November 2013

InnerCity Weightlifting Info Breakfast: Learn More About Supporting this Organization while Staying Fit.

Please join us to learn more about an amazing social venture: InnerCity Weightlifting.  We are hosting a breakfast on December 4, 2013 at our campus to introduce this incredible group and hope that you will join us.

InnerCity Weightlifting’s mission is “to reduce violence and promote professional, personal and academic achievement among urban youth. They work with young people at the highest risk for violence in order to reduce youth violence by getting their students off the streets and into the gym, where they are empowered with the confidence and positive support needed to say no to violence and yes to opportunity.”

Through Microsoft’s partnership with Root Cause, we became connected with Jon Feinman and InnerCity Weightlifting about 18 months ago. InnerCity Weightlifting has become a great partner to Microsoft.  Microsoft hosts personal training at Microsoft twice each week.  Employees receive high quality personal training at a group rate.  At the same time, ICW trainers have an opportunity to visit our office in Kendall Square, make connections in the business community and spend time outside of their neighborhood.  We have discovered that weightlifting is for everyone – the Microsoft employees who participate range from beginners to experienced athletes and ICW is able to customize the workouts for each person’s needs.

ICW is hoping to grow their corporate partnerships and we are hosting this breakfast to solicit your input as to how they can engage more companies in the Boston area.  Please join us:

Informational Breakfast: Bringing InnerCity Weighlifting to Corporate Partners

December 4, 2013, 8:30AM – 9:30AM

Microsoft, One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

Register here.

Please join me on December 4 to learn more about InnerCity Weightlifting.InnerCity Weightlifting Logo

WLF ‘13 Inspires Next Generation of Female STEM Professionals

For the past few months you heard us tweeting, blogging, and Facebooking about The Successful You: 2013 Women’s Leadership Forum. We eagerly encouraged you to register and bring all of your friends. Now registration is complete, and the forum is over – but certainly it’s not to be forgotten quite yet!

Georgia Papathomas

Georgia Papathomas’s opening keynote Photo Credit: Dana J. Quigley

Fortified with a group of memorable speakers, the Women’s Leadership Forum, held last Thursday at the NERD Center, was inspiring and intriguing – just ask any of the women who tweeted about the keynotes, panels, and workshops.  @JessaBrez deemed Diane Ripstein’s communications presentation one of the most helpful talks she’s ever attended, and @perrinmcc shared her sentiment, raving that Ripstein “crushed it!”

Girl Scouts of Eastern Mass

Girl Scouts of Easter Mass pose for a picture during the forum

But these reviews should come as no surprise. You can’t motivate the next generation of female STEM professionals without top-notch speakers with real life experience! The attendees, both new to STEM and seasoned professionals, appreciated the advice and perspective offered throughout the day. In particular, the thirty high school girls from Girl Scouts of Eastern Mass and Science Club for Girls who were in attendance saw firsthand what their futures could hold (all proceeds from the event also went to both of these organizations). It’s hard not to feel inspired after listening to the likes of Georgia Papathomas (Johnson & Johnson), Diane Ripstein (Diane Ripstein Consulting), and Robin Chase (Buzzcar). Just search #WLF13 on Twitter to read the dozens of messages of inspiration and motivation.

Women's Leadership Forum

Morning session with Tish Scolnik, Jules, Pieri, and Daphne Zohar
Photo Credit: Dana J. Quigley

Speaking of these women, they each brought something different but equally important to the forum. Robin Chase’s closing keynote was certainly entertaining, as she detailed the crazy pilot program that eventually became Zipcar and reminded everyone to do their part in reducing carbon emissions (always important!). Ripstein, as always, provided actionable but practical steps for better communication. Papathomas shared her executive perspective and exemplified her own role to encourage other women to continue down the path to success. And these were only some of the speakers!

Overall, the day was a great success and filled with “tons of creative women with hustle,” as @katedevil puts it. But there is still work to be done. Spread the word and encourage even more women to take part in next year’s forum so we can build the female STEM community and promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace!

Welcome to the New Microsoft New England

The new and improved Microsoft New England website has arrived! From its animated backgrounds and vibrant colors to its fresh look and integrated content, the new website represents all that is Microsoft New England.

