Former Graduate Student in UMIACS Wins ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award

May 27, 2020

Yossi Matias, a former graduate student in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) who is now an executive at Google, is part of a team that recently received the Association for Computing Machinery's 2019 Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award.

The award recognizes "specific theoretical accomplishments that have had a significant and demonstrable effect on the practice of computing." It was instituted by the ACM in 1996, in memory of Paris C. Kanellakis, a computer scientist who died with his immediate family in an airplane crash in South America.

Matias was honored along with Noga Alon of Princeton University and Tel Aviv University, Phillip Gibbons of Carnegie Mellon University, and Mario Szegedy of Rutgers University for their seminal work on the foundations of streaming algorithms and their application to large-scale data analytics.

The four researchers are credited with pioneering a framework for algorithmic treatment of streaming massive datasets. Today, their sketching and streaming algorithms remain the core approach for streaming big data and constitute an entire subarea of the field of algorithms. Additionally, the concepts of sketches and synopses that they introduced are now routinely used in a variety of data analysis tasks in databases, network monitoring, usage analytics in internet products, natural language processing and machine learning.

Matias was a graduate student at UMIACS from 1990 to 1992 and was advised during his time here by Uzi Vishkin, a professor of electrical and computer engineering with an appointment in UMIACS.