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Windows on Theory
Posted by Rob Knies
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.
Posted by Athima Chansanchai
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.
Phase transitions. Statistical physics. Probability theory.To many of us, such concepts are simply beyond our grasp, accessible, if at all, only as something relating, in some vague, hazy fashion, to issues mathematical or topics scientific. Such fields, if they are in the least approachable, beckon only to the special few, those who have scaled the peaks of academia, the brightest of the bright.Such fields beckoned—and beckon still—to Christian Borgs.That has become apparent in November 2013, a month in which Borgs, deputy managing director of Microsoft Research New England, has been named a Fellow of not just one, but two prestigious U.S. organizations.
The annual Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) conference focuses on technologies that affect groups, organizations, communities, and networks. When the folks behind the conference decided it was time to begin to honor influential papers in the field, it made sense to turn to individuals who have had a significant organizational effect.After careful deliberation, then, it was only fitting that they turned to Jonathan Grudin of Microsoft Research.In a release posted last week on the website of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Grudin was named winner of the CSCW’s first Lasting Impact Award.
Posted by Kelly Berschauer
You can feel the stress building—you’re on deadline, your computer has stalled to a standstill, you’re pounding keys in frustration, and your blood is boiling. You’re about to explode. And at that exact moment, your computer tells you to take deep breath and a walk. Thanks to a team of Microsoft researchers within the VIBE group (Visualization and Interaction for Business and Entertainment) within Microsoft Research, the technology that would make that intervention possible is a work in progress focusing on human-computer interaction and clinical psychology. Three years ago, the team started working in the area of affective computing: designing systems that attempt to identify your mood and react accordingly, in order to help you reflect on your own state.