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Scheduling Algorithms Earn Computer Science Researcher an NSF CAREER Award

May 6, 2019
Professor Im stands before a mathematical equation.
Professor Sungjin Im

Professor Sungjin Im, with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering, has received a National Science Foundation CAREER award, making him the 21st recipient from UC Merced.

CAREER awards are among the NSF’s most prestigious awards. They are given through the Faculty Early Career Development Program to encourage untenured faculty members as teacher-scholars. Early-career faculty members are selected on the strength of their research proposals, but also because they demonstrate the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in their fields and organizations.

Im joined the campus in January 2014. This is the third NSF grant Im has won as a principal investigator. He is a leading expert in scheduling theory and has published more than 60 papers in prestigious journals and other venues.

“Professor Im is the sixth CSE professor to win this prestigious award, and this is a testament to the quality of his scholarly work,” said Professor Stefano Carpin, chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

The CAREER grant provides $500,000 for Im and his research lab to investigate ways to improve the efficiency of online scheduling for large requests. The project’s goal is to develop new algorithmic foundations for online scheduling, which aims to figure out how to effectively serve requests arriving and departing over time — for example, requests for data analytics submitted to data centers.

“As massive computing resources are becoming available at low cost, harnessing their power is crucial in modern science and engineering,” Im said. “In consequence, the need for effective scheduling has become increasingly important. Particularly, in this project, we seek to find new algorithm design strategies that can keep pace with the fast-changing scheduling environments.”

This research will help make the development process of online scheduling algorithms more transparent, Im said. He believes the new findings will be readily integrated into algorithms courses he’s teaching. The project will also involve both graduate and undergraduate students in research.

“I'm very excited about this award as I view this as an evidence that NSF recognizes the importance of my research goal to develop new algorithmic foundations of online scheduling,” Im said.