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Donald Porter Receives Prestigious NSF CAREER Award

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Don PorterDonald E. Porter, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, was selected to receive the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program Award, which recognizes promising young faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of both education and research. Porter’s project, Beyond Virtual Hardware: VMM/OS Co-Design for Lightweight, Flexible Virtualization, will be funded by the NSF through May 2017.

The award, a five-year grant for approximately $400,000, will go toward funding research into the development of efficient computer virtualization techniques, which allows computer users to run one computer system inside of another. For instance, a user can run a Windows program inside of a virtual machine on an Apple computer. Virtualization is increasingly used to improve the compatibility, security and flexibility of modern computers.

“This is a very nice honor, and has the practical benefit of contributing to the education of students at the University,” said Porter. “This grant will fund a PhD student through an entire dissertation and provide material support to involve additional students in this research.” He added that the CAREER Award is designed “to give a little extra momentum to the careers of young faculty who have a promising research agenda and track record.”

“The National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award is one of the highest honors that can be conferred upon a young faculty member,” said Provost Dennis N. Assanis. “This award will help to support Dr. Porter’s research in computer virtualization, which has the potential to dramatically improve the flexibility and efficiency of today’s computer systems.”

Porter earned a PhD and MS in computer science from the University of Texas at Austin and a BA in computer science and mathematics from Hendrix College. His research interests include operating systems, concurrent programming and security. He also established and oversees the Operating System Security Concurrency and Architecture Lab at Stony Brook. Founded in 2011, the lab is working on research-related issues in the areas of operating systems, virtualization, system security, concurrency and computer architecture.

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