Portrait of Yi-Min Wang

Yi-Min Wang

Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director,
Microsoft Research Technologies

About

I was named a Distinguished Scientist of Microsoft in March 2015 for being “recognized internationally for his contributions to dependable computing and web security” and for “establishing a company-wide reputation for both effective and creative management”.

I became the Managing Director of the newly created MSR Technologies (MSR-T) organization in January 2014. At MSR-T, we focus on turning world-class research into world-changing innovation. Our investment areas include Input Technologies (e.g., world-record texting), Deep Learning (both algorithms and scale), Natural Language Processing (e.g., Skype Translator and Cortana), Wearables(e.g., HoloLens and Microsoft Band), and Distributed Systems.

I became a Deputy Managing Director for Microsoft Research-Redmond (MSR-R) in August 2011. Together with Peter Lee and Eric Horvitz, we formed the Office of Directors (OOD) which supports all 300+ researchers and engineers in the Lab towards the goals of Agility, Diversity, and Strategy. In November 2012, Eric and I became the Managing Co-Director of the lab when Peter expanded his responsibility to manage all MSR US Labs.

Between 2012 and 2014, I managed the MSR Gaia Skunkworks Program, which produced the following three world-record successes: (1) the FDS team broke two MinuteSort records – see article and record page; (2) the Blackbird team broke the Guinness World Record on fastest texting and set a new record on blind texting – see article; (3) the Adam team set a record on ImageNet 22K object recognition top-1 accuracy – see article and OSDI paper.

I was previously Director of ISRC (Internet Services Research Center), an R&D organization dedicated to developing technologies for Search, Ads, and Online Services. Between 2007 and 2011, ISRC focused on web-scale data-related technologies including Search Quality Diagnosis and Metrics, Web-Scale Language Model, Highly Interactive Dialog Model, Structured Data (e.g., Wolfram|Alpha answers), and Scalable Dynamic Crawling. Personally, I played the role of Director of Search Quality for the Bing team. I invented the Automated Relevance Diagnosis System (ARDS) which took hundreds of thousands of user dissatisfaction reports and performed automated and systematic diagnosis to identify the Search component that is responsible for causing each of the dissatisfactions. ARDS has been a critical part of Bing team’s search quality process and is widely recognized for its contribution to Bing’s significant quality improvement from 2008 to 2011.

Prior to the creation of ISRC, my research work was primarily in the areas of dependable computing and web security. I was elected to IEEE Fellow for my contributions in those two areas. I had published extensively on checkpointing and rollback-recovery and was a main co-author of the most influential survey paper on that topic. In 2005, I invented Strider HoneyMonkey – the first automated system to patrol the Web and hunt for malicious websites that exploit zero-day vulnerabilities. The HoneyMonkey technique has become the de facto standard for both the security industry and the search engine industry.

In 2007, I invented Strider Search Ranger – the first search-spam detection system based on dynamic crawling and traffic analysis. The work was featured in the New York Times and has had an industry-wide impact on wiping out search-spam.

Publications

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Other

Yi-Min Wang

Yi-Min on The New York Times: “Researchers Track Down a Plague of Fake Web Pages,” by John Markoff, March 19, 2007.

Biography

Who Am I

By Yi-Min Wang – Created: 7/7/2015; Last updated: 7/9/2015

I received my BS degree in Electrical Engineering from National Taiwan University in 1986, my Master’s degree in Signal Processing from the ECE department of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1990, and my PhD degree in Computer Engineering also from UIUC ECE in 1993.

Between 1993 and 1997, I was a researcher at AT&T Bell Labs where we built software fault tolerance technologies for telecommunication systems and high-performance computing. I moved to Seattle and joined Microsoft Research (MSR) in 1998. I spent the first few years working on distributed systems and home networking. Between 2002 and 2007, I founded and managed the Cybersecurity and Systems Management Group. From 2007 to 2011, I was Director of Internet Services Research Center (ISRC) – a mission-focused, applied research organization that was co-funded by Microsoft’s Search division to focus on search quality. In a 2.5-year period between 2011 and 2013, I was a Deputy Director and then a Managing Co-Director of the Redmond Lab – the flagship lab of MSR, during which I also ran the Gaia program on skunkworks-style special projects. In 2014, I became the Managing Director of a new organization called Microsoft Research Technologies (MSR-T), where we focus on tearing down the wall between research and product groups, and turning world-class research into world-changing innovations.

