Yahoo signs Carnegie Mellon deal worth $10 mn

Yahoo and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) announced a five-year, $10 million partnership highlighted by an industry-first mobile toolkit that will enable CMU researchers to easily experiment with Yahoo’s real-time data services.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the exceptional faculty and students at Carnegie Mellon, which has established itself as a premier institution for machine learning and user interface technologies,” said Dr Ron Brachman, chief scientist and head of Yahoo Labs.

“By creating a way for Carnegie Mellon University researchers to work directly with Yahoo software and infrastructure, we hope to speed up the pace of mobile and personalization research and create a better user experience,” added Brachman.

The mobile toolkit serves as the infrastructure for a living laboratory for researchers to explore new approaches to understanding human behavior by using machine learning algorithms to more accurately predict user needs and intentions.

The partnership, named Project InMind, also includes a new Yahoo-sponsored fellowship program at CMU. The program will provide financial and research support to computer science students and faculty members.

Yahoo Fellows will have the opportunity to pursue research in disciplines such as machine learning, mobile technologies, human-computer interaction, personalization, novel interaction techniques, and natural language processing, with annual financial support from Yahoo and mentorship from world-class computer scientists at Yahoo Labs and CMU.

“The InMind program provides unique new opportunities for the outstanding faculty and students at CMU to partner with Yahoo and its talented scientists and engineers to potentially further the frontiers of mobile applications and technologies,” said CMU President Dr Subra Suresh.

“This partnership is a clear demonstration, in the tradition of CMU, of how scholarly scientific research combined with industry relevance and perspectives could advance technologies that have a global social impact,” added Suresh.

“This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for our students and faculty to work directly with a team of leading-edge researchers from Yahoo Labs on technologies that could benefit hundreds of millions of mobile users,” said Dr Randal E Bryant, University Professor and Dean of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.
“The overall commitment in this new partnership is a testament to our shared desire to advance the science of machine learning, user interfaces, and mobile technologies,” added Bryant.

The InMind Project will be directed at CMU by Dr Tom Mitchell, Fredkin University Professor of Computer Science and Machine Learning and head of the Machine Learning Department, and by Dr Justine Cassell, the Charles M Geschke, director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

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