Carnegie Mellon University

Mahadev Satyanarayanan

Mahadev Satyanarayanan

Courtesy Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Carnegie Professor, Computer Science Department

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Satya's multi-decade research career has focused on the challenges of performance, scalability, availability and trust in information systems that reach from the cloud to the mobile edge of the Internet.  In the course of this work, he has pioneered many advances in distributed systems, mobile computing, pervasive computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Most recently, his seminal 2009 publication “The Case for VM-based Cloudlets in Mobile Computing” has inspired many technical efforts worldwide at the intersection of mobile computing, cloud computing, and IoT and has led to the emergence of Edge Computing (also known as "Fog Computing").


As an experimental computer scientist, Satyanarayanan designs, implements, and evaluates systems. His research interests span mobile computing, pervasive computing and distributed systems (especially distributed file systems). Performance, availability, security, usability and manageability are some of the key attributes that he pays attention to in his work.

One outcome of Satyanarayanan's studies is the Coda File System, which supports disconnected and bandwidth-adaptive operation. Key ideas from Coda have been incorporated by Microsoft into the IntelliMirrorcomponent of Windows. Another outcome is Odyssey, a set of open-source operating system extensions for enabling mobile applications to adapt to variation in critical resources such as bandwidth and energy. Coda and Odyssey are building blocks in Project Aura, a research initiative at Carnegie Mellon to build a distraction-free ubiquitous computing environment. Earlier, Satyanarayanan was a principal architect and implementor of the Andrew File System (AFS), which was commercialized by IBM.