Six ECE faculty receive Google Research Awards


September 8, 2015

Ten Carnegie Mellon University faculty members have received a prestigious Summer 2015 Google Research Award. Of those ten, six are from, or hold courtesy appointments in, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: Lorrie Cranor, Kayvon Fatahalian, Pulkit Grover, Brandon Lucia, Andy Pavlo and Bruno Sinopoli.

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. This year Google gave 113 awards, 27% of which were given to faculty at universities outside of the United States.

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

Cranor’s award was given in the Security category. Cranor’s research focuses on usable privacy and security, technology and public policy.  She has authored over 150 research papers on online privacy and usable security, playing a key role in building the usable privacy and security research community.  Cranor is also affiliated with Carnegie Mellon's CyLab.

Fatahalian’s award was given in the Systems (hardware and software) category. Fatahalian architects visual computing systems for more intelligent visual computing applications. His research involves designing new programming systems that quickly generate efficient renderer implementations as applied to specific hardware configurations or application needs. He also explores visual computing platforms in the context of extreme mobility, cloud computing and ubiquitous image sensors and displays.

Grover and Sinopoli were awarded a grant in the Physical Interactions and Immersive Experiences category, in conjunction with Laurie Heller from the Department of Psychology. Grover’s research interests lie in understanding information beyond just communication. He researches the theoretical and practical aspects of green communication and computation, and the intersection of communication, biosensing, and control. Sinopoli, also affiliated with CyLab, focuses on the analysis and design of Cyber-Physical Systems, with applications to Smart Infrastructures and the Internet of Things.

Lucia’s award was in the category of Software Engineering and Programming Languages. His research lies on the boundary between computer architecture, computer systems and programming languages. He focuses on improving programmability, reliability and efficiency of computing devices and works from the microarchitecture to the application of the system.

Pavlo’s award was in Structured Data and Database Management.  His research focuses on database management systems, specifically main memory systems, non-relational systems (NoSQL), transaction processing systems (NewSQL) and large-scale data analytics. At CMU he is a member of the Database Group and of the Parallel Data Laboratory.

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

See the full list of Summer 2015 Google Research Award recipients here.