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December 22, 2005

New Director Takes Over at
UC San Diego’s Center for Networked Systems

By Doug Ramsey

One of the youngest research centers on the University of California, San Diego campus has a new leader. Jacobs School of Engineering professor Amin Vahdat becomes only the second director of the Center for Networked Systems (CNS) since it was established in July 2004. Vahdat, who is also an academic participant in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), takes the reins from founding director Andrew Chien, who left to join Intel Corporation as Director of Research.

The industry-funded CNS also announced today the recent addition of four new faculty members, bringing its total to 18. Professors Alin Deutsch, Yannis Papakonstantinou, and Tajana Simunic Rosing come from UCSD’s Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department, while Tara Javidi is on the Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty.

“UCSD has amassed a world-class reputation in areas such as security, networking, and experimental systems,” said Vahdat, an associate professor in CSE. “We have expertise from the lowest level of networking – optical, wireless – all the way up to the highest level of end-to-end network services. The center can bring all these people together and focus them on a lot of emerging opportunities.”

The 33-year-old computer scientist joined the Jacobs School faculty in January 2004 from Duke University , where he achieved tenure in just four years. He completed his undergraduate and graduate work at UC Berkeley, where he received his Ph.D. in computer science in 1998. After Berkeley , Vahdat worked briefly as a research associate at the University of Washington before going to Duke. His honors include an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (2003), IBM Faculty Partnership Award (2002-03) and NSF CAREER Award (2000).

“With his own focus on distributed systems, computer networks, operating systems, and mobile computing, Professor Vahdat is in a unique position to bring together researchers who come from systems or networking backgrounds,” said Jacobs School Dean Frieder Seible. “He was also an obvious choice for the center’s industry members, given his track record in applied research, notably on new network architectures.”

CNS’s four founding corporate members – AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, QUALCOMM and Sun Microsystems – provide funding for projects jointly developed by center faculty and industrial partners. They also have a voice in shaping CNS’s research agenda. “By working with the best networking and systems companies in the world, we can gain an understanding of what problems to work on from the corporate perspective,” said Vahdat. “We then bring our expertise to bear on those problems. It is a synergistic situation, and it gives corporate members access to a one-stop shop with some of the leading academic experts in the world.”

Media Contact: Doug Ramsey, 858-822-5825, cell 619-379-2912.

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