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From the Director of the Microsoft Research Asia Lab


Dr. Hsiao-Wuen HonDr. Hsiao-Wuen HonIn November of 2008, Microsoft Research Asia celebrated more than a decade of innovation, collaboration, and talent development. For more than 10 years, our researchers and engineers pushed the boundaries of innovation by reaching into their imaginations and turning their ideas into reality.

Our lab will continue to tackle computing’s greatest challenges with the zeal and passion that have helped to establish Microsoft Research Asia as one of the world’s foremost fundamental research facilities. Today, these research efforts span more than 20 different fields and include disciplines such as natural user interface, multimedia, data-intensive computing, search and online advertising, and fundamental subjects in computer science.

As we enter our second decade, the values and traditions that we have created over the last 10 years will continue to feed our success and future growth. We will continue to foster a research environment and culture that is open to new ideas, that sets high standards for research excellence, that recognizes the value of peer review and sharing our results with the academic community, and that understands that success cannot come without taking risks.

One reflection of this culture is the tradition we have built over the years of openly publishing and sharing our research and knowledge with the international community. To date, researchers at Microsoft Research Asia have published more than 3,000 papers in top international journals and conferences, including SIGGRAPH, SIGIR, CVPR, ACL, and WWW. These efforts have frequently resulted in international recognition. Within this past year, the lab was presented with the “Best Paper” awards at the CVPR 2009, IEEE CSVT 2009, PCM 2008, and NSDI’09 conferences, and the “Best Demo” awards at NSDI 2009 and the influential MobiSys 2008 conference.

The lab has also made tremendous strides toward building on our strong talent development programs. Many of the young researchers, who joined us in the early years, are now experts in their respective fields, leading teams as research managers or senior researchers. They have mentored thousands of interns, who have passed through our doors and gone on to use the knowledge they have gained at our lab to help build stronger economies throughout Asia. Our efforts have been recognized by governments in the region, including the Chinese Ministry of Education, which has honored Microsoft Research Asia with a “Special Contribution Award” in each of the past five years.

As we have grown, our commitment to fostering talent and to helping build healthy IT ecosystems in the region has expanded. In nine years, we have extended the scope of our university relations programs by establishing joint labs with universities in Asia, conducting joint research programs, and hosting top-notch visiting professors at our lab. These relationships have allowed us to create new opportunities for both Microsoft and academia in the Asia Pacific region.

As the head of Microsoft Research Asia, I am very proud of our researchers and engineers. I am also highly appreciative of our partners for their continued support. Our collective hard work has helped to build the lab into what it is today. As was so famously announced to the world on the cover of the MIT Technology Review, I am confident that “the World’s Hottest Computer Lab” holds even greater promise as we move forward and make history by breaking new barriers and define the future of computing.

Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon
Managing Director
Microsoft Research Asia