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Allen School researchers shine brightly at SIGMOD

Group photo of UW Allen School at SIGMOD 2017

Allen School students and faculty at SIGMOD in Chicago

A delegation of Allen School researchers recently returned from the annual conference of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD 2017). Several faculty and students from the Database and Programming Languages & Software Engineering groups were recognized for their work to advance the state of the art in data management.

Ph.D. student Shumo Chu earned the Best Demo Award for his presentation of the Cosette Automated SQL Prover, a project developed by Chu, his fellow Ph.D. student Chenglong Wang, undergraduate researcher Daniel Li, and professors Alvin Cheung and Dan Suciu. Cosette is the first automated prover for determining the equivalence of two SQL queries. The team has demonstrated its usefulness by proving a number of real-world SQL rewrite rules ​that have not been shown correct before, along with disproving well-known bugs ​in SQL query optimizers, ​all in a matter of seconds. The team ​will  release the tool in the next few weeks.

Shumo Chu demonstrating Cosette

Two other students received Honorable Mentions for their demos. Brandon Haynes earned accolades for demonstrating VisualCloud, a database management system for efficient storage and delivery of virtual reality content at scale that he developed with 5th year master’s student Artem Minyaylov and professors Cheung, Magdalena Balazinska, and Luis Ceze. Maaz Bin Safeer Ahmad was recognized for his demo of Casper, a tool he developed with Cheung that automatically rewrites sequential Java applications to leverage parallel data processing frameworks such as Spark and Hadoop using verified lifting.

In the ACM Student Research Competition, Ph.D. student Jennifer Ortiz was named First Runner-Up in the graduate student category for her poster and research talk on PerfEnforce, a dynamic scaling engine for analytics with performance guarantees. Ortiz developed PerfEnforce in collaboration with Balazinska, master’s alum Brendan Lee, Microsoft Technical Fellow Johannes Gehrke, and Senior Data Science Fellow Joseph Hellerstein of the UW eScience Institute.

A team of Allen School researchers also earned one of three Reproducibility Awards, which recognize papers from the previous year’s conference that are deemed to be most reproducible, verifiable, flexible, and portable. The winning paper, “SQLShare: Results from a Multi-Year SQL-as-a-Service Experiment,” presented the results of a four-year deployment of a database-as-a-service platform aimed at scientists with minimal database experience and was co-authored by Ph.D. students Shrainik Jain and Dominik Moritz, Ph.D. alum Daniel Halperin, iSchool professor and Allen School adjunct faculty member Bill Howe, and Allen School professor Ed Lazowska.

ACM Student Research Competition honorees

Professor Alvin Cheung (left) with ACM Student Research Competition honorees Utku Sriin, Jennifer Ortiz, and Lingjiao Chen

Last but certainly not least, Balazinska collected SIGMOD’s Test of Time Award for her 2005 paper “Fault Tolerance in the Borealis Distributes Stream Processing System,” which pioneered a new approach for increasing the fault tolerance of stream processing applications. The award, which Balazinska shares with co-authors Hari Balakrishnan, Samuel Madden, and Michael Stonebraker of MIT, signals the enduring influence her work has had on the field of data management in the dozen years since its initial publication. Read more in our previous blog post here.

View more photos of the Allen School in action at SIGMOD here.

Great work, everyone!