PDL News

PDL News


November 2014
Best Paper at Supercomputing 2014

Congratulations to Kai Ren, Qing Zheng, Swapnil Patil, and Garth Gibson, who recieved the best paper award at Supercomputing 2014 for their work on "IndexFS: Scaling File System Metadata Performance with Stateless Caching and Bulk Insertion." The paper was chosen from among 84 papers and 394 submissions; the conference hosted 10160 attendees.

The paper, slides and code release are available at

November 2014
Best Paper at SoCC!

Congratulations are due to recent PDL Graduate Iulian Moraru and his co-authors David Andersen and Michael Kaminsky for their work on "Paxos Quorum Leases: Fast Reads Without Sacrificing Writes," which received the best paper award at the 2014 ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing (SoCC 2014).

October 2014
Yoongu Kim Receives Samsung PhD Scholarship

We are pleased to announce that Yoongu Kim, advised by Onur Mutlu, is the inaugural recipient of Samsung USA PhD Fellowship. The fellowship will support Kim for the academic year, and this year, he will be the sole recipient.

July 2014
Pavlo Receives SIGMOD Dissertation Award

Andy Pavlo, assistant professor of computer science, has received the 2014 SIGMOD Jim Gray Doctoral Dissertation Award, which recognizes the best dissertation in the field of databases for the previous year. Pavlo earned his Ph.D. in computer science last year at Brown University. His thesis, “On Scalable Transaction Execution in Partitioned Main Memory Database Management Systems,” was based on H-Store, an experimental, distributed main memory database management system. H-Store was the first of a new class of database systems, known as NewSQL, that support highly-concurrent workloads without giving up the transactional guarantees of traditional, relational systems. The system was later commercialized as VoltDB in 2009. The award was presented June 26 at the ACM Special Interest Group on the Management of Data Conference in Snowbird, Utah. He shared this year’s prize with Aditya Parameswaran of Stanford University.
-- Byron Spice, Carnegie Mellon News, July 2, 2014

June 2014
PDL INI Group wins Teaching Assistant Award

The Information Networking Institute presents awards to a few graduating students each year in recognition of exemplary work during their time in graduate school. The Outstanding Student Service Award for Teaching Assistant went to a team of four PDL INI students: Aditya Jaltade, Amod Jaltade, Pratik Shah and Mukul Singh. The winners received an engraved award and monetary prize.

Professors Ganger and Gibson worked with the team of four during the Advanced Storage Systems course. Professor Rajeev Gandhi also nominated Aditya, Amod and Mukul for their assistance with the Fundamentals of Embedded Systems course.

"They gave students a lot of extra help and did it very well by helping them to understand issues or to take a next step forward, without just giving away the solution," said Ganger.
--from INI News at photo C INI@CMU

May 2014
PDL Student Awarded Intel Foundation/SRCEA Graduate Fellowship

ECE doctoral student Kevin Kai-Wei Chang (CMU), who is working with Professor Onur Mutlu on efficient memory systems, has been selected to receive the prestigious Intel Foundation/SRCEA Graduate Fellowship. The fellowship provides tuition and a stipend for up to three years. Kevin recently published a paper at the HPCA 2014 conference on reducing the performance penalty of DRAM refresh, a key limiter of scalability in DRAM memory systems.

May 2014
Mor Harchol-Balter Recipient of Two Teaching Awards

Congratulations to Mor Harchol-Balter (CMU) who received two awards as a result of her teaching (to 400 freshmen) of class 21-127 Proof Concepts. The first was the at 2014 CMU Mudge House Dinner with the Deans Honorary Event for Influential Teachers; the second was at 2014 Apple Pie with Alpha Chi Honorary Event for CMU Faculty with Impact on Students.

April 2014
PDL Paper Presented in Best Paper Session

Samira Khan, an ECE post-doctoral researcher, presented a paper at the 2014 International Symposium on High- Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA), during the Best Paper Session. Dr. Khan was lead author of “Improving Cache Performance by Exploiting Read-Write Disparity.” The paper introduces a new mechanism that takes into account the differences in the performance cost of read and write operations in processor caches. It shows that designing a cache that prioritizes cache blocks that serve the more critical read operations can significantly improve system performance. --ECE News

April 2014
Best Paper Award!

ECE Ph.D. student Hyoseung Kim won the Best Paper Award at the 2014 IEEE Real-time Technologies and Applications Symposium (RTAS) for a piece he co-authored with ECE Assistant Professor Onur Mutlu, ECE Professor Raj Rajkumar, and the SEI's Dionisio de Niz, Bjorn Andersson, and Mark Klein. The paper was titled "Bounding Memory Interference Delay in COTS-based Multi-Core Systems."
-- Inside CIT

April 2014
Mutlu Receives Microsoft Research Award

Congratulations to Onur Mutlu, who has been awarded the 2014 Microsoft Research Software Engineering Innovation Foundation (SEIF) Award. Microsoft's goals in granting the awards involve continuing to support academic research in software engineering technologies, tools, practices, and teaching methods; stimulating and advancing software engineering practices, development of tools, and programming paradigms; and encouraging the application of software engineering methodologies to data center infrastructure design and management, enabling delivery of cloud-scale services.

