I was happy to see the news this morning that Microsoft is opening a new research lab in NYC, with 15 of the former members of the Yahoo R+D NYC lab as its founding members.
The Yahoo group is one of the most multidisciplinary research teams I’ve ever seen, with great research collaborations among physicists, machine learning experts, applied mathematicians, and social science, all learning about human behavior by analyzing web-scale datasets.
They have also managed to show how a research lab can make great contribution both to the local and international research communities in their field. For example, Jake Hofman at Yahoo has been teaching a great ‘Data Driven Modeling‘ class at Columbia for years; John Langford has been a co-organizer of the New York Academy of Sciences’ one-day Machine Learning Symposium since it was founded (while also organizing international machine learning conferences, running a great machine learning blog, etc…)
– Mathematical Physicist Jennifer Chayes seems to be implying she’ll be spending at least part of her time here in NYC rather than her current home of MSR-Cambridge
– Multiple people in the story said they’re interested in ties with startups and universities, which should be good for the intellectual landscape of NYC dataphiles.
Congrats to all and to NYC!