• Heady Recognition for Young Researcher

    Posted by Rob Knies

    Vipul Goyal

    For a man of 29, Vipul Goyal, a researcher at Microsoft Research India, already possesses a gaudy list of academic and professional achievements. He has a Ph.D. from UCLA. As a student there, he won a Microsoft Research graduate fellowship. His cryptographic research has been widely published at top conferences, and his work has attracted the attention of popular science publications.

    And, on Dec. 17, Goyal was named to the Science and Healthcare section of Forbes magazine’s annual 30 Under 30 list, which features exceptional young people who are reinventing the world.

    The inclusion represents even more validation of Goyal’s current success and tremendous potential—and this one he found particularly thrilling.

  • Microsoft Research Redmond: 2012 in Review

    Posted by Eric Horvitz and Yi-Min Wang, managing co-directors of Microsoft Research Redmond

    Microsoft Research Microsoft 2012 Year in Review

    As we look back on the year at Microsoft Research Redmond, a flood of creative efforts and achievements come to mind. These include mission-focused pursuits aimed at solving urgent challenges, the pursuit of new understandings at the foundations of computer science, and blue-sky initiatives exploring new possibilities. Notable developments, honors, and influences are far too numerous to include in a short blog post, so we can touch on only a small subset of representative milestones.

    On the foundations front, a stunning set of experiments provided evidence for an elusive particle named the Majorana fermion. A team at the Delft University of Technology, led by Leo Kouwenhoven, used an experimental setup proposed and funded by our Station Q. Majoranas have been proposed as central in enabling an approach to quantum computing being pursued at Station Q.

  • Microsoft Research New York City: 2012 in Review

    Posted by Jennifer Chayes, managing director of Microsoft Research New York City

    Microsoft Research New York City 2012 in Review logo

    The inaugural year of Microsoft Research New York City has been stupendous. All of us at Microsoft are thrilled with our newest lab.

    The lab officially opened on May 3, 2012, with the announcement of a group of 15 founding researchers: David Pennock, Sébastien Lahaie, Justin Rao, David Rothschild, and Giro Cavallo in algorithmic, computational, and empirical economics; Duncan Watts, Dan Goldstein, Sharad Goel, Sid Suri, and Jake Hofman in computational and behavioral social science; John Langford, Miro Dudik, and Alekh Agarwal in machine learning; and Fernando Diaz and Elad Yom-Tov in information retrieval. Together, these researchers bring a deeply original and phenomenally productive approach to data science, particularly in the domains of economics and the social sciences.

    In the fall, the group was joined by one more member, Jenn Wortman Vaughan, who has done research in machine learning, algorithmic economics, and social science, and who, therefore, was a great match for the lab.

  • eXtreme Computing Group: 2012 in Review

    Posted by Surajit Chaudhuri, managing director of the eXtreme Computing Group

    eXtreme Computing Group 2012 in Review logo

    2012 has been a year of significant developments for the eXtreme Computing Group (XCG), from changes in its organizational structure to project milestones we reached.

    One year ago, XCG had several teams with specific technical focus and expertise, in addition to a large but separate engineering group. The intent of such an organizational structure was to have the engineering team not only incubate some of its own project ideas but also to step in and contribute to projects in other parts of XCG. Despite good intentions, such an organizational structure did not serve XCG well. I discovered that it encouraged fragmentation and conflict of interest instead of promoting collaboration. Therefore, we made a few organizational changes. Today, our engineering resources—researchers, developers, program managers—are organized exclusively by their technical expertise, and we no longer have a separate engineering team. XCG has responded well to this change, accomplished early in the year, and we are a more cohesive team than ever before.

  • Take Socl for a Spin

    Posted by Lili Cheng

    New Socl user interface

    As you may know, Socl began as an experiment in social search for students and learning. Over the past several months, we’ve watched Socl evolve into a place where people connect over shared interests expressed through beautiful post collages.

    We appreciate your continued feedback, which is helping us to gain more insight every day and improve how we can all communicate, learn, and share our everyday lives. We’ve been busy redesigning Socl to match how you’re using it, and starting today, we’d like you to give the new Socl a spin and let us know what you think.