In 2010, I was elected an IEEE Fellow for “contributions to Dependable Computing and Web Security.” In 2014, I received the Distinguished Alumni Award from UIUC ECE for “contributions to dependable computing and web security, and leadership in industrial research.” In 2015, I was promoted to become a Microsoft Distinguished Scientist for “establishing a company-wide reputation for both effective and creative management.”

Education

Areas of Expertise

R&D Management: Machine Learning, Machine Translation, Search Engine, Natural Language Processing, Cybersecurity, Systems Management, Fault Tolerance, Distributed Systems, and Networking.

Technical Leadership in Reliability, Security, and Quality

Education

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL Jan. 1990 – Aug. 1993 Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (G.P.A. 5.00)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL Aug. 1988 – Jan. 1990 M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (G.P.A. 5.00)

National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan Aug. 1982 – May 1986 B.S. in Electrical Engineering (Ranked #1 in a class of 168)

Experience

Experience

Distinguished Scientist, Microsoft Corporation, March 2015

Managing Director, Microsoft Research Technologies (MSR-T), January 2014

Managing Co-Director, Microsoft Research-Redmond (MSR-R), November 2012

Deputy Managing Director, Microsoft Research-Redmond (MSR-R), August 2011

IEEE Fellow, Class of 2010for contributions to Dependable Computing and Web Security

Director, Internet Services Research Center (ISRC), Microsoft Research-Redmond, July 2009

Director, Search Quality & Cyber-Intelligence Lab (SQ-CIL), Internet Services Research Center (ISRC), July 2007

Group Manager, Cybersecurity & Systems Management (CSM) Research Group, 2005

Group Manager, Systems Management (SM) Research Group, 2004

Ph.D., Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993

B.S., Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University, 1986

Technical Achievements

Technical Achievements

In 2000, I led a small team to develop and deploy a remote home networking system called Aladdin based on commodity devices and supporting extensibility – more than a decade earlier than the current Internet of Things (IoT) efforts.

In 2002, I started the Strider project to apply scientific approach to taming the messy world of Systems Management and Cybersecurity. In 2005, I invented Strider HoneyMonkey – the first automated system to patrol the Web and hunt for malicious websites that exploit zero-day vulnerabilities. The HoneyMonkey technique has become the de facto standard for both the security industry and the search engine industry. In 2007, I invented Strider Search Ranger – the first search-spam detection system based on dynamic crawling and traffic analysis. The work was featured on New York Times and has had an industry-wide impact on wiping out search-spam.

From 2007 to 2011, I played the role of Director of Search Quality for Microsoft’s search engine. I invented the Automated Relevance Diagnosis System (ARDS) which took hundreds of thousands of user dissatisfaction reports and performed automated and systematic diagnosis to identify the Search component that is responsible for causing each of the dissatisfactions. ARDS has been a critical part of Bing team’s search quality process and is widely recognized for its contribution to Bing’s significant quality improvement from 2008 to 2011.

In the past few years, I have managed several innovations with highly visible successes including the “magical and awe-inspiring” Skype Translator for real-time speech-to-speech translation and the Word Flow shape-writing system that broke and set new world records. I created the Deep Learning Technology Center (DLTC) in early 2014 and the team has developed a large-scale, brain-inspired, deep-learning system called Adam that set a new industry record for object recognition, and an automated image-captioning system that took the first place in a 2015 competition. I also managed a computer vision team that developed several critical technologies for the futuristic HoloLens product.

