Microsoft selects engineers for phase one at Cambridge

Microsoft selects engineers for phase one at Cambridge
Cambridge research centre gets senior engineers; investigating neural nets and digital-content control. Roy Rubenstein. Microsoft has completed the first phase of recruiting experienced engineers for its Cambridge research centre. Professor Roger Needham, managing director of the UK division of Microsoft Research has told Electronics Weekly that since opening last September the centre has attracted a near full complement of 15 senior researchers. “We are now up to numbers on senior staff and will start recruiting fresh PhDs,” said Needham. A total of 40 staff is expected by mid-1999. The centre is recruiting researchers from Italy, France, Austria and Holland as well as the UK. “We are even getting enquiries from the east coast of America,” said Needham, suggesting that east coast Americans have a greater affinity for Cambridge than Redmond where Microsoft’s HQ is based. Needham said that two of the centre’s main research activities will be developing advanced man-machine interfaces and digital content. Staff are looking at artificial neural networks as one way of advancing human-computer interaction. Current interfaces based on screen icons and a mouse are ripe for radical advances, claimed Needham. “No one knows yet what they [man-machine developments] will be but there will be advances.” Needham is confident of the role neural networks will play. “There will be applications. It’s a good technology if you are the master of it.” Digital content management is another interest area. “Nearly all content is digital. There are lots of issues involving content – how it is created, stored, indexed and retrieved,” said Needham. As an example, he stresses that it is still not possible to describe to a digital library store a video sequence of interest and it goes away and retrieves it. The group has yet to define its digital content research strategy. “It is still dependent on whom is recruited,” said Needham. Other research topics include security and the behaviour of large computer networks.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*