award

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Susan Dumais

    Among the many earthly domains attributed to the Greek goddess Athena are those of mathematics, inspiration, strength, skill, and wisdom—traits that, combined, begin to describe the career of Susan Dumais, named April 8 as the ninth recipient of the 2014-’15 Athena Lecturer Award.

    The honor, presented by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W), goes to woman researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science. Dumais, Microsoft distinguished scientist and deputy managing director of Microsoft Research Redmond, certainly qualifies.

  • Microsoft Research Puts Its Stamp on NSDI ’14

    Posted by Rob Knies

    NSDI '14 logo

    Among the many activities that occupy a research scientist, participation in conferences focused on an individual’s fields of interest ranks high. They represent an opportunity to meet with colleagues, get up to speed with what others are doing, and share some findings of your own.

    Naturally, then, participants occasionally get asked to become organizers—an entirely different kind of sharing. Today, that’s where Ratul Mahajan of Microsoft Research finds himself.

    Mahajan, a senior researcher in the Mobility and Networking Research Group, is serving as program co-chair for NSDI ’14, the 11th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, which runs from April 2 through 4 in Seattle. So, a day before the event begins, he is simultaneously excited and keeping his fingers crossed.