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Microsoft announces Research Connector

Posted on Jan 24, 06:50PM | IBNS

Microsoft Research India on Thursday announced the community research portal- www.researchconnector.net - at its flagship research symposium, TechVista.

Research Connector, as the name implies, will provide a platform where students can connect with the leading Computer Science (CS) faculty and researchers from across India.

ACM India, the India arm of ACM, the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, will be a key partner in Research Connector.

While initiated by Microsoft Research India, the long term goal of Research Connector is to become a 'hub' driven by the research community where students from diverse academic backgrounds and CS/ engineering fields can learn about Computer Science research, gain access to faculty from leading institutions, and importantly, work on real world problems to hone their skills.

Research Connector will play an important part in enabling students to bridge the gap between aspiring to make a career in research and gaining the experience to actually doing it.

"Research has always been critical to the advancement of technology in any field, and even more so in an area as dynamic as Computer Science. We hope researchconnector.net will play a role in helping India produce high quality researchers who will define the technologies of the future," said Tony Hey, Vice President, Microsoft Research Connections, Microsoft Research.

"We have to translate the high interest in Computer Science at the undergraduate level to high interest in the top-end research. The bachelors students should be exposed to the thrills of research so they can decide if that is the career they want to follow," said Prof. P J Narayanan, President ACM India and Dean (R and D), IIIT, Hyderabad.

"Today's students have to aspire for higher quality jobs than the first one they can get. Research training will be essential to adapt to the new things that are certain to come in the way of today's youngsters.

"This site can provide the necessary exposure to a large number of students; enriching the research pipeline in the country will be a natural consequence," said Narayanan.

A key component of Research Connector will be the live projects that students can work on.

These projects will typically be provided by faculty of participating institutions, and also evaluated by them.

Additionally, the portal will also feature forums for research discussions amongst researchers, scientists, faculty and students, as well as updates on the state-of-the-art in computer science, pointers to important research papers, and other resources students can leverage to embark on a career in research.

"India's raw talent and potential in engineering and Computer Science has never been in question, but the number of PhD graduates in CS is very small compared to the number students graduating with bachelors and masters degrees in these fields," said P. Anandan, Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director, Microsoft Research India.

"Research Connector seeks to address this gap by providing access to the faculty, resources and experience that can spark the awareness and intent to take up higher education," said Anandan.

Founded in 1991, Microsoft Research is dedicated to conducting both basic and applied research in computer science and software engineering.