Alex Dimakis Wins Award on Data Storage

Alex Dimakis of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering received the 2010 IEEE Communications Society (COMSOC) Technical Committee on Data Storage Best Paper Award. The paper, entitled “Network Coding for Distributed Storage Systems”, was a collaboration between Dimakis, P. Brighten Godfrey, Yunnan Wu, Martin J. Wainwright, and Kannan Ramchandran. It appeared in the September 2010 issue of IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. Network coding combines digital data packets flowing through a network and uses distributed decoding methods at the destination nodes to improve significantly the reliability and efficiency of communication and data storage systems while reducing their environmental and economic costs. Coding has had a significant impact on centralized storage systems; his work extends these concepts to distributed “cloud” storage systems.

The award will be presented in December 2011 at the IEEE Global Communications Conference (Globecom) 2011 in Houston, Texas. Globecom, the annual flagship conference for the IEEE COMSOC, is the premier telecommunications event for industry professionals, academics, companies and government agencies around the world.

Dimakis is an assistant Professor at the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. He has been a faculty member at USC since 2009. He received the Diploma degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece in 2003, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in 2005 and 2008 respectively in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for the Mathematics of Information (CMI) at Caltech from 2008 to 2009. He received the Eli Jury award in 2008 for his thesis work on codes for distributed storage, two outstanding paper awards, the UC Berkeley Regents Fellowship and the Microsoft Research Fellowship. He recently received a prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). His research interests include communications, coding theory, signal processing, and networking, with a current focus on distributed storage, network coding, large-scale inference and message passing algorithms.

Alexander “Sandy” Sawchuk, Systems Chair of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, said: “our faculty join me in congratulating Alex Dimakis for the 2010 IEEE COMSOC Technical Committee on Data Storage Best Paper Award. It is a notable affirmation of the quality and significance of his research.”