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Posted by Rob Knies
In 2012, Stephen Emmott, head of the Computational Science Laboratory based at Microsoft Research Cambridge, took the stage in London for a one-man show called Ten Billion that underscored the challenges the world faces in a century when the global population is expected to surpass that figure.It was a riveting experience—for those who got a chance to experience it.On July 11, that circle will begin to expand dramatically. Penguin Random House, the newly conjoined combination of publishing powerhouses, will release Ten Billion, a trade paperback that will bring his cautionary message to a much broader audience.
What if they held a programming competition involving hundreds of teams—and everybody won?That might seem improbable, but when viewed through the prism of the contest’s value to its participants, that was precisely what happened during the ICFP Programming Contest 2013.Four Japanese teams and a Russian team claimed top honors during the contest, held over a 72-hour period from Aug. 8 to 11. The event, held in conjunction with the Association for Computing Machinery’s International Conference on Functional Programming, being held in Boston from Sept. 25 to 27, was organized by two members of the Research in Software Engineering (RiSE) team at Microsoft Research Redmond.
More than a century ago, 641 Sixth Ave., a Beaux-Arts high-rise in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, housed Simpson, Crawford & Simpson, known for a while as the most elegant department store in New York City.On Aug. 19, this historic 1902 landmark, part of the Ladies’ Mile Historic District, begins the latest chapter in its storied existence by becoming the home for Microsoft Research New York City.For the past 15 months, the New York City lab, founded in May 2012, has occupied temporary space controlled by Microsoft while lab leadership endeavored to locate a welcoming space up to the standards of the world-class research it needed to host. Now, at 20th Street and Sixth Avenue—also known as Avenue of the Americas—the search is complete.
Over the last few months, I’ve published a series of feature stories to outline the contributions Microsoft Research has made to the groundbreaking Kinect for Xbox 360 product, which Guinness World Records has dubbed the fastest-selling consumer electronic device ever. This week, the Kinect team is marking the one-year anniversary of Kinect. With that in mind, I offer this video, which provides a valuable overview of the research behind Kinect, featuring research personnel from around the world: Ivan Tashev from Microsoft Research Redmond, Baining Guo from Microsoft Research Asia, Jamie Shotton and Andrew Fitzgibbon from Microsoft Research Cambridge, and Oliver Williams from Microsoft Research Silicon Valley. And Alex Kipman, general manager for Incubation for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, provides a product-group perspective on the contributions.For more detail, you can take a look at our feature stories, the latest of which was published just yesterday:
In 1780, the nascent United States of America was still in the midst of the Revolutionary War. American pride suffused the former colonies’ scholar-patriots, and one result was the founding of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Among the cofounders was John Adams, then a historian and political theorist who, 16 years later, became the second president of the United States. Adams’ role in helping to create the academy certainly didn’t escape the attention of Eric Horvitz, Microsoft distinguished scientist and deputy managing director of Microsoft Research Redmond, who, in Cambridge, Mass., on Oct. 1, was inducted as one of the 179 of the nation’s most influential artists, scientists, scholars, authors, and institutional leaders in the academy’s 231st class of members.
“I was delighted to be invited to join a society that was cofounded by John Adams, someone I’ve long admired,” said Horvitz, pictured above signing his name into the academy’s Book of Members, a tradition that began in 1780. “Just a few years after the Declaration of Independence, John Adams and several other founders of the United States created the society in recognition of the importance of nurturing and celebrating the arts and sciences in an open and vibrant society.”