PITTSBURGH, Pa., February 12, 2014 – Today, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) 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, letting them test new ways that machine learning and interface technologies can improve personalized user experiences.
“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.”
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. It is also expected to enable the development of new personalization techniques and interfaces to provide a more compelling user experience. Members of the CMU community who opt-in to use the experimental mobile software will provide researchers access to real user data and the opportunity to rapidly iterate on the technologies.
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.”
“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.”
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.
Since its establishment in 2005, Yahoo Labs has served as the Company’s incubator for bold experimentation, applying its scientific findings to create personalized, delightful experiences for Yahoo’s users and enhance value for its advertisers. Yahoo Labs continues to innovate across numerous research areas including machine learning, personalization, mobile, advertising science, image processing, natural language processing, and more.
The Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, now celebrating the 25th anniversary of its transformation from a department to a school, is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top computer science schools. Its programs reflect a broad view of computer science, encompassing such disciplines as robotics, language technologies, machine learning, human-computer interaction and computational biology, while preparing students to use computation to transform society.
Yahoo is focused on making the world's daily habits inspiring and entertaining. By creating highly personalized experiences for our users, we keep people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the world. In turn, we create value for advertisers by connecting them with the audiences that build their businesses. Yahoo is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and has offices located throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC) and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. For more information, visit the pressroom (pressroom.yahoo.net) or the Company's blog (yahoo.tumblr.com).
About Carnegie Mellon
Carnegie Mellon (www.cmu.edu) is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 12,000 students in the university’s seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in Pittsburgh, Pa., California’s Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties concerning Yahoo's strategic and operational plans for the partnership between Yahoo Labs and CMU (including without limitation its impact on the speed of mobile and personalization research, the scope of its impact on and benefit to mobile applications, technologies and users, and its predictive capabilities and contribution to the user experience). Actual events or results may differ materially from those described in this press release due to a number of risks and uncertainties. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the possibility that the expected anticipated benefits and impact of the partnership may not be realized.
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Yahoo Media Contact:
Lauren Whitehouse, Yahoo
CMU Media Contact:
Byron Spice, Carnegie Mellon University