Zhenhua Liu, from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS), has received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Early CAREER Research Award. He will receive a total of $533,000 to develop his project, “An adaptive framework to accelerate real-time workloads in heterogeneous and reconfigurable environments.”
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are enabling real-time decisions based on live data for interactive scientific discovery and mission critical applications such as autonomous driving and smart grid. They are increasingly powered by heterogeneous and even reconfigurable accelerators. Today, managing heterogeneous and reconfigurable systems for diverse workloads with high resource utilization and performance guarantee is an extremely challenging task and can slow down scientific discovery and waste computing resources and energy.
Liu’s research aims to design an adaptive framework that automatically detects, profiles, and analyzes both workloads and accelerators on the fly. The developed framework will provide provable performance even with partial information in unknown environments, which is urgently needed due to the ever-increasing system complexity and volatility in workloads.
“This technology has the potential to improve the efficiency of costly computing systems, which saves energy, makes better use of existing investments, and leads to a net savings to taxpayers,” said Joe Mitchell, chair of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics. “Zhenhua’s research will have broader impacts too, bringing educational innovations, outreach, and opportunities for both academic and industrial participants to train the next generation of researchers and practitioners for society as a whole.”
“The NSF CAREER award is one of the most prestigious honors for junior faculty members,” said Jon Longtin, interim dean, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Zhenhua’s well-deserved accomplishments fuel our research enterprise with scientific discoveries that address today’s biggest societal challenges while enhancing the opportunities we provide to our students. I wish to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Zhenhau and look forward to his future contributions to CEAS!”
Liu’s research interests include sustainable computing and networking systems, cloud platforms for big data applications and energy management, and renewable energy integration. He develops and applies techniques from distributed systems, nonlinear optimization, game theory, and online algorithms for these systems. In particular, his research combines rigorous analysis and system design, and goes from theory, to prototype, and eventually to industry to make real impacts. In addition to the CAREER award, Liu was recently awarded the IBM 2020 Global University Program Academic Award, ACM SIGMETRICS 2021 Rising Star Research Award, ACM SIGMETRICS 2021 Test-of-time Paper Award, and INFOCOM 2020 Best Paper Award.
The NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award is a Foundation-wide program that offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through research and education. The awards, presented once each year, include a federal grant for research and education activities for five consecutive years.