Professional Activities

Recent Professional Activities

Award

  • UIUC ECE Distinguished Alumni Award, 2014 – recognized for “contributions to dependable computing and web security, and leadership in industrial reseach”

Associate Editor

Keynote Speakers

  • Security Challenges in An Increasingly Connected World, (Slides in PDF) IEEE International Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems (SRDS), September 28, 2009
  • “Adversarial Web Crawling with Strider Monkeys,” (Slides in PDF) Internet Services Workshop, November 6, 2008
  • Online Advertising: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, (Slides in PDF) International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems (SSS), November 17, 2006

Program Committee Member

Sponsored Research Award

Previous Professional Activities

Program Chair

  • Program Co-Chair, International Conference on Autonomic Computing (ICAC), 2005
  • Program Vice-Chair, Fault Tolerant and Dependable Computing Track, International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS), 2005
  • Program Co-Chair, The 6th Usenix Conference on Object-Oriented Technologies and Systems (COOTS), 2001

Program Committee Member

  • International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN), 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2002, 2001, 2000
  • International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS), 2007, 2006, 2002, 2000, 1998, 1995
  • Usenix Security Symposium, 2007
  • Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems (SRDS), 2005
  • International Conference on Autonomic Computing (ICAC), 2004
  • ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC), 2002

Patents

Patents Issued

Dependability

Home Networking

Distributed Objects

  • “Accelerating a distributed component architecture over a network using a modified RPC communication,” U. S. Patent Number 6,708,223, issued on March 16, 2004.
  • “Accelerating a distributed component architecture over a network using a direct marshaling,” U.S. Patent Number 6,826,763, issued on November 30, 2004.
  • “Method and system for providing reliability and availability in a distributed component object model (DCOM) object oriented system,” U.S. Patent Number 7,082,553, issued on July 25, 2006.
  • “Accelerating a distributed component architecture over a network using a modified RPC communication,” U.S. Patent Number 7,624,398, issued on November 24, 2009

Systems Management

  • “Event-based Automated Diagnosis of Known Problems,” U.S. Patent Number 7,171,337, issued on January 30, 2007.
  • “Method and system for troubleshooting a misconfiguration of a computer system based on product support services information,” U.S. Patent Number 7,389,444, issued on June 17, 2008.
  • “Method and system for collecting information from computer systems based on a trusted relationship,” U.S. Patent Number 7,392,295, issued on June 24, 2008.
  • “Method and system for analyzing the impact of a software update,” U.S. Patent Number 7,614,046, issued on November 3, 2009.
  • “Program modification and loading times in computing devices,” U.S. Patent Number 7,698,305, issued on April 13, 2010.
  • “Changed file identification, software conflict resolution and unwanted file removal,” U.S. Patent Number 7,765,592, issued on July 27, 2010.

Security and Privacy

  • “System and method for protecting privacy and anonymity of parties of network communications,” U.S. Patent Number 6,986,036, issued on January 10, 2006.
  • “System and method for evaluating and enhancing source anonymity for encrypted web traffic,” U.S. Patent Number 7,096,200, issued on August 22, 2006.
  • “Automated rootkit detector,” U.S. Patent Number 7,571,482, issued on August 4, 2009.
  • “Identifying dependencies of an application upon a given security context,” U.S. Patent Number 7,620,995, issued on November 17, 2009
  • “Method and system for detecting infection of an operating system,” U.S. Patent Number 7,627,898, issued on December 1, 2009
  • “System and method for evaluating and enhancing source anonymity for encrypted web traffic,” U.S. Patent Number 7,640,215, issued on December 29, 2009
  • “Cybersquatter patrol,” U.S. Patent Number 7,756,987, issued on July 13, 2010
  • “Honey monkey network exploration,” U.S. Patent Number 7,774,459, issued on August 10, 2010
  • “Identifying dependencies of an application upon a given security context,” U.S. Patent Number 7,779,480, issued on August 17, 2010
  • “Identifying dependencies of an application upon a given security context,” U.S. Patent Number 7,784,101, issued on August 24, 2010
  • “Detecting user-mode rootkits,” U.S. Patent Number 7,874,001, issued on January 18, 2011
  • “Isolation environment-based information access,” U.S. Patent Number 8,024,815, issued on September 20, 2011

Web Search

Others

Other Resources

MSR NExT Projects