Matei Zaharia receives ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award

April 28, 2015

Matei Zaharia receives 2014 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award
Reported today by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Matei Zaharia, Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) is the recipient of the 2014 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award for his innovative solutions to tackling the surge in data processing workloads and accommodating the speed and sophistication of complex multi-stage applications and more interactive ad-hoc queries. His work proposed a new architecture for cluster computing systems, achieving best-in-class performance in a variety of workloads while providing a simple programming model that lets users easily and efficiently combine them. 

Zaharia completed the work on his dissertation at the University of California, Berkeley, which nominated him for this award.

In his dissertation “An Architecture for Fast and General Data Processing on Large Clusters”, Zaharia proposed Resilient Distributed Datasets (RDDs) to address the limited processing capabilities of single machines as data volumes and stalling process speeds increased. RDDs are designed to let programmers perform computations on large clusters in a fault-tolerant manner. 

Prior to earning his PhD at UC Berkeley in 2013, Zaharia earned the B.Math in Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, where he won a gold medal at the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest in 2005. He is a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Databricks, the company commercializing Apache Spark.  

He will receive the Doctoral Dissertation Award and its $20,000 prize at the annual ACM Awards Banquet on June 20, in San Francisco, CA. Financial sponsorship of the award is provided by Google Inc.  Read more in the ACM announcement and the CSAIL article.