I was lucky enough (thanks to Dr. Matteo Venanzi) to be invited to Microsoft’s summer school that takes place in Cambridge, UK, every year (4-8 July 2016). This is a one week school that aims to familiarise PhD students with the work at Microsoft. Moreover, students get the opportunity to present their work to other students, communication experts and Microsoft researchers. The benefit of this is twofold. First, students get feedback on their work and their presentation skills and style. Also, it is an opportunity to meet new people and measure the impact of your work in terms of the interest your poster attracts. At the same time, it is an opportunity to evaluate whether your work has any relevance to anything that Microsoft’s is currently working on. The school focuses on early PhD students but late students, like me, attended as well.
In terms of the everyday schedule, as I already mentioned, we had some coaching on how to communicate our research but we also had some more technical lectures as well. For example, I particularly liked Prof. Bishop’s presentation (“The Road to General Artificial Intelligence”). He focused on the advancements of AI in the recent years and that the potential is still greater.
Overall, I believe this yearly summer school is a great initiative from Microsoft Research and I am glad I was a part of it.