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Microsoft Research Names Recipients of Faculty Fellowships 2020

By Microsoft Research Blog

April 17, 2020

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The Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship recognizes innovative, promising new faculty, whose exceptional talent for research and innovation identifies them as emerging leaders in their fields. This year, 185 individuals were nominated. Microsoft Research is proud to announce the 2020 recipients for these awards.

The five fellowship recipients cover a broad spectrum of directions in their work: learning and intelligence in robotics, tools to help programmers write software that meets their intent, machine learning applied to large-scale data centers, optimization and computation theory, and systems to advance personal fabrication technologies.

The stories of the researchers are equally as inspiring as their work. Each of the fellows credited many others that have helped them along the way—from family to colleagues, from students to advisors—all mentioning mentorship as a reason they made it to where they are today. Questions posed to the researchers also revealed insights into challenges that lie ahead in their respective disciplines.

On program verification and synthesis, recipient Dr. Loris D'Antoni of the University of Wisconsin-Madison says, "In particular, if we can understand what makes a problem hard, we can design new abstractions that help us attack that problem in practice and hide the complexity from the end users of our tools."

This sentiment, one of optimism in working to overcome significant challenges in their research areas, is another common thread among recipients, which speaks to both the possibilities of their research and the power of a collective positive mindset to contribute to broader advancements.

"My research…requires knowledge in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer graphics, material science, and optical engineering," says recipient Dr. Stefanie Mueller, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on her work in human-computer interaction, "and my research team has PhD students and postdocs with all these different backgrounds. It's strongly interdisciplinary research that requires bringing together engineers from many different areas."


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