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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

May 3, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Microsoft opens new research lab in New York City

Chayes.jpgMicrosoft is opening a new research lab in New York City today — the 13th Microsoft Research lab worldwide.

The lab, to be based in Manhattan, will focus on computational and experimental social science, algorithmic economics, machine learning, and information retrieval, according to an official Microsoft Research blog post.

About 15 researchers will form the lab’s initial team, headed by Jennifer Chayes (at right), who now will be managing director of both Microsoft Research New England, which she founded in July 2008, and Microsoft Research New York City.

The new lab, to be based in Manhattan, will be led by Jennifer Chayes, who founded Microsoft Research New England. Chayes will now be managing director of both the New England and New York research labs.

“The Microsoft Research New York City lab reflects an opportunity for Microsoft Research researchers and developers worldwide to interact deeply with the vibrant academic and tech communities in the New York metropolitan area, as well as an opportunity to attract great new talent to Microsoft,” Chayes said in the blog post.

Pennock.jpgJoining Chayes are David Pennock (at left), Duncan Watts and John Langford, founding members of the NYC lab and each of whom had worked previously worked at Yahoo! Research.

Pennock, who will be assistant managing director of the new lab, conducts research at the intersection of computer science and economics.

Watts, a former sociology professor at Columbia University, focuses on computational and experimental social science.

Langford’s interests are in scalable interactive machine learning and learning reductions.

Pennock said in the blog post that he hopes the new lab will not only strengthen ties with the academic network but also help make NYC a tech hug.

“In addition to growing our already strong ties to the academic research community,” he said, “we’d like to play our part in the New York City tech scene, including the startup, venture-capitalist, and hack/make communities, plus the new Cornell-Technion campus, contributing what we can to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s vision of New York City as a tech hub.”

(Photos of Jennifer Chayes and David Pennock from Microsoft)

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