Five College of Engineering faculty receive Google Research Awards


March 25, 2015

Eleven Carnegie Mellon University faculty members received a prestigious 2015 Google Research Award. Of those 11, five are from the College of Engineering: Heinze College Professor Alessandro Acquisti (member of CyLab), ECE Professor Richard Stern, ECE Associate Professor Onur Mutlu, ECE/CyLab Professor Vyas Sekar, and MechE Assistant Professor Koushil Sreenath.

The prestigious Google Research Award aims to support those on the leading edge of computer science and related engineering research. This award is a one-year monetary award given as an unrestricted gift designed to support world-class university faculty from around the world. The award of up to $150,000 is often used to fund graduate student support for faculty for one year.

Applicants are asked to categorize their proposals into one of a list of broad categories that represent areas of research interest to Google. This list includes Human-Computer Interaction, Natural Language Processing and Security, among others.

Stern's Award was in the category of Machine Perception. Stern's research is largely focused on the field of automatic speech recognition and auditory signal processing. This research models how we hear complex sounds and works to improve SPHINX, Carnegie Mellon's speech recognition system, specifically problems of acoustical distortion such as background noise, room reverberation and more.

Mutlu's award was in the category of Systems (hardware and software), specifically in the area of novel computer memory systems. This research looks at new memory architectures with the hope of enabling low-cost and energy-efficient computation near data.

Sekar's award was in the Networking category, in conjunction with Michael Reiter of UNC Chapel Hill. More specifically, Sekar's research looks into the area of Software-Defined Networking or SDN. SDN is a novel network management paradigm that can simplify network management tasks such as traffic engineering, service chaining, and topology reconfiguration. The goal of this research is to dramatically simplify the time and effort required to develop and deploy new network optimization applications.

Acquisti's award was in the Privacy category. His research is a joint venture with Eyal Pe’er, who was a postdoctoral fellow at CMU and is now a professor at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

Sreenath's award was in the Robotics category, one of only two researchers worldwide to be recognized in this category. Sreenath works at the intersection of highly dynamic robotics and applied nonlinear control. His research works to employ feedback control to ascribe high-performance features seen in biological systems to robots.

Each funded project receives an individual Google sponsor to help develop the research direction and facilitate collaboration between Google and the research team.

Story originally published here.