After much deliberation, I've decided to join the Microsoft Research team for an internship this summer. I'll be working with Chris Burges, who is with the Text Mining, Search, and Navigation research team at MSR. Chris does a lot of work in machine learning research with applications to information retrieval. This is exactly the area where my recent project focused on, so it seems like a good fit. So back to the great Northwest I go.
Speaking of my recent project, I'm happy to announce that it has just been accepted for publication this upcoming July at SIGIR 2007. The conference will be held in Amsterdam, which is always a plus.
I also applied to the Machine Learning Summer School program. The program will be held in late August in Tübingen, Germany. I'm really hoping to get accepted, both for the great program and the chance to finally visit Germany.
So it seems like my life is set for the next few months. I'm currently working on a second project which generalizes the method I developed in my SIGIR paper. I expect that my time at MSR will allow me gain to perspective on the research process at an industrial lab. Although I still have three years left before I expect to graduate, it's still a good idea to keep in mind how I want to position myself professionally after I leave Cornell.
This comes at a somewhat bittersweet moment for me, as most of my friends have now migrated to the Bay Area in California. My decision to accept Microsoft over Google seems like a microcosm of my life thus far, where I make my decisions based primarily on my professional goals (I realize this is not unique to myself). With that being said, this internship is only for a summer, and will probably end sooner than I'd like. Nevertheless, my track record when faced with such decisions almost speaks for itself, and I'm not sure if I'll waver much from this road as the years go by.