Matei Zaharia receives ACM Doctoral Dissertation award

Today the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) announced that CSAIL researcher Matei Zaharia has won the 2014 Doctoral Dissertation Award for his innovative solutions to tackling the surges in data processing workloads.

An assistant professor at CSAIL, Zaharia has been recognized for proposing what ACM describes as  “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, who completed his dissertation at the University of California, Berkeley, is co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Databricks, the company that has commercialized Apache Spark. 

To address the limited processing capabilities of single machines, Zaharia developed Resilient Distributed Datasets (RDDs), a distributed memory abstraction that lets programmers perform computations on large clusters in a fault-tolerant manner. He implements RDDs in the Spark system, which matches or exceeds the performance of specialized systems in many application domains, achieving up to speeds 100 times faster for certain applications.

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

"It is a huge honor to receive this award, and I'm excited to continue doing this type of research at MIT,” says Zaharia.

Read more about the achievement on the ACM website.