Introducing Microsoft Computational Science Studio

One disadvantage working for Microsoft Research is that you cannot talk about your current work all the time. For two years now we were working on two exiting projects. However, there was not a lot to talk about since now…

The very first time we have shown Microsoft Computational Science Studio was at TechFest 2008 at that time codenamed ‘Discovery’. There we showed it to the public the first time to visualize, simulate and predict future development of global forest growth based on a novel scientific model developed by scientist Drew Purves.

At the Advanced Developers Conference Keynote in Bonn, Germany I already talked about the unique collaboration within the Computational Science Laboratory within Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK. A unique setup of brilliant scientists from various fields and a group of great software engineers work together creating next-generation software solutions to address future challenges in computational science. The team includes Martin Calsyn (Architect), Alexander Brändle (Head of Technology), Drew Purves (Scientist), Matthew Smith (Post-Doctoral Researcher), Stephen Emmott (Head of Computational Science Laboratory within Microsoft Research and Professor of Computational Science at Oxford University), Vassily Lyutsarev (Manager Scientific Computing), Benjamin Schröter (Software Engineer), Eric Hellmich (Systems Engineer), Shawn Barrett (Quality Assurance and Software Engineer) and myself.

As part of his College Tour, Craig Mundie presented our work, the Microsoft Computational Science Studio (MSCSS), to the public at University of Washington, University of Illinois, Harvard University and Cornell University. Among he said about MSCSS:

Now, the way that this is actually built is it’s a bit like having Visual Studio, which is a toolkit for people writing programs — these guys call this the Science Studio, because the goal is to allow people not to write programs in the traditional sense but to compose large scale models together for scientific purposes.

Indeed, he showed the large scale model we worked no the weeks before with our scientists:

The whole talk at University of Washington is available as webcast from UWTV. Further articles are available from CNET, TechFlash and The Seattle Times where later says

A guy who is a climate scientist or a tree biologist can make a direct contribution without having to understand everything else or becoming a computer wizard in the process,” Mundie said. “I tell people this is sort of doing for scientists and policymakers what Excel did for the average business guy 20 years ago

Further posts on MSCSS and our second project called Vedea, being currently demoed at PDC09, will follow soon. Until then you might want to read an overview of MSCSS at Martin’s blog.

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