Sivasubramaniam named Association for Computing Machinery Fellow

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Anand Sivasubramaniam, distinguished professor of computer science and engineering at Penn State, has been named a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for his contributions to power management of data centers and high-end computer systems.

ACM, the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, recognizes the top 1 percent of its members for their achievements related to information technology and outstanding service to ACM or the larger computing community.

“It is a great honor and recognition for the quality of my work and impact, coming from peers of the highest caliber,” said Sivasubramaniam about the honor. “I owe much of this to my students and colleagues here at Penn State, as well as many industrial collaborators and supporters over the years.”

Working in power management of data centers and high-end computer systems since 2000, Sivasubramaniam is a pioneer in this field of research. Before that, power was important, but primarily studied in embedded and mobile devices to make their batteries last longer.

“Data centers are the massive computing warehouses hosted by companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon and IBM, to provide critical internet services, as well as to sustain the information technology needs of public and private clouds,” said Sivasubramaniam. “Each data center is around 10 times the size of a football field, houses hundreds of thousands of servers, and consumes multimegawatts of power. Nearly 40 percent of a data center's build and operation costs are related to power, which is also the limiting factor in its scalability over time. If data centers around the world were to be clubbed together into a country, they would be the fifth highest energy consuming country of the world, making them also a serious environmental concern when this energy comes from high carbon footprints.”

To address such concerns, Sivasubramaniam has been working on hardware and software mechanisms to control power consumption of individual server components — processors, memory hierarchy and disk drives. He’s also been creating software mechanisms for multiple servers (clusters) as a whole to meet application performance needs in the most energy-efficient fashion, and to incorporate and manage energy storage in the data center to shift power demands in space and time.

His research and contributions have been cited thousands of times, contributing to a current h-index of 57 as per Google Scholar. It has influenced follow-up research within the academic community, with tools from his group adopted by others as well. Data center design in industry is also being influenced by many of his ideas.

“A steady stream of intellectually challenging problems and industrial interest in the area kept me motivated all along this journey,” said Sivasubramaniam.

In addition to being named an ACM Fellow, he also is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and has been inducted into the halls of fame of the International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture and the International Symposium on Computer Architecture.

Sivasubramaniam received his bachelor’s of technology in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology and his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Last Updated December 11, 2017