Mao and Paoletti Recognized by College of Engineering

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Prof. Z. Morley Mao

Dr. David Paoletti

Our congratulations go to the CSE faculty who have been selected for awards from the College of Engineering in 2017: Z. Morley Mao for her research excellence and David Paoletti for his teaching excellence.

Z. Morley Mao – George J. Huebner, Jr. Research Excellence Award

Prof. Z. Morley Mao has been selected to receive the 2016 – 2017 George J. Huebner, Jr. Research Excellence Award from the College of Engineering. This award recognizes a demonstrated sustained excellence in research and related scholarly activities.

Since coming to Michigan in 2004, Prof. Mao has focused her teaching and research on mobile computing, security, networking, distributed systems, SDN, and cloud computing. Her work involves both empirical data collection and analysis, as well as the design and implementation of new systems.

Through her RobustNet Research Group, Prof. Mao has led inquiries into issues of Internet routing, measurement and security, wide-area and enterprise network management, malware behavior analysis and host-based security in general. In recent years, she has investigated the effectiveness of mobile computing systems, which are composed of computational, wireless, security, and cloud services which have constraints that are completely unique from those of traditional desktop computers. This has resulted in the development of software tools to monitor and analyze power use and performance of mobile architectures, including the PowerTutor and Mobiperf tools.

In 2015, Prof. Mao and her collaborators authored "Accelerating Mobile Applications through Flip-Flop Replication," which was selected as a best paper at MobiSys '15. The paper introduces Tango, a new method for using a remote server to accelerate the performance of mobile applications. Tango replicates an application and executes it on both the client and the server, increasing performance by allowing either replica to lead execution.

Together with her students, Prof. Mao has recently published several noteworthy security results in mobile and network security, including on user interface deception attacks, packet injection vulnerabilities, and inconsistent security policy enforcement. The 2016 paper, "MitM Attack by Name Collision: Cause Analysis and Vulnerability Assessment in the New gTLD Era," described a Man in the Middle (MitM) attack enabled by enterprises' use of generic top-level domains (gTLDs), such as .school or .network, as a way of making it easier for employees to access and manage internal systems.

Prof. Mao received her PhD degree in computer science from UC-Berkeley in 2003. She has served as Associate Editor of three IEEE and ACM journals and was the the program co-chair for MobiSys'14. She has published at the CCS, MobiCom, MobiSys, SIGCOMM, SIGMetrics, IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, NDSS, NSDI, and USENIX Security Symposium conferences.

She is the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, a Sloan Fellowship, an IBM Faculty Partnership Award, and Google Faculty Research Awards. Within EECS, she has been named a Morris Wellman Faculty Development Professor and has received the EECS Outstanding Achievement Award. She has been a faculty advisor to the Girls in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (gEECS) student group since 2004, and the ECSEL student group for graduate student women since 2015.

David Paoletti – Thomas M. Sawyer, Jr. Teaching Award

Dr. David Paoletti has been selected to receive the 2016 – 2017 CoE Thomas M. Sawyer, Jr. Teaching Award. This award recognizes non tenure-track faculty who have demonstrated sustained excellence in instruction and guidance at the undergraduate levels.

Paoletti joined the CSE Division as a Lecturer in the fall of 2013 to teach EECS 281: Data Structures & Algorithms, a course that is considered the most important course in the computer science undergraduate program. Over the years, Paoletti has transformed the 600+ student course to be one of the best-regarded classes in the department and consistently produces well-informed and competent students. His lectures are considered to be detailed and informative and he works continuously to make the class better each semester.

During the semester, he goes above and beyond by making himself available for multiple hours to work with students one-on-one, which results in him helping over 150 individual students per week.

To prepare for the class each semester, he evaluates, hires, and mentors a teaching staff of five GSIs and two IA student instructors. He inspires his student instructors to work their hardest, and they consider teaching the class as an honor and a privilege. Those that have worked under Paoletti in EECS 281 have gone on to companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon.

Outside of the classroom, Paoletti works as a CSE undergraduate advisor to help students declare majors/minors, course advising, career planning, and evaluating graduate school options. He also serves as Chief Program Advisor, where he contributes to departmental advising policy, is responsible for arbitration of special requests, and meets regularly with CSE students on academic probation.

Dr. Paoletti has also received the EECS outstanding achievement award in 2016 and was chosen by students as the HKN CSE Professor of the Year for the 2014-2015 school year. 

Posted: February 8, 2017