A few months ago, I decided to apply to Microsoft as a summer intern. I recently heard back from them, and I'm looking forward to joining Microsoft Research's Cloud Computing Futures Group.
I'll be working on the "Client + Cloud" effort. Currently, researchers need access to their own clusters to do heavy data processing. It would be more efficient to do number crunching in the cloud, where resources can scale along with researchers' needs. But many of researchers' algorithms require very low inter-node latencies, and clouds built of commodity hardware can't guarantee that. Over the summer, I'll be adapting these kinds of algorithms to work with the cloud's relatively high inter-node latencies, specifically using Windows Azure.
In many ways, this is my ideal internship. It provides a nice start in the research field, with the potential for a paper in a year or two. It's in an area of Microsoft that's on the leading edge -- as Steve Ballmer stated, cloud computing is Microsoft's future. And the Cloud Computing Futures Group has strong ties with UC Berkeley, so I'll be able to collaborate even beyond this summer.