. . . field reports from a creative catalyst in the Pacific NW

15th annual microsoft research faculty summit crasher

WP_20140714_012True innovation is often cultivated through the technology industry’s deep engagement with academic partners’.

– Peter Lee, Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research’s yearly Faculty Summit event brings together innovators and educators from around the world to report on active research happening in both industry and academia. The majority of faculty members in attendance were computer scientists…but there was a healthy amount of designers, health professionals, social scientists, and others to round out the crowd. This summer I was invited to the 15th Annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit. (Thank you Shelly Farnham, Roy Zimmerman and Lori Ada Kilty!)

Sensors, ubiquitous computing, ambient intelligence, quantum computing, real time collaboration and communication, artificial intelligence and deep learning, computational infrastructure, fuzzy computing, neural computing, collective Innovation, incubators & digital lofts, post human design (siri, cortana), remix communities, collaborative peer-sharing economy, precision medicine, genomics in the cloud were among the emergent research topics at this years.


I must say at first, I felt a bit like a wedding crasher. But it didn’t take long before it became very clear to me that I has a place in this crowd. I was able to connect with the Russian developer that heads up the ChronoZoom team at the University of Moscow. He and his team are further developing the capabilities of this open source, interactive timeline platform that we are now using at Cornish College of Art. I shared some of the UX and usability feedback that my design students had for him and his team.  I was also able to connect with members of a team that presented a diabetes related project and let them know about a diabetes focused UX design charrette that the Washington Health Foundation conducted with the inaugural class of University of Washington’s Human Centered Computing Master’s program last Fall. And I got turned on to Office Mix…a new open source tool that MS is developing that allows teachers to make their lectures available online.

WP_20140714_014I took copious notes (including observation on the men/women ratio) on “what’s emerging in computer research”…as my mind was being blown.  Deeply engaging with academic communitiews  |  Most important thing is Innovation  |  Show thought leadership  |  Must have world view…aspirational  |  Sensors everywhere  |  Ubiquitous computing  |  Ambient intelligence

Emerging Realms  |  Technology in Society, Genomics, Internet of Things, Visualization, Devices, Hardwares/Software Codesign, Crowdsourcing, Tools for Education

Quantum Computing  |  ambient intelligence  |  Machine learning  |  Proximity sensors for paralysis  |  Real time collaboration and communication  |  Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning  |  Computational infrastructure  |  Privacy in Personal computing

8 presenters so far…all men

Approximate computing – fuzzy results  |  Neural Computing –neuralmophic  |  Quantum Computing  |  Bilological Computing  |  Ecological Computing

13…2 women in every row…11 men

Deep learning…machine learning  |  Mobilzing Healthcare  |  The body as prolific generator of big data to delay and prevent disease  |  Predict, diagnose, treat, monitor, inform  |  Healthcare – data surveillance  |  Revolutionary moment in social science  |  Computational power of computer to identify patterns  |  Crowdwork should/will most offer opportunites for the future of employment  |  Shape social change

WP_20140714_016Genomics Revolution  |  the “Quantified Self” movement  |  Collective Innovation  |  Digital lofts  |  Collective Incubators  |  Post Human Design  |  Remix Communities  |  Collaborative Peer Sharing Economy  |  Freelancers make up 20% of the workforce now…Soon to be 40%  |  Shift from ownership to access |  …and Dog recognition software!

WP_20140714_009 (1)It is public scholarship efforts such as these that bring diverse communities of thought and practice together that play a key role in creating connectivity and actionable collaborations. Was a thrill to be in the mix. Am sure hoping that I stay on that invite list!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: