Aug 17, 2010

Zhu receives NSF CAREER award

Dakai Zhu, an assistant professor in UTSA's Department of Computer Science has recently become a recipient of a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Development (CAREER) award. The five-year, $400K grant will support Dr. Zhu's research project which will design and develop an "Integrated Scheduling Framework for Multicore Based Real-Time Embedded Systems." Dr. Zhu's broader research program is also supported by a recently awarded $453K collaborative NSF grant.

Dr. Zhu believes that the emergence of multicore processors provides an extraordinary opportunity to advance smart vehicles with advanced functionality (such as stability control and collision avoidance) that impose high computational demand on their electronic control systems. However, the existing scheduling theory and techniques have fallen short of supporting such networked multicore-based control systems, especially considering the human-related factors and dynamic environments of smart vehicles.

In this project, Dr. Zhu will undertake a comprehensive study of resource management techniques and scheduling algorithms to efficiently schedule various real-time applications and effectively utilize the computation power in networked multicore-based smart vehicle control systems. Dr. Zhu's team plans to develop new techniques that address uncertainty in dynamic environments and take the importance of different tasks into account during scheduling. Another challenge that will be addressed by the project is how to perform energy-efficient multicore scheduling and battery management for hybrid and electric smart vehicles.

Dr. Zhu project will include both undergraduate and graduate students on selected research projects related to smart vehicles. Moreover, he will enhance the existing course on "Embedded Systems" by introducing the concept of cyber-physical systems and discussing multiple robot cooperation through vehicle ad hoc networks (VANET).

The CAREER is the NSF's most prestigious award for junior faculty and is awarded to faculty members who embody the role of teacher-scholar by integrating outstanding research with excellence as an educator within the context of their institution. CAREER awards support integrated research and educational activities that serve as foundation for a lifelong career of teaching and scholarship.

Dr. Zhu is now one of seven recipients of current NSF CAREER awards at UTSA and the fifth in the Department of Computer Science. In 2009, Jeffery von Ronne received a CAREER award, to study the analysis of dynamically extensible software. Qing Yi received a CAREER award in 2008 to develop a multilayer code synthesis framework. In 2007, Carola Wenk received a CAREER award to study geometric shape handling. And Daniel Jiménez received a CAREER award to support his research on branch prediction in 2006. See also the news on UTSA Today.