Recent Best Paper Honors in Civil Engineering and Computer Science

Jan 31 2013 | By Jeff Ballinger | Image: Luca Carloni's Team

Two teams of current and former Columbia Engineering graduate students took home best paper awards at recent conferences.

Recent graduate Changbum Ahn MS’12 (PhD’12, University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana) and faculty advisers Feniosky Peña-Mora, Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and SangHyun Lee of the University of Michigan, won the Best Paper Award in January at the International Conference in Construction Engineering and Project Management. Lee, a former student of Peña-Mora's, is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. Ahn is now an assistant professor at the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Their paper, “Construction Equipment Activity Recognition From Accelerometer Data For Monitoring Operational Efficiency And Environmental Performance,” was selected from nearly 100 papers accepted at the conference.

“This award will draw the attention of industry leaders who are seeking the implementation of sustainable construction in an economically feasible way,” says Ahn. “Our application provides a novel way to monitor the operational efficiency of construction equipment without any intrusive measure.”

Adds Peña-Mora, “This recognition validates the potential of our on-going research in the area of automated resource tracking in construction. Our research can be transformative in reshaping construction practices based on manual observation.” 

The diagram above is from the paper produced by the team led by Professor Carloni.

In the Department of Computer Science, graduate students Younghoon Jung and Richard Neill, along with their adviser, Associate Professor Luca Carloni, have also recently won a Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science, sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

The trio presented their paper, “A Broadband Embedded Computing System for MapReduce Utilizing Hadoop,” in December at the conference held in Taipei, Taiwan. It was selected from 54 papers accepted at the conference.

Their paper left a lasting impression. In fact, Jung was told by the conference chair that one of the judges – a prominent software developer – was greatly impressed, “particularly about discovering the possible mis-assumptions that current cloud computing technologies have and could be problematic for the future of cloud computing.”

This is encouraging news for Neill.

“This award further validates the novelty and importance of our ongoing research in the area of broadband embedded computing, its application to heterogeneous cloud computing and systems that evolve for massive big data science,” he says. “From a career perspective, the award draws attention to leaders in industry helping to form new collaborations to Columbia's System-Level Design Group.”

This type of recognition underscores the importance of their findings, says Carloni.

“Our research was motivated by the observation of several important technology trends in embedded systems, data centers, and broadband networking,” he says. “When combined, these trends lead to an important convergence between traditional computing and embedded computing.”