CSE Faculty Recognized with Amazon Research Awards

Apr 24, 2023
CSE's Newest Amazon Research Award Recipients

By Kimberley Clementi

Three faculty members from UC San Diego’s Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department were among the 79 Amazon Research Award recipients announced for the fall 2022 cycle. CSE Assistant Professor Sean Gao, who was also a 2021 awardee, was honored along with Associate Professors Yiying Zhang and Jishen Zhao.

Gao’s proposal, “Monte Carlo tree methods for decision-making in dReal,” earned an Amazon Research Award in Automated Reasoning. His research focuses on practical algorithms for NP-hard search and optimization problems that arise in the decision, control, and design aspects of computational systems.

Both Zhang and Zhao received awards in the AWS AI category. Zhang was recognized for her proposal, “Training deep neural networks with ‘zero’ activations,” which aims to improve model training speed in computer vision and speech recognition. The study is an extension of her ongoing research in operating systems, distributed systems, computer architecture, and datacenter networking.

Zhao’s award-winning proposal, “Semantic-informed document structure recognition with large language models,” adds to her larger body of research which spans the boundary between computer architecture and system software. Her work focuses on memory systems, machine learning for systems, and system support for smart applications.

Proposals were selected for the quality of their scientific content and potential impact in the areas of AWS AI, Automated Reasoning, Prime Video and Sustainability. This year’s recipients, representing 54 universities in 14 countries, have access to more than 300 Amazon public datasets and can utilize AWS AI/ML services and tools through promotional credits. They are also assigned an Amazon research contact for consultation, advice and training sessions.