# The ‘rat race’
There is no mechanism today, other than time, donations, and personal social platforms, for researchers to support other researchers’ work. Every act of support is out of selflessness and there is a lack of incentive for cross collaboration other than having your name on another paper. The reward system in this community is highly dependent on your ability to make your research well known and marketed. Shrey Jain
My guess is that the research community tends to reward narratives that increase intellectual complexity and argue that “we need better algorithms”. People pay lip service to “simple ideas” but few are willing to truly pursue simplicity to its limit and simply scale up existing ideas.
The typical research project might last 4 years at the longest because that is the max duration of a PhD and post-doc. An average PhD candidate wants their own unique project; they don’t want to continue someone else’s project. So the academic world is a rapid succession of short-lived projects
# Tunnel Vision
“Graduate programs select for intensely competitive individuals with highly specific skills, often with negligible market value outside of universities. A strong desire for publications on esoteric topics is inherited from senior postdocs and professors, making tunnel vision especially acute.”
# Incentive Structure
More on incentives
# Research at Microsoft
Session w/ Jim Pinkelman, Ph.D. Been at MS for 19 years, 11 years in Microsoft Research
Most of MS research is not necessarily driven by a technical challenge that a product group faces. Very driven by research interests of new hires.
- Advance the state-of-the-art in CS
- Rapidly transfer technologies to Microsoft products and services
- Incubate disruptive technologies and new business
95% of internal research is peer-reviewed + published
- “We have some unique potential to productize research”
- “We should still listen to external research, but in some areas there is a big benefit in owning the tech”
- Horizon 1: Near term, ~6mo-1yr, what technical challenges do we need to overcome?
- Horizon 2: Medium term, 1-4yrs, idea of general challenge needed to be solved
- Horizon 3: Long term, 5-10yrs, advancement in the field
- MSR Labs: Long term basic research
- MSR NExT: New experiences and technologies