Shenoy Receives

Karen Chrisman

August 25, 2000

Prashant Shenoy, assistant professor of Computer Science, recently received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The highly competitive awards are intended to help junior faculty members develop careers in research and teaching. From more than 2,000 applications, NSF annually selects 300-350 science and engineering faculty from across the country to receive the four-year, $200,000 awards.

Shenoy's research group, the Laboratory for Advanced System Software (LASS), acts as a glue between operating systems, computer networks and the World Wide Web. His research focuses on the design of servers and networks for multimedia and web-based applications.

"The demands that such applications place on computer systems and networks make this a very challenging problem to solve," says Shenoy. Performance and scale are two key issues: servers must be able to efficiently retrieve large quantities of data and networks such as the Internet will need to deliver this data to users in a timely manner.

His grant proposal, "Scalable High-performance Information Servers for Internet-based Multimedia Applications," will investigate solutions to this problem. It focuses on three areas: Multimedia operating systems that run demanding applications; multimedia file systems that store huge amounts of data; and proxy servers that deliver this data over wide area networks such as the Internet.

The ability to deal with heterogeneity in application requirements and data characteristics is a driving force behind this research. An important outcome of this research will be a prototype system based on the Linux operating system that will demonstrate the efficacy of the approach.

Given the commercial potential of this research, Shenoy considered going into industry after receiving his Ph.D. in 1998, but felt that the academic environment provided him more freedom to do long-term research without the market pressures that exist in industry. He was also extremely excited about being able to collaborate with current faculty Jim Kurose, Krithi Ramamritham, and Don Towsley, who are each highly regarded in their fields.

"Prashant's broad range of interests - combining multimedia, operating systems and the World Wide Web - come together in this CAREER grant. This is an exciting time to be investigating issues that lie in the intersection of these areas, and Prashant is uniquely positioned to carry them out," said Ramamritham.

Shenoy received his doctorate in 1998 from the University of Texas at Austin where he was honored as having written the "Best Doctoral Dissertation of 1998-99" in the computer science department.