On managed something and graphical nonsense

Monday, May 14, 2007

Reflections on Microsoft Academic Summit (Chile)

Luckily I was invited to an excelent event last week, thanks to Microsoft for that ;).

For those that do not know, the Microsoft Academic Summit gathered researchers and professors from the most respected Latin American Universities and Microsoft Research Labs. Needless to say it was an amazing event, excelently organized, serious, cool and fun at the same time. People like Jim Miller (Chief Architect of .Net), Dave Probost (Windows Kernel), and Eric Horwitz, and other researchers gave very interesting talks about the future of the Computing.

My reflections of what has been an extensive event with interaction with some pretty serious people has been the following:

- As noted by Claudio Delrieux (My PhD Thesis Advisor), one achievement of Microsoft Research last year has been publishing aproximately 21% of the papers in Siggraph (For those that do not know it, it is the biggest, difficultier and most respected publication in the graphics area). Coincidence?? Hell no, they are doing hard science and Graphics is very coupled to several hot topics like Computer Human Interaction (new interfaces design - WPF for everyone :) ), Parallelism (new approaches to old problems), knowledge management (data visualization), etc.

- .Net is going to replace hard to code and interact Ajax based application with REAL Rich Applications on the browser. Macromedia's Flash would have obliterated already the competition if they would have the advanced support for development and interaction with server technology that .Net provides. Thanks to Microsoft that doesnt exists already and now .Net has a fair advantage through Silverlight technology.

- Jim Miller's showed us a Python/Javascript integration. He run an script using the DLR - Dynamic Language Runtime embeeded in a Silverlight application interchanging the lines between both languages (Quite a feat I must say)... I would say Smalltalk environment like for everyone on the web browser :). Why do I mention this?? Well this gives a pretty interesting advantage to create Game like teaching environments to learn programming languages and computer graphics.

- Game technology seams to be pretty hot in the Academic environments because it is fun and powerful, there are already lots of people that are doing pretty interesting things; however in Argentina that seams to be in its infancy if it isnt born yet. I recall a conversation between some argentinian researchers before the conferences that went like this way:
"The third etnic in the Games Development Conference were Argentinians, arround 10% of the attendants" - Professor 1
"Wow, thats a lot. If they are not studing in the universities, where do they study? - Professor 2
"They are not studing on the universities. ;)" - Professor 1 and me at unison.

More or less those are my reflections on what has been my interaction with the people invited to the conference. If you have any comment, just drop me a mail or leave a comment.