PDL News


December, 2001
PDL Student recieves Honorable Mention in CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Awards
Cory Williams, a senior in CS and Math Sciences, and a member of the PDL, received Honorable Mention when the Computing Research Association selected the recipients of their Outstanding Undergraduate Awards for 2002. Nominees were from universities across North America and it is a significant honor for Cory to have been selected for honorable mention from this group.

Cory's work focuses on Computer forensics and Intrusion detection, and the benefit achieved if system logs continued to be accurately recorded after a system compromise. Specifically, he is working on how to use these accurately recorded system logs and what should be recorded if accurate logging is expected.

November, 2001
Congratulations to CMU's ACM Programming Contest Winners
The CMU team consisting of Cory Williams, Tom Murphy and Eric Heutchy recieved 4th place in the East Central North American Region in the ACM programming contest this past saturday. They competed at Ashland University, where they placed 1st (there are several sites of competition within each region).

October, 2001
3 PDL Faculty Receive HP/Intel Itanium-Based System Grant
Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) and Intel Corporation have awarded three Carnegie Mellon computer science faculty members $153,162 in equipment grants from its new Itanium-based Systems Grant program. Carnegie Mellon is one of 40 universities worldwide whose faculty was selected based on how they would deploy the Itanium-based systems to strengthen their research. One of the largest awards made under the HP/Intel program goes to Anastassia Ailamaki (PI), Todd Mowry and Dave Nagle. They will receive six one-way workstations, one two-way Workstation and one RX4610 server valued at $153,162. "The Itanium architecture is extremely promising for database applications -- the software that dominates the commercial server market," said Ailamaki, an assistant professor of computer science. "Inventing ways for database systems to take advantage of the Itanium processor's characteristics opens an exciting new research area that will lead in revolutionizing database software technology to deliver superb performance on this cutting-edge computer architecture."
(from SCS Today, Oct 2, 2001)

August, 2001
Professor Srinivasan Seshan Receives IBM Faculty Partnership Award
and NSF CAREER Award
Srinivasan Seshan has been awarded an IBM Faculty Partnership Award (FPA) and an NSF CAREER award. A $20,000 IBM FPA was granted for his work related to networking protocols and infrastructure for ubiquitous computing. He earned a $487,651 NSF Career Award for his proposal, "Towards an Efficient Ubiquitous Computing Infrastructure," in which he will attempt to design a new networking and operating system infrastructure for the next generation of ubiquitous computing applications. Congratulations Srini!
(from SCS Today, Aug 8, 2001)

July, 2001
2 PDL Faculty Receive IBM Faculty Partnership Award
Anastassia Ailamaki, assistant professor in computer science, has received an IBM Faculty Partnership Award, totaling $40,000. Also receiving the award, for a third year, is PDL Co-Director Greg Ganger, Assistant Professor in ECE.

The IBM Faculty Partnership Award recognizes and fosters novel, creative work as well as strengthens the relationships between leading universities and the IBM research and development community.
(from SCS-Today, July 10, 2001)

July, 2001
Ailamaki Receives Carnegie Mellon Berkman Faculty Development Award and VLBD01 Best Paper
Anastassia Ailamaki has also received a Carnegie Mellon Berkman Faculty Development
Award for $5,000. Carnegie Mellon established the award to aid junior faculty in their professional development and provide funding for projects that have difficulty attracting outside support. For more about the Berkman Faculty Development Award, see

Recently honored with the Best Paper Award in the prestigious International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB 2001), Ailamaki researches database management systems (DBMSs) and on their interaction with computer architecture. Her recent work is highly interdisciplinary and explores innovative ways to improve DBMS performance by studying the hardware behavior of commercial database systems running on modern processors.
(from SCS-Today, July 10, 2001)

May, 2001
Craig Soules Named USENIX Scholar for Second Year
Our congratulations to Craig Soules, a PDL graduate student working toward his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He was named a "USENIX Scholar" for a second year by the USENIXassociation. As a part of this award, USENIX is supporting Craig's tuition and stipend.

April, 2001
Steve Schlosser Receives Intel Fellowship

We’d like to congratulate Steve Schlosser who has been awarded an Intel fellowship. Nationally, Intel awards thirty-five Ph.D. fellowships each year, providing a cash award (tuition/fees/ stipend), an Intel CPU-based PC, an Intel Mentor, and the opportunity to conduct research or an internship at Intel.

Steve’s research focuses on the design and application of MEMS-based storage. This non-volatile storage technology merges magnetic recording material and thousands of recording heads to provide storage capacity of 1-10 GB of data in an area under 1 cm2 in size with access times of less than a millisecond and streaming bandwidths of over 50 MB per second. Further, because MEMS-based storage is built using photolithographic IC processes similar to standard CMOS, MEMS-based storage has per-byte costs significantly lower than DRAM and access times an order of magnitude faster than conventional disks.

