Christina Delimitrou receives Sloan Research Fellowship for high-risk, high-return research

Dr. Christina Delimitrou has been selected as a 2020 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Computer Science. Delimitrou is an assistant professor and the John and Norma Balen Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The Sloan Research Fellowships aim to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists recognized for their distinguished performance and unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. Each year, 126 researchers are selected to receive the prestigious and competitive two-year fellowships, which include an award of $75,000.

Prof. Delimitrou’s selection highlights her team’s work to apply data-driven machine learning approaches to large-scale systems problems. “This is an approach we have previously applied to cloud management in datacenters,” Delimitrou said. “We showed that it can significantly increase the amount of work the system can sustain while also improving its reliability, efficiency, and responsiveness.”

Professor Christina DelimitrouThe promise of Delimitrou’s work is to provide more practical and higher-quality solutions for cloud systems with hundreds of thousands of machines, compared to prior empirical approaches. With the Sloan Fellowship, her team will be able to explore further how to apply machine learning techniques to emerging hardware and software trends in cloud computing, such as hardware accelerators and microservices.

“Despite their benefits,” Delimitrou said, “these trends complicate several aspects of cloud design and management, which is why leveraging machine learning for them has such high potential.”

Prof. Delimitrou was nominated for the fellowship by ECE Professor and Director Alyssa Apsel.

“Christina is a huge asset to our growing Computer Engineering program,” said Apsel. “Her work is a game changer in managing the increasing complexity of cloud applications and datacenter hardware. She has become a pioneer, with her work gaining traction in industry at Google, Facebook and Netflix.”

Delimitrou said she was honored by the fellowship and grateful to the Sloan Foundation for acknowledging the importance and potential of research in this emerging area. “Awards like this are invaluable,” she said, “especially to new faculty, as they give us the freedom to explore high-risk, high-return research.”

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