The award was granted based on Onur's work on "Improving Datacenter Efficiency and Total Cost of Ownership with Differentiated Software Reliability Analysis and Techniques."
--with info from

March 2014
Best Paper Award!

Congratulations to Wolfgang Richter (CMU), Canturk Isci (IBM Research), Jan Harkes and Benjamin Gilbert (CMU), Vasanth Bala (IBM Research), and Mahadev Satyanarayan (CMU), who have won the International Conference on Cloud Engineering (IC2E) Best Paper Award for their paper entitled "Agentless Cloud-wide Streaming of Guest File System Updates".

March 2014
Gregory Ganger Receives 2014 Steven J. Fenves Award

We are pleased to announce that Gregory Ganger is the recipient of the 2014 Steven J. Fenves Award for Systems Research. He is the Jatras Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is also the director of the Parallel Data Lab.

The award is made to a CMU faculty member who has made a significant contribution to systems research in areas relevant to CMU's Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES), through furthering the goal of interconnecting people, physical, and information, the development and demonstration of an engineered system, enhancing education in systems through the development of courses, publishing textbooks (paper or electronic), or a body of knowledge that is of pedagogical importance, or causing a paradigm shift in systems research. Greg is being recognized for his significant contributions to computer systems, in particular for his work on soft updates and self-storage systems
with info from the ICES Newsroom, March 4, 2014

February 2014
Onur Mutlu Receives IBM Faculty Award

Assistant Professor Onur Mutlu has received a 2013 IBM Faculty Award in the amount of $40,000. This is the second year in a row that he has received this prestigious award. The IBM Faculty Award Program is a highly competitive program open to full-time faculty worldwide. Candidates must be nominated by an IBM employee who works in his or her research area and will then serve as liaison for their collaboration. According to the IBM website, winners of the IBM Faculty Award "must have an outstanding reputation for contributions in their field or, in the case of junior faculty, show unusual promise."
from ECE Online News February 21, 2014

February 2014
PDL Students Receive Bertucci Fellowships

Congratulations to ISTC students Justin Meza and Lavanya Subramanian, who were each awarded a John and Claire Bertucci Fellowship. The Bertucci Fellowships are awarded to accomplished graduate students who are pursuing doctoral degrees, have passed their PhD qualifying exams and have been admitted to PhD candidacy. The fellowships provide financial support towards their studies and research.

February 2014
YinzCam Goes to the Superbowl!
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Priya Narasimhan, founder of YinzCam, and engineering students tested multi-camera instant replays to smartphones at the Super Bowl last Sunday. YinzCam, which creates mobile sports apps that allow fans to stay in touch with their favorite teams 24/7 by providing them with real-time stats, multimedia, streaming radio, social-media and more, has seen more than 7 million downloads of their products. The company's mobile-video technology is also being deployed within sports venues throughout the country to allow fans to watch instant replays, live cameras (including the NFL RedZone channel) on their smartphones, tablets or touchscreen computers. Read more about YinzCam at
8.5x11 News, February 6, Vol. 24, No. 28

February 2014
Lorrie Cranor International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge
People's Choice Award Winner

Passwords QuiltLorrie Cranor, an associate professor of computer science and engineering and public policy, and director of the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory, was recently recognized as one of 18 winners, honorable mentions and people’s choice awardees from the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge. The contest, which is jointly run by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the journal Science, exemplifies the old axiom, “a picture is worth a thousand wards.” It celebrates the long tradition of using various types of illustrations to communicate the complexities of science, engineering and technology for education and journalistic purposes when words aren’t enough. Cranor’s quilt “Security Blanket” (pictured above) took honorable mention in the illustration category. While on sabbatical during the 2012-2013 academic year she worked on visualizing security and privacy concepts through art as a fellow of the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. Read more about Cranor's quilting.
8.5x11 News, February 6, Vol. 24, No. 28


December 2013
Gandhi Awarded SPEC Dissertation Award

Anshul Gandhi (ISTC-CC alum) won the SPEC Dissertation award for his Ph.D. thesis, titled, “Dynamic Server Provisioning for Data Center Power Management,” awarded at the International conference on Performance Engineering in March 2014. The Research Group of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) selects the annual research prize to be awarded to a Ph.D. student whose thesis is regarded to be an exceptional, innovative contribution in the scope of the SPEC Research Group. Anshul is starting his new position this September as an Assistant Professor at SUNY StonyBrook.

More recent PDL news here.