June, 2001
Computer Magazine Features Research on Active Disks for Large-Scale Data Processing:
In the June edition of Computer Magazine (Vol. 34, No 6), Erik Riedel, ECE alumnus, Christos Faloutsos, professor, Garth A. Gibson, associate professor, and David Nagle, senior research computer scientist, report on their research on an active disk storage device that can accelerate an existing database system and eliminate the need for the PC processor.

From the online abstract: "With active disks, application-specific functions access the excess computation power in drives. Active disks combine the requisite processing power of general-purpose disk-drive microprocessors with the special-purpose functionality of end-user programmability. The authors' experiment showed that active disks can accelerate an existing database system by moving data-intensive processing to the disks, thereby reducing the server CPU's processing load."
(from SCS-Today, June 5, 2001)

May, 2001
Premier Database Research Conference ACM SIGMOD 2001 Recognizes CS Ph.D. Student's Work
Shimin Chen's paper "Improving Index Performance through Prefetching," co-authored by Phillip B. Gibbons, and Todd C. Mowry was selected as a runner-up for the Best Paper Award for 2001 at the ACM SIGMOD 2001 conference. The premier conference for database research and practice, ACM SIGMOD 2001 conference organizers received 290 paper submissions, but chose only 44 papers to be included in the proceedings. "The task for selection of best paper was extremely difficult," explained the ACM SIGMOD selection committee. "We ended up with three papers (out of 44) that were clearly the top ones, all deserving the best paper award. At the end, the decision was a very hard one to make; [Chen's] paper was finally ranked as one of the two runner-ups." Chen is a second year CS Ph.D.; his advisor is Todd Mowry, associate professor of computer science. A copy of "Improving Index Performance through Prefetching" is linked from Chen's web page.
(from SCS-Today, June 5, 2001)

March, 2001
Mor Harchol-Balter Receives Anna McCandless Chair
Mor Harchol-Balter, assistant professor of computer science, has been awarded the Anna McCandless Chair, a three-year term career development professorship that provides funding for travel and sabbaticals, including partial costs of academic-year teaching and research and programs. Jim Morris, dean of the School of Computer Science, said, "Mor arrived here, hit the ground running and has already launched an exciting program of research and education in computer system performance."

A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Harchol-Balter received her doctorate in 1996. Manuel Blum, professor of computer science and Turing Award winner, was the committee chair of her thesis entitled "Network Analysis Without Expoentiality Assumptions." Currently, her research interests include performance analysis and computer systems design, particularly distributed systems. Her research applications include Web servers, distributed Web servers, distributed supercomputing servers, networks of workstations, and communication networks. Harchol-Balter teaches performance analysis and computer networks and also advises three Ph.D. students. A prolific researcher, she is the author of numerous papers published in various journals and conference proceedings.

The Anna McCandless Chair is sponsored by the estate of Anna Loomis McCandless. McCandless, a native of Pittsburgh, was a 1919 graduate of Margaret Morrison Carnegie College. She worked for a private investor and then Fidelity Trust Co. after graduating from Carnegie Tech and was the first female member of the Board of Trustees in 1967. She was the longest serving female trustee, serving on the board for 29 years. In 1963, McCandless received Carnegie Mellon's Alumni Service Award.
(from SCS-Today, March 27, 2001)

March, 2001
Garth Goodson Receives IBM Research Fellowship
Congratulations to Garth Goodson on his award of a Research Fellowship from IBM. The fellowship, which is eligible for renewal, covers Garth's tuition for the year and includes a stipend of $15,000. Garth plans to spend some time at IBM Almaden with the storage research group there this summer.

Garth is a Ph.D. student in ECE and has recently been working on Self-Securing Storage Systems (S4 for short). Self-securing storage prevents intruders from undetectably tampering with or permanently deleting stored data by internally auditing all requests and keeping all versions of all data for a window of time, regardless of commands received from potentially-compromised host operating systems. Within this window, this valuable information exists for intrusion diagnosis and recovery. Garth is also currently a teaching assistant for 18-546: Introduction to Storage Systems.

Feb 22, 2001
3 Professors Receive Research Grants from Dept. of Defense
The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded grants to Edmund Clarke, the FORE Systems Professor of Computer Science, Greg Ganger, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Jeannette Wing, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Computer Science, for their national defense research efforts. The grants were three of 20 awards totaling $9.3 million. The average award is $875,000 per year for three years. Clarke's project for the U.S. Navy is entitled "Static Analysis to Enhance the Power of Model Checking for Concurrent Software." Ganger's project for the Air Force is called "Enabling Dynamic Security Management of Networked Systems via Device-Embedded Security." Wing's work for the Army is entitled "Verification Tools for Embedded Systems."
from CMU 8 1/2 x 11 News, Feb 22, 2001


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