Azure for Research updates – April 2015


The Microsoft Research team has hand selected the latest news about the Microsoft Azure for Research program, Microsoft Azure updates and resources, and the latest cloud-computing trends in research.   Continue to explore how cloud computing can be used in your research and find the right application scenario that will address your big data challenges.

Microsoft Azure updates and resources

Check out the latest news and announcements about Microsoft Azure.

· Cloud Platform Roadmap

· Linux and Open Source Computing on Azure

· Predictive monitoring and control at SLAC with Machine Learning and ConnectTheDots.io

· Connect tiny devices to Microsoft Azure services to build IoT solutions

· Predictive models and Azure Machine Learning for EnviroHack 2015

· NoSQL in the cloud for researchers

· Azure HDInsight in public preview on Linux

· Azure Mobile Engagement in public preview

· Supercharge your datacenter with Azure Virtual Machines

Microsoft Azure for Research Award program

· Learn about this month’s featured Azure stories:

o From atoms to quarks, to the cosmos – Internet of Things helps lab explore the origins of the universe.  Over its 50-year history, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory — a two-mile long particle accelerator built in the 1960s.  SLAC has helped scientists discover new drugs, new materials for electronics and new ways to produce clean energy. Research conducted there has revealed intimate details of atoms, led to the discovery of matter’s fundamental building blocks, and unveiled insight into the origin of the universe and the nature of dark energy. Read more…

o The cloud that empowers cancer researchers. Wu Feng uses the Microsoft cloud to digitize laboratory science. His work has radically reduced the time it takes for researchers to sequence a human genome. With the help of Microsoft technology, Feng is accelerating cancer research through computation. Watch the video.

If you would like to present your work at Microsoft Research and key industry events, we’d love to hear how you’re using the cloud to collect, filter, analyze, and share data across themes such as life sciences, urban sciences, environmental sciences, ecology, and geosciences. If you’re interested in giving a talk, please send us a note.

· We continue to receive proposals in response to the A4R program’s ongoing bimonthly and special-opportunity RFPs, which are open to any proposal that utilizes Microsoft Azure for scholarly research. Here is the latest news about both types of awards:

· Bimonthly RFPs

We welcome research proposals from any branch of scholarly activity. We review these proposals on the fifteenth of even-numbered months (April, June, August, and so forth). The next deadline for proposals for this program is April 15, 2015.

· Food Resilience Climate Data Award
The Food Resilience Climate Data Award program calls for proposals from scientists and decision makers for solutions to support the White House Climate Data Initiative goals to strengthen the resilience of food sources in a changing climate. Award recipients will receive access to essential datasets, tools, and services to help identify key vulnerabilities of our food supply and create solutions to address them. The deadline for proposals for this program is April 15, 2015.

· Climate Data Award
The Climate Data Award program provides scientists and decision makers with access to Microsoft Azure cloud-computing resources to support the White House Climate Data Initiative goals of preparedness for resilience to climate change impacts. This project is in response to the White House Climate Action Plan—the outcome of the June 25, 2013, announcement by President Obama that outlined comprehensive plans to reduce carbon pollution, move our economy toward US-made clean energy, and slow the effects of climate change. The deadline for proposals for this program is April 15, 2015.

· Azure Machine Learning Award
Microsoft Azure Machine Learning is a new offering from Microsoft that makes it easy for the academic community to use machine-learning technology in their research. In contrast to traditional tools for machine learning, Azure Machine Learning can be mastered without extensive technical training and it facilitates collaboration with colleagues. We’re offering a limited number of awards to enable both seasoned researchers and students to try this unique offering. The deadline for proposals for this program is April 15, 2015.

Check out these links for additional information on proposal submission and frequently asked questions about the award programs.

Trainings, webinars, technical papers, and more

· Scott Guthrie, Executive VP of the Cloud and Enterprise group at Microsoft, will announce an exciting new Microsoft Azure service for application developers.  Attend the virtual event on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 11 am PDT.

· Build, deploy and run apps in the cloud. Join a Microsoft Cloud DevCamp, a free day of demos and labs in a city near you. Learn the latest Microsoft Azure dev tools and technologies.  

· Extend your datacenter to the cloud to provide organizations simpler management and greater flexibility by joining Hybrid Cloud Courses.   Hybrid cloud is no longer just a “valid alternative”– it is now the differentiating factor for businesses that want to be competitive. Get started through in-depth, technical resources for IT Pros to explore, learn and try required and deep dive into networking, storage and disaster recovery scenarios.

· Attend a free live event: Data on Azure: A Technology Overview on March 24, 9 am – 10 am PDT hear from independent expert David Chappell about the amazing things that businesses are doing with Azure data offerings.  Get helpful guidance and practical tips from this popular author and speaker.

· Download the free eBook on Data Science in the Cloud with Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and R. Get information about how Microsoft Azure Machine Learning cloud platform provides simplified yet powerful data management, transformation and machine learning tools. R language scripts integrate with built in Azure ML modules to extend the platform. Additionally, models running in Azure ML can be published as web services.

· Data Science and Machine Learning are in high demand, as customers are increasingly looking for ways to glean insights from all their data. More customers now realize that Business Intelligence is not enough as the volume, speed and complexity of data now defy traditional analytics tools. While Business Intelligence addresses descriptive and diagnostic analysis, Data Science unlocks new opportunities through predictive and prescriptive analysis. But the book:  Predictive Analytics with Microsoft Azure Machine Learning: Build and Deploy Actionable Solutions in Minutes

· Download a free eBook: Building Cloud Apps with Microsoft Azure that walks you through a patterns-based approach to building real-world cloud solutions. The patterns apply to the development process as well as to architecture and coding practices.

· We love to hear from you! To help us better serve you, what types of Azure trainings and cloud computing topics would you like to learn more about?  Please send us a note.

· Friendly reminder! Take advantage of our online resources:

· View short online training videos that introduce Microsoft Azure and provide a comprehensive overview of how research scientists can get the best results from cloud computing with Microsoft Azure.

· Access full training course materials online, including the course outline and the complete course. You can download these materials for your personal or institutional use, and you’re welcome to repurpose them for your own class resources. These materials—the same ones used for in-person training events—are available in source form, licensed under Apache 2.0.

We look forward to hearing more about your research using Microsoft Azure. If you have any questions, please contact azurerfp@microsoft.com.

Happy computing,

Dr Kenji Takeda

Join the conversation!

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