SIGOPS 2019 Awards

ACM Special Interest Group in Operating Systems (SIGOPS) addresses a broad spectrum of issues associated with operating systems research and development. Members are drawn from a broad community spanning industry, academia, and government. SIGOPS supports many conferences and workshops. We also hand out awards to recognize and honor those that have made important contribution to our community.

In this post, we will look at the awards that were given this year at our flagship conference, the biennial ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP).

Best papers

The Best Paper Awards for SOSP 2019 went to “Efficient and Scalable Thread-Safety Violation Detection” by Guangpu Li (University of Chicago), Shan Lu (University of Chicago), Madanlal Musuvathi (Microsoft Research), Suman Nath (Microsoft Research), Rohan Padhye (Berkeley), and “Scaling Symbolic Evaluation for Automated Verification of Systems Code with Serval” by  Luke Nelson (University of Washington), James Bornholt (University of Washington), Ronghui Gu (Columbia University), Andrew Baumann (Microsoft Research), Emina Torlak (University of Washington), Xi Wang (University of Washington). The two award papers were selected by a committee that carefully reviewed the final versions of the top-rated papers.

Our excellent PhD students

Sebastian Angel receives the 2019 DMR award from SOSP veteran Hank Levy

The Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award went to Sebastian Angel, who was a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas, Austin and now an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, for his work on “Unobservable communications over untrusted infrastructure”, done under the guidance of Michael Walfish.

This award was created in 2013 by ACM SIGOPS to recognize research in software systems and to encourage the creativity that Dennis Ritchie embodied, providing a reminder of Ritchie’s legacy and what a difference one person can make in the field of software systems research.

Creativity and innovation

The 2019 Mark Weiser Award was presented to Ion Stoica (University of California, Berkeley), for his outstanding leadership, innovation, and real-world impact in large-scale data analytics systems, large-scale distributed systems, and networking systems.

The Mark Weiser Award was created in 2001 by ACM SIGOPS, to be given to an individual who has demonstrated creativity and innovation in operating systems research, broadly construed. The recipient must have begun his or her career no earlier than 20 years prior to nomination. The award is named in honor of Mark Weiser, a computing visionary recognized for his research accomplishments during his career at Xerox PARC and beyond. 

Ion Stoica was awarded the 2019 Mark Weiser Award

Those that stand the test of time

The Hall of Fame papers for both 2018 and 2019 were announced.

For 2018, the awards went to DryadLinQ and KLEE, both appeared in the 8th USENIX Conference on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI) in 2008. The DryadLinq paper was written by researchers in then Microsoft Research Silicon Valley—Yuan Yu, Michael Isard, Dennis Fetterly, Mihai Budiu, Úlfar Erlingsson, Pradeep Kumar Gunda, and Jon Currey. It demonstrated how to provide declarative operations on top of a distributed dataflow system, making it convenient for programmers to compute on large data sets using relational operators while providing high-performance. The KLEE paper was written by three researchers at the Stanford University, Cristian Cadar, Daniel Dunbar, and Dawson Engler. It shows how to scale symbolic execution to generating automatic tests that achieve high coverage and applying it to widely-used software, including the GNU COREUTILS utility programs. The ideas and results have been an inspiration for many subsequent work on automatic bug finding.

Galen Hunt accepts the 2019 SIGOPS HoF awards for the Debugging in the (very) Large paper. He is accompanied by award committee members Richard Draves and Robbert van Renesse; and Frans Kaashoek

The 2019 Hall of Fame awards went to two papers published at SOSP 2009: “Debugging in the (Very) Large: Ten Years of Implementation and Experience” from Microsoft and “seL4: formal verification of an OS kernel” paper from NICTA, UNSW, Open Kernel Labs, and ANU. 

The Debugging paper was written by Kirk Glerum, Kinshuman Kinshumann, Steve Greenberg, Gabriel Aul, Vince Orgovan, Greg Nichols, David Grant, Gretchen Loihle, and Galen Hunt. This paper describes the successful decade-long effort to dramatically improve the security and reliability of Windows by collecting and analyzing data on every crash experienced by every PC anywhere in the world. Although we now take it for granted that deployed software should always “phone home” error reports, the work described in this paper was the first to do so at global scale.

The seL4 paper was written by Gerwin Klein, Kevin Elphinstone, Gernot Heiser, June Andronick, David Cock, Philip Derrin, Dhammika Elkaduwe, Kai Engelhardt, Rafal Kolanski, Michael Norrish, Thomas Sewell, Harvey Tuch, and Simon Winwood. The seL4 project was the first to provide a machine-checked proof of correctness and security properties of a high-performance microkernel. The authors used a unique approach that fuses formal and operating systems techniques, resulting in a general purpose operating system kernel that performs as well as a state-of-the-art microkernel and whose behavior can be precisely predicted for any input. The work has become the basis for a large amount of subsequent work in provably correct systems.

Gernot Heiser accepts the 2019 SIGOPS HoF awards for the se4L paper. He is accompanied by award committee members Richard Draves and Robbert van Renesse; and Frans Kaashoek

The student research competition

SOSP 2019 featured the ACM Student Research Competition (SRC), where students presented their research and competed for prizes. 

In the undergraduate category, Luis Gerhorst (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg) was awarded the Gold medal, while Ziyi Zhang (University of Science and Technology of China) took home the Silver medal. In the graduate category, Samyukta Yagati (MIT) clinched the Gold Medal, with Zhenyu Song (Princeton University) taking the Silver medal, and Swapnil Gandhi (Indian Institute of Science) obtaining the Bronze Medal. Luis and Samyukta will represent SIGOPS at the ACM SRC Grand Final!