PDL News


November 2013
Garth Gibson Elected IEEE Fellow
We are pleased to announce that Garth Gibson has been selected as an IEEE Fellow. Garth was selected for contributions to the performance and reliability of transformative storage systems. Becoming an IEEE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select IEEE members whose extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation.

September 2013
New Thinking Track at SDC'13

In an effort to further cross-pollinate industry and academic research efforts, the Storage Developer Conference expanded its program this year to include a "New Thinking" track. A program committee of leading academic and industrial researchers compiled a list of 27 leading papers from the last year or two. The SNIA Technical Council then selected five of them to form this track at the conference.

The PDL paper "LazyBase: Trading Freshness for Performance in a Scalable Database" by James Cipar, Greg Ganger, Kimberly Keeton, Charles B. Morrey III, Craig A. N. Soules, and Alistair Veitch was among the papers presented in this track. Originally published at Eurosys '12, it discusses scalable database system is specialized for the growing class of data analysis applications that extract knowledge from large, rapidly changing data sets.

July 2013
Support for Running Concurrent-write HPC Code on HDFS in PLFS

New code on running concurrent-write HPC codes on top of single-writer HDFS storage is now supported in the 2.4 release of PLFS. The code is available online at

July 2013
Call for Users: NSF PRObE 1000 Node Systems Research Testbed
Garth Gibson's long-running effort, in collaboration with Gary Grider of LANL and the New Mexico Consortium, to make a large-scale testbed available for systems researchers has come to fruition. Follow the link to find out how to apply for 1000 nodes for systems research experiments, via NSF's PROBe.

May 2013
Lorrie Cranor Exhibits Quilts at Pittsburgh Children's Museum

The Pittsburgh Children's Museum is hosting an exhibit of six quilts made by Associate Professor Lorrie Faith Cranor. Cranor, who has joint appointments at the Institute for Software Research, the Engineering and Public Policy Department and CyLab, is on sabbatical this semester and is a fellow at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. The exhibit, which is on the yellow wall opposite the "Garage" room, includes a quilt she based on an art installation called "More Light" by Dick Esterle in the museum's great dome. See photos of the exhibit and read more on her blog.
8.5x11 News, May 9: Vol. 23, No. 41

March 2013
Wolfgang Richter Awarded IBM Ph.D. Fellowship

Congratulations to Wolf Richter, who will be receiving an IBM Ph.D. Fellowship. The IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards Program is a worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems of interest to IBM and which are fundamental to innovation including, innovative software, new types of computers, technology, and interdisciplinary projects that create social and business value. The 2013-2014 Fellowship begins in the fall semester of 2013 and covers the academic year; an associated internship may be a summer assignment in 2013 or 2014.

February 2013
PDL Receives Intel Funding for Cloud Computing Research

Carnegie Mellon University's Parallel Data Lab (PDL) has received $487,500 for cloud computing research from Intel, the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductor products.

"This financial support affords us an excellent platform for open collaboration research into the underlying technologies so essential to allowing cloud computing to reach the promise of dramatically improving efficiency, ubiquity and productivity for all scales of user-facing applications across many areas of information technology," said PDL Director Gregory Ganger, the Stephen F. Jatras Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at CMU.

Ganger also is a co-principal investigator of the Intel Science and Technology Center (ISTC) for cloud computing at CMU along with Phil Gibbons, an Intel research scientist and an adjunct professor in computer science.

"This support helps drive development and implementation of strategies to explore emerging technologies within a university research environment," said Scott Buck, university program officer for Intel.

Ganger, an expert in the risks and benefits of cloud computing, reports that cloud computing has the potential to provide large efficiency improvements for both industry and federal government information technology functions. Cloud computing involves using someone else's computers (and possibly software) to accomplish a task rather than one's own. Ganger has recommended that the U.S. government support standardization and research experimentation efforts in pursuit of cloud computing's potential.

For more than a decade, Intel has supported novel research by CMU faculty, including research into embedded computing designed to transform future experiences in the home, car and retail environment.
-- ECE News, Feb. 25, 2013

February 2013
ISTC-CC Researchers Awarded Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence!

Congratulations to David Andersen and Michael Kaminsky for winning the Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence!

The Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence is awarded (roughly) annually by the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon. It recognizes an outstanding body of work that epitomizes Allen Newell's research style as expressed in his words: "Good science responds to real phenomena or real problems. Good science is in the details. Good science makes a difference."

David and Michael won the award for “Energy-efficient Data Intensive Computing” for their FAWN project.  FAWN (Fast Array of Wimpy Nodes) demonstrates how many low-power (e.g., Atom) nodes with SSDs provides significant energy-efficiency gains for important cloud workloads such as key-value stores, and how to redesign system software to get the maximum benefit from such platforms.

January 2013
Onur Mutlu Appointed to Chair
Congratulations to Onur Mutlu who has been appointed as the "Dr. William D. and Nancy W. Stecker Early Career Professor" in ECE effective January 1, 2013.


December 2012
PDL Group Wins Best Student Paper Award at USENIX LISA 2012

Congratulations to Soila Pertet Kavulya and co-authors Elmer Garduno, Jiaqi Tan, Rajeev Gandhi, and Priya Narasimhan, for winning Best Student Paper at 26th USENIX Large Installation System Administration Conference (LISA'12), Dec 9-14, SanDiego, CA for their work on visualization for failure diagnosis in the paper "Theia: Visual Signatures for Problem Diagnosisi in Large Haddop Clusters."

More recent PDL news here.