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Bennett Wilburn

BennettI came to Microsoft Research Asia for the adventure of living in Beijing and the professional opportunity of working in one of the world’s best computer vision and graphics research labs. I had recently graduated Stanford University after researching applications of large camera arrays, and really enjoyed research. At the same time, life’s short, and I’d always wanted to work overseas. I studied Mandarin in college (way before learning Chinese was “cool”) and suddenly the whole world was watching China’s development. Microsoft Research Asia was a unique opportunity for me to pursue my professional and personal goals at the same time.

In the two years that I’ve been here, I’ve been privileged to work with colleagues who are leaders in their fields. Microsoft Research Asia gives me a lot of freedom to choose my research topics, and also attracts top intern students from China and across Asia. Mentoring interns, in fact, has turned out to be one of the most rewarding aspects of my work. Outside of work, I’ve seen more of Asia in the past two years than I had in the previous twenty. I’ve been all over China, attended conferences in Kyoto and Tokyo, seen the temples of Angkor Wat, learned to scuba dive in Koh Tao, and taken kite surfing lessons in Mui Ne. Learning Chinese is tough (to quote Steve Martin: “They have a different word for everything!”), but it continues to be a source of satisfaction and enjoyment for me. At work and play, 只要功夫深,铁棒磨成针!(If you work hard, you can grind an iron bar into a needle!)