From the Director of the Microsoft Research Asia Lab

2008

Dr. Hsiao-Wuen HonDr. Hsiao-Wuen HonThis year, Microsoft Research Asia will mark a decade of innovation. What is certainly our most impressive milestone to date, over the past ten years, our researchers and engineers have pushed the boundaries of innovation, reached out into their imaginations to turn ideas into reality, and helped build the lab into a world leading research institution.

When Microsoft Research Asia was founded in November of 1998, we started with just a dozen people. Today, we are a thriving lab of more than 350 full-time employees and as many interns, conducting research work in more than 20 different fields. Our research is both broad and deep spanning disciplines including natural user interface, multimedia, data-intensive computing, search and online advertising, and fundamental subjects in computer science.

Much of our success is a result of a unique culture that we have fostered at the lab. A culture that is open to new ideas, a culture that sets high standards for research excellence, a culture that recognizes the value of peer review and sharing our results with the academic community, and one that understands that success cannot come without taking risk.

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 1,500 papers in top international journals and conferences, including SIGGRAPH, SIGIR, CVPR, ACL, WWW. These efforts have frequently resulted in international recognition. During 2007 alone, the lab was presented with the ACM Multimedia 2007 conference "Best Paper" and "Best Demo" award as well as the influential MobiSys conference "Best Demo" award.

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 thousand 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 honored Microsoft Research Asia with a "Special Contribution Award" in the past five consecutive 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 achievements and hard work have 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