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Hari Pyla, a doctoral student studying computer science at Virginia Tech, received the John Vlissides Award at the 2011 meeting of the Systems, Programming, Languages, and Applications: Software for Humanity, the premier conference in object-oriented programming languages and systems.

This award is named for John Vlissides who worked at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, in recognition to his contributions to computer science. The award is given to a doctoral student annually for outstanding work in applied software research and comes with a $2,000 prize.

In addition, Pyla won the first place in Association of Computing Machinery's student research competition at the conference for his work on emerging processors in the computer industry.

These two awards represent a clean sweep of the graduate student awards at this year's meeting. 

"It is significant that Mr. Pyla's research focuses on parallel computation, a strategic area since today's laptops come with multicore processors," saidBarbara Ryder, head of the computer science department. "These awards are a great achievement for Mr. Pyla, his advisor Srinidhi Varadarajan, a member of the computer science faculty at Virginia Tech, and for our department."

Pyla also presented a research paper co-authored with Calvin Ribbens, professor of computer science at Virginia Tech, and Varadarajan at the same conference. This work also presented novel techniques to improve the performance of parallel applications in computer science.

Pyla interned at the Watson facility in the summer of 2010. He also worked for a year as a software engineer for NETAPP Inc. of Raleigh, N.C., in 2007 and 2008.

In 2009, Pyla led a team of student volunteers in the building of SystemG, a core supercomputer, at the Virginia Tech campus. The primary goal in building SystemG was to demonstrate that supercomputers can be both fast and environmentally green.

Pyla received his master's degree in computer science at Virginia Tech in 2007 and his bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University of India in 2004.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 6,000 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.
Hari Pyla, right, a doctoral candidate in computer science at Virginia Tech, and his advisor, Srinidhi Varadarajan, an associate professor in the department.