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Vijay Chidambaram

UTCS professor Vijay Chidambaram won this year’s Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award for his research in operating systems and file storage. The award is for a dissertation from the last two years that has had an impact in the field of software systems research. He won the award for his doctoral dissertation about decoupling ordering from durability in file systems from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2015.

Up until recently, file systems could only be fast or reliable; either a file system could have high performance, or it could be reliable and accessible after power loss, but not both. Chidambaram’s thesis research explored file systems that could both be reliable and provide high performance.

“Storage is one of the bedrock of applications everywhere,” Chidambaram said. “Whatever application you write, whether it’s a mobile application, server application, desktop application, the games that you play or Netflix, everything depends on storage. Being able to store data in a safe, but at the same time highly efficient, manner is really critical to the systems we’re building today.”

The Dennis M. Richie Doctoral Dissertation Award is given annually by SIGOPS, a special interest group by the Association for Computing Machinery focused on research and development of computing systems. The award was created by ACM SIGOPS in 2013 to “recognize research in software systems and to encourage the creativity that Dennis Ritchie embodied, providing a reminder of Ritchie’s legacy and what a difference one person can make in the field of software systems research,” according to the award website. This year, the award will be presented at SIGOPS Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation in November.

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