Looking skyward: WWT Digital Dome project brings planetariums to Chinese schools

About 10 months ago, China’s first planetarium driven by the WorldWide Telescope (WWT) was launched at the Shixinlu primary school. Powered by six high-resolution projectors, the 8-meter dome installation has enabled students not only to see and study the stars and the universe in an immersive planetarium setting, but it also has allowed them to…


Microsoft Research offers tools and more at AGU 2013 Fall Meeting

Every December I get together with 20,000 like-minded researchers in San Francisco to discuss how to preserve the habitat of Homo sapiens. I concede it’s a self-serving goal, but I’m okay with standing to benefit. Our conversation invariably burrows into subtopics of how the Earth works as a complex system because scientists agree: you can’t…


eScience Takes the Stage at Latin American Workshop

Big Data: these words are on the lips of researchers everywhere these days. But it’s more than a catch phrase—it’s a reality in the burgeoning world of eScience, as investigators strive to make sense of the seemingly endless flow of new information. Nowhere is the push to understand Big Data stronger than in Brazil, where…


Seeing Your World Through a Different Light

As the saying goes: everything is bigger in Texas. And coming this weekend, March 8 to 10, there will be a couple of Texas-sized telescopes at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin. Housed in the mammoth NASA Experience Tent, a wall-sized display will show off Microsoft Research’s WorldWide Telescope (WWT), demonstrating the…


On Helium and Chocolate

Powerful Research Tools Shared at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting We love our jobs at Microsoft Research, and a big part of that is about how much we love physics and technology. And chocolate. Consider: if you place helium in a (well-made) bag and let it go, there is nothing to prevent it from…


Our Top 10 Blogs of 2012

Once again, you’ve voted with your clicks and we’ve tallied the results. So…drumroll, please…here are the top 10 Microsoft Research Connections blogs of 2012. Number 10: Try Try F#Who can resist such a redundantly titled post—especially when it offers information on how to get a browser-based tool for learning and exploring the power of F#…


Big Data Blows into the Windy City

This week, the annual Microsoft eScience Workshop is being held in Chicago (the “Windy City”), providing an unparalleled opportunity for domain scientists, researchers, and technologists to discuss the benefits and difficulties of incorporating more computing and information technology into the scientific process. Over the years, the eScience workshop has provided a forum where scientists could…


Big Sky; Big Data: WorldWide Telescope in Focus at Astronomical Conference

The 28th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) opened on August 20, 2012, at the China National Convention Center in Beijing, with WorldWide Telescope (WWT) prominently featured at the Microsoft Research exhibition. Astronomy is one of the oldest and most inspirational areas of scientific discovery, and the two-week IAU General Assembly attracts thousands…


A Quilt, a Map, and a Few Good Apps

As I was preparing to travel to Washington, D.C., for the 2012 exhibition of the AIDS Quilt and the International AIDS Conference, it occurred to me that this journey began a little less than a year ago, in nearly the same spot. I first learned about the AIDS Quilt project from Brett Bobley, CIO of…