Three UTCS professors—Vijay Chidambaram, Simon Peter, and Eric Price—have won the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development award for 2018.

Popularly known as the NSF CAREER award, this is NSF's most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty “who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.''

Don Fussell, the Trammell Crow Regents' Professor and Chair of the UT Computer Science department, said he was delighted but not surprised by the large number of UTCS faculty who won the CAREER award this year. 

“Like other top-10 CS departments, we usually get just one or two CAREER awards a year,'' he said. “This year, three of our junior faculty have won CAREER awards and two have won Sloan awards, which reflects the quality of our recent hires and the strong commitment to computer science by the University administration.''

This year’s new CAREER awardees conduct research in computer systems and theory—two areas in which UT Computer Science has a long-standing history of excellence.

Professor Vijay Chidambaram, director of the UT Systems and Storage Lab (UTSASLab), is being recognized for work on building robust infrastructure with high performance to meet the demands of big-data applications. His current projects, which are funded by VMware, Facebook, and the National Science Foundation, include improving the performance of Ethereum, and building storage systems with new technologies such as Phase Change Memory. His Ph.D. dissertation won the SIGOPS Dennis M. Ritchie Dissertation Award in 2016, and he has won Best Paper Awards at the FAST conference in 2017 and 2018

Professor Simon Peter is the director of the UT Austin Systems Research Consortium, which is working closely with industry to shape the future of cloud computing. His current research includes co-designing the networking and storage stacks with new hardware technologies to push server I/O efficiency an order of magnitude beyond today's capabilities, and it is supported by VMware, Microsoft Research, Huawei, and Google. He was awarded the Jay Lepreau Best Paper Award at the OSDI conference in 2014 and 2016, and his work is being recognized this year with a Sloan Award as well.

Professor Eric Price has done ground-breaking studies on how algorithms can produce more accurate results with less data. Two themes of his research are adaptivity, where initial data can guide future data collection, and signal structure, where a structural assumption such as from sparsity or deep learning can yield provable improvements in sample complexity. His research was featured in Technology Review’s TR10 list of 10 breakthrough technologies of 2012, and his Ph.D. dissertation won the George M. Sprowls Award for best Computer Science thesis at MIT.

Professors Chidambaram, Peter and Price join nineteen other past and present members of the UT Computer Science faculty who have won NSF CAREER awards.

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