Assistant Professor Vyas Sekar receives Google Faculty Award


February 20, 2015

Electrical and Computer Engineering assistant professor Vyas Sekar has received the Google Faculty Research Award for Winter 2015. Google Research Awards are one-year awards structured as unrestricted gifts to universities to support the work of world-class full-time faculty members at top universities around the world. The intent of the Google Research Awards is to support cutting-edge research in Computer Science, Engineering, and related fields.

Sekar’s Google Faculty Research Award (in collaboration with professor Michael Reiter from the University of North Carolina) is in the exciting area of software-defined networking. Software-defined networking (SDN) enables flexible network configuration for diverse network management tasks such as traffic engineering, service chaining, network function outsourcing, and topology reconfiguration. However, the optimization problems at the core of these network management tasks requires significant algorithmic expertise to express and non-trivial computation capability to solve. The overarching vision of this research is to accelerate the deployment of new SDN applications by providing high-level abstractions for expressing application requirements, from which we can efficiently generate near-optimal solutions and device configurations that implement those solutions. The research will demonstrate the generality of this idea by prototyping several diverse applications from the SDN literature and show that it can dramatically simplify the development of new SDN-based network optimization applications.

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Vyas Sekar