CACS/AIC Outstanding Young Canadian Computer Science Researcher Prizes
The Canadian Association of Computer Science/Association informatique Canadienne is pleased to announce the winners of the Outstanding Young Canadian Computer Science Researcher Prize for 2012. They are Professor Eyal de Lara of the University of Toronto, Professor Ondřej Lhoták of the University of Waterloo, and Professor Michael Friedlander of the University of British Columbia. These awards are given out annually to computer science faculty members in Canada who have had outstanding impact in their field within 10 years of graduation from their Ph.D. program. Short summaries of their research contributions follow.
Prof. Eyal de Lara’s research tackles some of the most important problems in mobile and cloud computing, creating game‐changing solutions that in turn have spun off two Canadian funded start‐up companies. Eyal’s research on VM Fork, a new abstraction for cloud computing, could revolutionize the way applications are provisioned on the cloud by enabling on‐demand application scaling. His work on context awareness led to the first localization system based on cell phone signal fingerprinting, which provides accurate location information for applications such as 911 emergency response in indoor environments where GPS does not work. Eyal’s work has been recognized with an IBM Faculty Award and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Accelerator Award. In addition, he supervised the PhD Dissertation of Andres Lagar‐Cavilla, which was awarded the 2010 NSERC Doctoral Prize. Eyal was the first Canadian to chair the program committee of ACM MobiSys, the top conference in the field of mobile systems, and is the only Canadian on the editorial board of IEEE Pervasive Computing, the top venue in the field of ubiquitous computing. In 2012, Eyal and his colleagues, were honoured with a University of Toronto Inventors of the Year award for their work on VM Fork.
Ondřej Lhoták has made significant contributions in the areas of program analysis and aspect-oriented programming. As part of his dissertation research, he developed a novel approach for pointer analysis of object-oriented programs that relies on Binary Decision Diagrams (BDDs) for compactly representing large sets of program analysis facts. This approach distinguishes itself from previous approaches to pointer analysis by its superior scalability. Dr. Lhoták also has made significant contributions in the areas of aspect-oriented programming. In particular, he has developed a notion of “tracematches” that enable the construction of advanced tools for debugging and runtime monitoring and demonstrated that tracematches can be implemented efficiently by using program analysis to reduce the amount of instrumentation overhead. Dr. Lhoták’s projects are characterized by rigorous experimental evaluations, and much of the infrastructure developed as part of Dr. Lhoták’s research has been released as open-source software, to the significant benefit of the Programming Languages community.
In his relatively short career Michael Friedlander has already managed several times to bridge in a stellar fashion between optimization theory, software, and sophisticated application. His contributions to the theory and practice of mathematical optimization are at once topical and lasting. His software packages are used by practitioners from both academia and industry in a variety of application fields, including seismic imaging, machine learning, and signal processing. These efforts required development of a substantial body of new theory that has implications for others in the field, and his ability to develop deep theoretical results that have implications for pragmatic software implementation set him apart from many others in his community. His papers have received over 1000 citations and a Google h-index of 15, and he is already an associate editor of several leading journals.