Yasuyuki Matsushita, lead Researcher in the Visual Computing group, used to be an intern at Microsoft Research Asiaand joined after graduation. He has contributed a lot to Microsoft Research Asia’s internship program and university collaborations.
Yasuyuki MatsushitaI interned at Microsoft Research Asia in 2002 when I was a graduate student; I had known Microsoft Research Asia people through their publications before I came to Microsoft Research Asia as an intern. The greatest motivation to me was to work with those talented people, to learn how they conduct research. During the internship, I was impressed by their hard-working attitude as well as individual excellence. I felt that the freedom that Microsoft Research Asia had was just like that of university labs.
I thought I could learn more from people in Microsoft Research Asia, and I actually did. This was my major motivation for choosing Microsoft Research Asia as a working place; I also liked the research environment here. Unlike other industrial research labs, Microsoft Research Asia conducts a lot of external research programs. I wished to keep publishing papers, going to conferences to meet with people, and visiting universities. Microsoft Research Asia allows all those things, and that provides me with an excellent research environment.
When I see intern students from Japan, I am proud to discover that they are pretty good. Typical Japanese students start real research activities from the end of their PhD course, but not from master’s course. For example, many students do not try to get published at a top conference when they are master students. This is not because they are not good, but because they are not aware of competition in research. I was shocked when I first saw that many undergraduates and masters degree students in Microsoft Research Asia were trying to publish papers at top conferences. I think doing an internship outside of Japan was beneficial in observing how top students in other countries are working. Microsoft Research Asia is a right place for it.