Mona Attariyan Selected for SIGOPS Dennis Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award

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Mona Attariyan, center, with award. She is pictured at the conference with Prof. Jason Flinn and colleagues from Michigan.

Dr. Mona Attariyan (CSE PhD 2012) has been selected to receive the inaugural Dennis Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award from ACM SIGOPS for her dissertation, “Improving Software Configuration Troubleshooting with Causality Analysis,” which she defended at the University of Michigan on May 4th, 2012. This award recognizes research in software systems and encourages the creativity that the late 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. The award was presented to Dr. Attariyan at the 24th ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, November 3-6, 2013, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Attariyan’s dissertation addresses a vitally important and very challenging problem in software systems: how to make complex software in production easier to manage and troubleshoot. The desire for personalization and customization has led to the creation of software with tens, hundreds, or even thousands of configuration options. The presence of these options has, in turn, led to the problem of configuration troubleshooting: when software fails due to misconfiguration, how can one quickly identify the problem and repair the system? Dr. Attariyan’s dissertation shows how to troubleshoot such problems via dynamic binary analysis without source code, developer support, or log files.

Dr. Attariyan joined Google cloud infrastructure in August 2012, where she works on Google Compute Engine. Google Compute Engine provides virtual machines on top of Google infrastructure for users outside Google. On the side, she also enjoys working on large-scale analysis of genomic data.

Dr. Attariyan’s dissertation advisor was Professor Jason Flinn.