Date Posted: 2/25/2022

Praveen Kumar, who earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science in the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science (Cornell Bowers CIS) in 2021, has received an ACM SIGCOMM Dissertation Award for his thesis “Toward Predictable Networks.” The award from the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Data Communications was bestowed on Kumar for designing new approaches to building networks that offer predictable performance without sacrificing efficiency.

In his research at Cornell, Kumar was advised by Nate Foster, professor of computer science in Cornell Bowers CIS. The ACM SIGCOMM dissertation award committee consisted of Sanjay Rao (chair), professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University; Soudeh Ghorbani, assistant professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University; Hongqiang Liu, Senior Staff Engineer at Alibaba Group; Costin Raiciu, professor of computer science at the University Politechnica of Bucharest; and Jia Wang, who received her doctorate in computer science at Cornell in 2001 (advised by Robbert van Renesse), and is currently Lead Inventive Scientist at AT&T Labs in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Kumar’s research focuses on building robust and scalable networks that ensure predictable performance despite unpredictable operating conditions. Today, computer applications require networks to provide increasingly strict performance guarantees and not just high performance. However, networks continue to provide best-effort performance based on the design principles of the early internet. To bridge this gap, Kumar takes a multi-disciplinary approach spanning architecture, programming languages, systems, and theory to build holistic networking solutions — from low-level hardware to high-level abstractions and algorithms.

The ACM SIGCOMM Dissertation Award recognizes excellent thesis research by doctoral candidates in the field of computer networking and data communication. The winner and up to two runners-up will be recognized at the ACM SIGCOMM conference held August 22-26, 2022 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.