IC's Rishabh Iyer wins the Dennis M. Ritchie Award for 2023
EPFL PhD student Rishabh Iyer has been awarded the most prestigious thesis award in Computer Systems.
The Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award was created by ACM SIGOPS to recognize dissertations that break new ground in computer systems research. Dennis M. Ritchie, creator of the C programming language and the Unix operating system, was a pioneer in operating systems theory and implementation, and this award serves to encourage and reward the kind of creativity that he embodied. The award is given annually at SIGOPS's flagship SOSP conference.
Rishabh Iyer has been recognized for his thesis entitled "Latency Interfaces for Systems Code", which presents groundbreaking research performed at EPFL IC under the guidance of Prof. Katerina Argyraki and Prof. George Candea. The thesis demonstrates how systems code can expose a latency interface that describes precisely the code's latency and related side effects for all possible inputs, just like the code’s semantic interface describes its functionality and related side effects.
Today, semantic interfaces (like code documentation, header files, and specifications) are indispensable, and latency interfaces promise to provide system engineers an equivalent for latency behavior. Dr. Iyer and colleagues developed the theoretical underpinnings for latency interfaces along with an entire toolchain that is freely available.
In presenting the award, the committee echoed the expectation that, years from now, Rishabh's thesis will be seen as a turning point in system engineers' ability to treat performance as the first-class citizen it has become, and that his work takes a major step towards helping system designers and programmers approach system performance in a systematic and principled fashion.
Upon receiving the award, Dr. Iyer said "I am humbled by this recognition, and would like to express my gratitude to my advisors and other collaborators for their constant guidance and support. I am fortunate to be a part of the Systems group at EPFL, whose strength and depth are attested to by winning this award twice in three years, with work from two different labs."