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Dr. Gary Flake is responsible for bridging Microsoft Research and MSN, and for setting the technology vision and future direction of the MSN portal, Web search, desktop search, and commercial search efforts. He also is the founder and director of Live Labs, which represents Microsoft's greatest investment in applied research focused on Internet technologies. Before joining Microsoft, Flake founded Yahoo! Research Labs, ran Yahoo!s corporate R&D activities and company-wide innovation effort, and was Overture's Chief Science Officer. He was a research scientist at NEC Research Institute and the leader of its Web data-mining program before he joined Overture. Flake earned his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Maryland and is the author of the award-winning book, The Computational Beauty of Nature.