Panel Discussion: How to do good research and have a successful career in Research


February 13, 2015


Jennifer Chayes, P. Anandan, Rico Malvar, Sriram Rajamani, Christopher Bishop, and Victor Bahl





Jennifer Chayes, P. Anandan, Rico Malvar, Sriram Rajamani, Christopher Bishop, and Victor Bahl

Jennifer Tour Chayes is Managing Director of Microsoft Research New York City as well as the Microsoft Research New England lab in Cambridge. Before this, she was research area manager for Mathematics, Theoretical Computer Science and Cryptography at Microsoft Research Redmond. Chayes joined Microsoft Research in 1997, when she co-founded the Theory Group. Her research areas include phase transitions in discrete mathematics and computer science, structural and dynamical properties of self-engineered networks, and algorithmic game theory. She is the co-author of almost 100 scientific papers and the co-inventor of more than 20 patents.

Henrique (Rico) Malvar is a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and the Chief Scientist for Microsoft Research. He was born and raised in Brazil. Before moving to industry in 1994, he was a professor of electrical engineering at University of Brasília, Brazil. When he joined Microsoft in 1997, Rico started a signal processing group, which developed new technologies such as new media compression formats used in Windows, Xbox, and Office, microphone array processing technologies used in Windows, Tablet PCs, and Xbox Kinect, as well as machine learning technologies for music identification in Windows Media, junk mail filtering in Exchange, and others. The group also developed the first prototype of the RoundTable videoconferencing device. Rico was a key architect for the several media compression formats, such as WMA and HD Photo/JPEG XR, and made key contributions to the popular video format H.264, used by YouTube, Netflix, Adobe Flash, digital TV, and many other applications. Rico received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986. His technical interests include multimedia signal compression and enhancement, fast algorithms, multi-rate filter banks, and multi-resolution and wavelet transforms. He has over 160 publications and over 115 issued patents in those areas. He received the Young Scientist Award from the Marconi International Fellowship in 1981, was elected to Fellow of the IEEE in 1997, received the Technical Achievement Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society in 2002, and was elected a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2012.

I am Assistant Managing Director of Microsoft Research India, and “area champion” for two research areas in Microsoft Research India: (1) Programming Languages and Tools, (2) Security and Privacy

I am broadly interested in programming languages and tools to improve software productivity. Specific current research interests include: building new programming tools by combining verification, testing, and statistics, designing new programming models for concurrent and distributed systems, and designing programming languages and analysis techniques to enable widespread use of machine learning by non-experts.

I moved to MSR India towards the end of 2005. Prior to moving to MSR India, I was manager for the Software Productivity Tools (SPT) group at MSR Redmond. SPT was a truly remarkable set of people.

Chris is a Distinguished Scientist in MSR Cambridge who leads the Machine Learning and Perception group. He is the author of two widely-adopted text books: Neural Networks for Pattern Recognition (Oxford University Press, 1995) and Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Springer, 2006).


  • Portrait of Victor Bahl

    Victor Bahl

    Distinguished Scientist Director, Mobile & Networking Research

  • Portrait of Christopher Bishop

    Christopher Bishop

    Technical Fellow and Laboratory Director, Microsoft Research Cambridge

  • Portrait of Jennifer Chayes

    Jennifer Chayes

    Technical Fellow / Managing Director, Microsoft Research New England & New York City; and Microsoft Research Montreal

  • Portrait of Rico Malvar

    Rico Malvar

    Chief Scientist and Distinguished Engineer

  • Portrait of Sriram Rajamani

    Sriram Rajamani

    Managing Director, Microsoft Research India Lab