The website now provides one home for both Research and Development and Sales and Marketing while also providing easy access to the Microsoft products, marketplace, and support site. As Microsoft has solidified its presence in New England, it was only fitting to create a unified site indicative of the energetic, innovative, and unique people behind the brand.

It has never been easier to learn about the different teams and the inspiring individuals who comprise them. The new site goes beyond boring descriptions and gives visitors a glimpse into life at Microsoft. On the “teams and people” page you can even follow Matt, Program Manager and gym nut on the Docs team, through a day in his life from biking to work in the morning to building the newest features for Word and other programs during the day.

But fear not! The revamped look does not mean drastic or confusing changes that will complicate your visit to the website. It’s even more user-friendly than ever before. There is a page or section for everything, including events, careers, internships, the Foundry, Women’s Leadership Forum, and community involvement among others.  Looking for information? You will find it! But don’t take my word for it. Go explore the new website for yourself!

MS Logo


Xbox One: It’s Here!

The wait is over…almost! The Xbox One launches this Thursday, November 22, and we’re celebrating with a midnight launch party at the Microsoft Store on November 21.


Come celebrate the Xbox One launch!

Come by the Microsoft Store at the Shops at Prudential starting at 10pm (but you better get there early – you know this is big!) to see the newest system showcased. Our Xbox One pros will be demoing the latest games like Ryse, Forza, Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, and Killer Instinct. Even better are the giveaways that you know will be taking place. The first 50 people in line will receive an exclusive prize, so make sure you’re not late!

There will also be entertainment and plenty of gamers to share in the excitement. Worried you’re not going to be in the Boston area for this epic celebration? No need to worry – midnight launch parties are taking place at Microsoft stores across the country. Find the store closest to you and bring all of your friends. We’ll see you at the front of the line!

The Future of Music

Just how many new technologies can come out of 24 hours of music hacking? At Music Hack Day Boston, the largest music hackathon in the world, sixty game-changing music hacks were conceived and actualized. That’s 60 new innovations that may be the next big thing to change the face of music!

Music Hack Day 1

Hacker at work! Photo Credit: Michelle Ackerman

Music Hack Day 2

Demo time! Photo credit: Michelle Ackerman

Hosted by the Echo Nest at the NERD Center this past weekend, Music Hack Day Boston attracted over 200 hackers, some who brought their own hack ideas and others who provided the skills that would bring those ideas to life. Most hackers joined creative forces, as the event was focused on collaboration and innovation rather than competition and prizes. But don’t worry – while prizes weren’t the end goal of the hackathon, there were plenty given out to deserving teams!

Music Hack Day 3

Hackers Hacking! Photo Credit: Michelle Ackerman

Hackers arrived on Saturday morning eager to share ideas and get to work. Following opening remarks by Paul Lamere, Director of Developer Platform at Echo Nest, sponsoring organizations gave short presentations on the their technologies and what was available for the hackers to use in their projects. Next came Project Pitches where brave hackers shared ideas and then Tech Deep Dives where sponsors gave in depth details of their technology’s capabilities. Many attendees chose to ditch the Tech Deep Dives in favor of getting a head start on the actual hacking! And hack they did, many working through the night and right up until the 2.5 hour demo session the next day.

The demo session is where everything came together. The creativity, passion, and talent combined to produce some awesome new music hacks. Check out this year’s hacks as well as more pictures here and here. Let us know what your favorite hack was!

Christian Borgs named to AMS 2014 Class of Fellows

Congratulations are in order! Another of Microsoft’s groundbreakers, Christian Borgs, has been honored as a member of the prestigious American Mathematical Society’s 2014 class of Fellows!

Christian Borgs

Christian Borgs

Deputy Managing Director and Co-founder of Microsoft Research New England, Borgs has been named a Fellow for his “outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics.” Specifically, Borgs has worked to bring together analysis, probability theory, graph theory, and combinatorics with mathematical statistical physics and computer science.

“It is always a pleasure to learn about the work of other mathematicians. Each of us knows many amazing individuals; the Fellows program is a chance to shout from the rooftops,” remarked AMS President David A. Vogan Jr. And shout from the rooftops Borgs’ colleagues did, nicknaming him “the Big Papi of NERD.” Excellent work, Christian.

