EECS Faculty Receive 2009 HP Labs Innovation Research Awards   Bookmark and Share

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- HP Article: Pushing Scientific Frontiers by Partnering with the Best

Four EECS faculty teams have been selected to receive 2009 HP Labs Innovation Research Program (IRP) awards. HP's Innovation Research Program is designed to create opportunities for colleges, universities, and research institutes around the world to conduct breakthrough collaborative research with HP. The investigators from Michigan are:

Prof. Mark Kushner
Project Title: "Modeling of Micro-Dielectric Barrier Discharges"
HP Labs Theme: Digital Commercial Print

Prof. Stphane Lafortune and Prof. Scott Mahlke
Project Title: "Gadara: Dynamic Deadlock Avoidance in Concurrent Software via Discrete Control"
HP Labs Theme: Intelligent Infrastructure

Prof. Trevor Mudge and Prof. Thomas Wenisch
Project Title: "Disaggregated Memory for Energy-Efficient Data Centers"
HP Labs Theme: Intelligent Infrastructure

Prof. Kang G. Shin
Project Title: "Flexible Resource Management in Highly Available Virtual Data Centers"
HP Labs Theme
: Intelligent Infrastructure


Mark Kushner will be investigating micro-plasmas. These microscopic sources of ionized gases are critical components in the development of next-generation electrophotography and commercial print engine technologies. "Microplasmas," says Kushner, "hold incredibly complex plasma physics. Our collaboration with HP Labs will give us an opportunity to investigate and understand these interesting plasma physics phenomena and quickly translate that understanding into society-benefiting technologies. This full spectrum experience (science > technology > commercialization)," he adds, "will provide my students with a truly real-world perspective and so accelerate their career development."

Stphane Lafortune and Scott Mahlke are continuing work on a project begun last year with HP called Gadara. The Gadara project is a multi-disciplinary effort to develop an automated methodology, implemented in a software tool, that takes as input a deadlock-prone multithreaded C program and outputs a modified version of the program that is guaranteed to run deadlock-free, without affecting any of the functionalities of the program. To achieve this goal, Gadara uses a novel combination of compiler techniques with discrete event control techniques.

Trevor Mudge and Thomas Wenisch will conduct research into the use of disaggregated memory to enhance the energy efficiency of data centers. Disaggregation refers to the separation of memory from other data center server components and linking together of those components through an interconnect. In modern blade servers, the memory sub-system is one of the most significant contributors to both purchase price and energy consumption. Disaggregation holds the promise of substantially reducing these costs.

Kang Shin will conduct research into techniques for providing resource flexibility and system optimization within virtual data centers through the design and development of systems solutions for memory reservation, enabling the relocation of virtual servers. A long-term objective of this research is to build a framework of flexible resource management facilities, taking into account all resources in a virtual data center, to achieve load balancing as well as energy efficiency.


About the Awards

"Our goal with this program is to collaborate with the brightest minds from around the world to tackle the industry's most complex problems and push the frontiers of fundamental science," said Prith Banerjee, senior vice president, Research, HP and director, HP Labs. "The University of Michigan has demonstrated outstanding achievement and a vision that will help inspire technological innovation and address the most complex challenges and opportunities facing the industry in the next decade."

HP reviewed nearly 300 proposals from more than 140 universities in 29 countries on a range of topics within the eight high-impact research themes at HP Labs - analytics, cloud, content transformation, digital commercial print, immersive interaction, information management, intelligent infrastructure and sustainability. More details about the HP Labs Innovation Research Program and worldwide award recipients are available at

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