Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition: September 27, 2001
Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition
In This Issue
University Rallies to Mourn National Tragedy

Carnegie Mellon Rated "Most Wired," Again

"National Treasure" Robert Page Receives Paul Mellon Professorship of Music

University 23rd in U.S. News' Rating

40-Year-Old Sets Hectic Pace as Freshman and CFA Staff Member

Ferguson Leads Effort to Trap, Neuter and Release Feral Cats

Autonomous Helicopter Called to Assist FBI in Somerset County

Summer Appointments and Accolades

Paul Christiano Remembered

Women's Association Tours PNC Park

Satyanarayanan Heads New Intel Lab

Football Team Collects More than $5,500 for Relief Effort

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two Satyanarayanan Heads New Intel Lab to Develop Improved Software Systems for Data Storage

Carnegie Group Professor of Computer Science Mahadev Satyanarayanan, known for his pioneering work in the field of distributed file systems and as one of the founders of mobile computing, has been chosen by the Intel Corp. to be founding director of a new Pittsburgh-based laboratory to do research in software systems for data storage.

Satyanarayanan said the new lab will focus on issues of information storage and retrieval in what Intel, one of the world's largest manufacturers of computing hardware and software, calls the "proactive computing environments" of the future.

Researchers will work on creating new storage paradigms and better implementations of conventional storage systems such as databases and file systems. They also will seek a deeper empirical understanding of how storage systems are used and will work to develop techniques, tools and benchmarks to evaluate different aspects of storage systems.

Initially, the new lab will be housed in a building at the corner of Forbes Avenue and Craig Street. It will be staffed by full-time Intel researchers as well as faculty, researchers and graduate students from Carnegie Mellon and other universities.

Satyanarayanan, who will take a partial sabbatical for two years to get the new facility up and running, said there could be eight to 10 researchers working there by the end of its first year and ultimately there could be as many as 25-30 researchers in the laboratory.

"Intel's decision to locate a research lab focusing on software systems for data storage in Pittsburgh is a reflection of the pioneering role that Carnegie Mellon has played over the last two decades in this field," Satyanarayanan said. "Intel joins a growing number of companies that have chosen to locate their storage systems research or development facilities in Pittsburgh."

"Intel's new venture in Pittsburgh enriches the region and the university as we continue to broaden our mission of leadership in information technology research," said President Jared L. Cohon.

Seagate Technology, one of the leading manufacturers of disc drives, magnetic discs and tape drives, moved its research headquarters to Pittsburgh in 1998. Mark Kryder, the Stephen Jatras University Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is Seagate's vice president and director of research. Panasas, a Pittsburgh start-up that concentrates on network-attached storage, was founded by Associate Computer Science Professor Garth Gibson.

Carnegie Mellon's involvement with software systems for data storage dates back to 1983, when the university joined IBM to build the Andrew distributed personal computing environment, one of the first computer networks on a university campus. Satyanarayanan was a principal designer of the Andrew File System and played a key role in its implementation across the university.

That year also saw the establishment of the Magnetics Technology Center (MTC), an industry collaboration that aimed to produce students trained in data storage and magnetics. With funding from the National Science Foundation, the MTC evolved into the Data Storage Systems Center (DSSC). Today, under director Bob White, University Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the DSSC is the country's leading center on magnetic recording.

Satyanarayanan holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras. He earned his doctor's degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon in 1983.

The new Pittsburgh research laboratory is the latest effort in a long string of projects involving Intel and Carnegie Mellon. Over the years, Intel has shared in more than 22 major Carnegie Mellon research initiatives, including development of the iWarp computer. Intel has also funded graduate fellowships and contributed many millions of dollars worth of gifts in kind to the university.

Intel is also establishing research laboratories at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Washington. They will focus on other aspects of proactive computing.

"We want to work with the best minds out there in the universities," Intel spokesman Kevin Teixeira told the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette. He said Intel is focused on "leading universities with strong computer science programs" and universities that have excellent programs in specialty areas that interest the company.

Anne Watzman

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