Buy Your Tickets for the Women’s Leadership Forum Today

Calling all female professionals in STEM fields. The Successful You: 2013 Women’s Leadership Forum is just one week away!

Join us on November 14!

Back in September we highlighted this noteworthy forum here on the blog (check out the post here), and now time to purchase tickets is winding down. Featuring a group of powerhouse speakers, Georgia Papathomas and Diane Ripstein to name a few, this full-day forum is a must for all entry and mid-level women in STEM. The agenda (found here) is rich with information and discussions including Tapping Your Inner Entrepreneur, Get Ready for Your Communication Moments, Next Generation Social Technologies, and Negotiation Skills Workshop.

If you don’t have your ticket yet, buy it now and encourage your colleagues to do the same! There is only one week left to secure your spot, and tickets are going fast. Join a network of inspiring women and take your career to the next level. We’ll save you a seat!

Innovation 2013: The Ultimate Experience

How do you make an unplanned and unrehearsed technology and innovation conference not only possible but also unforgettable? Our fellow tech-enthusiasts at MassTLC achieved the unlikely with their 2013 Innovation unConference.

unConference session board

unConference session board

Last Friday at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston over 1,000 CEOs, investors, law firms, start-ups, managers, and students congregated for a day of answering and asking questions, networking, mentoring, and sharing their excitement about Boston’s newest ventures. The concept was simple: no panels, no keynotes, no advertising pitches, and no set plan whatsoever. The fate of the conference was left entirely in the hands of the participants.

Platinum sponsor!

Platinum sponsor!

MassTLC Team

MassTLC Team

“What I liked most about the unConference was the ability for all attendees to develop and participate in the program. Anyone with a compelling topic could propose it, and the group collectively set the agenda. The discussion format of each session provided all participants a chance to dive into the conversation. As such, the number of voices in a discussion was much greater and more diverse than a traditional conference. Representing Microsoft, I was grateful for the opportunity to engage with such a broad cross-section of the Greater Boston tech community,” explained Cathy Wissink, Director, Technology Community Engagement at Microsoft.

Agenda building

Agenda building

Don’t forget to keep this unConference on your radar when it comes back around next year! In the meantime, check out a more in depth recap of the day (with plenty of pictures and social feedback!) here.

**photos taken from Instagram #uncon. Thanks for great pictures everyone!

Party Around the World

How do you host a festive, diverse, and awe-inspiring party? Take a few notes from Found in Translation, who recently hosted their second annual Party Around the World event at the NERD Center.

 Party Around the World

Party Around the World

Over 200 donors, friends, and supporters both new and old stepped out to celebrate with Found in Translation, an organization that helps homeless and multilingual women capitalize on their language skills. Found in Translation trains women through a 12-week Medical Interpreter Certificate course where they receive the education they need to obtain medical interpreter jobs and financial security.

Party Around the World

Xuchipelli Mexican Folkloric Ballet

To reflect the diversity of the program graduatates and bring to life the organization’s mission, the party featured musical performances by Women of the World and multilingual child prodigy Clark Rubinshtein and dance performances by Xuchipelli Mexican Folkloric Ballet, FlamencoBoston, South Asian Nation Bollywood Dance Troupe, and Lindy Bomb Squad. It was quite the array of performers!

Party Around the World

Party Around the World

Just as impressive as the performers were the three women who were honored with the Culture Catalyst Award. Each recipient was monumental in helping the organization fulfill their mission of “tipping the scales of opportunity across race, gender, and ethnicity, and promoting a culture of diversity, inclusion, and hope,” explained Maria Vertkin, Founder and Executive Director at Found in Translation. The award was presented to Nancy Folan of Pioneer Investments, Peggy Andreas of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, and Shari Gold-Gomez of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Congratulations ladies!

I couldn’t recap the party, however, without praising the star of the night, Natalia Chilcote. Chilcote is an inspiring Found in Translation graduate who, despite great odds, is now a professional interpreter on track to become one of the leaders in her field.

To learn more about Found in Translation and to get involved, head to their website and keep up with them on Facebook and Twitter.